Automatic exchange of information
Under tax legislation called The International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015 but often referred to as “Automatic Exchange of Information”, individuals are affected when they open a bank or building society account, or acquire or hold investments through an insurance company (like us).
When you take out a policy with us you will be asked where you live for tax purposes. If you are a UK tax resident you may be asked for your National Insurance number. If you are a tax resident of another country we will ask you for your tax identification number (the number given to you by that country’s tax authority). If you opened your account before 1 January 2016 we may contact you to confirm your tax residence status. We may do this if, for example, you have a foreign correspondence address as this might indicate you could be a non-UK tax resident.
When Metfriendly contacts you to ask for information about your account it is important that you reply as soon as you are able.
If you don’t reply we may report incorrect information to HMRC. HMRC may choose to investigate if our report indicates an unknown tax residency.
The information that will be reported by Metfriendly to HMRC comprises:
- your name
- your address
- your date of birth (where already held)
- your place of birth (where already held)
- your tax identification number (where applicable)
- your account number
- the name and identifying number of the account provider
- your account value at the end of the calendar year
Metfriendly will record the information you provide, then send the information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who will share the information with the relevant tax authority if the account is held by one of their tax residents.
The requirement to collect certain information about our members’ tax residency is part of UK legislation (see answer to first question) and we are legally obliged to collect it.
Your tax residence generally is the country in which you live for more than half a year. Special circumstances (such as studying abroad, working overseas, or extended travel) may cause you to be resident elsewhere or resident in more than one country at the same time (dual residency). The country/countries in which you pay income tax are likely to be your country/countries of tax residence. If you are a US citizen or hold a US passport or green card, you will also be considered tax resident in the US even if you do not live in the US.
For more details, you look at the HMRC Guidance Website, consult a tax adviser, or contact us.