FAQ – Savings and investment – Anti-tax evasion measures - FATCA and CRS
Anti-tax evasion stems from two separate but similar international regulations:
- the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a U.S. law in effect since July 1, 2014
- the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a new international standard developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which will take effect on July 1, 2017
FATCA and the CRS share a common purpose: helping countries in the international community maintain the integrity of their tax systems.
All Canadian financial institutions are required to comply with FATCA and the CRS, according to amendments to the Income Tax Act. These amendments provide that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) share information with other countries respecting individuals and businesses holding non-Canadian tax residency, or with the United States if individuals hold a U.S. tax residency or U.S. citizenship.
CRA: Canada Revenue Agency; IRS: Internal Revenue Service
As an individual member or client, you are reportable under FATCA and/or the CRS if you have reportable financial accounts and any of these are true:
- you are a tax resident of another country
- you are a U.S. resident or citizen
- you exercise control over a passive non-financial business or a trust and are a resident of another country for tax purposes
As a business member or client, you are reportable under FATCA and/or the CRS if you have reportable financial accounts and the controlling persons are tax residents of another country or U.S. citizens (in the case of a trust, these rules apply to the settlor, trustee or beneficiary).
All financial institutions, including Desjardins, are prohibited from providing advice to their members and clients about tax residence rules. Your Desjardins advisor or representative will recommend that you speak with a tax advisor.
For joint accounts, each account holder's situation is reviewed individually. If we find that one of the account holders is reportable under FATCA and/or the CRS, we will only report tax residency information to the CRA about that particular account holder, as well as the entire balance of the joint account.
Yes. Everyone who has a reportable account must confirm their Canadian tax residency status and provide the required information.
Tax residency information is collected when you open a reportable account. You are required to notify Desjardins whenever a change modifies this information.
Desjardins is required to find out your tax residency status and whether you are a U.S. citizen in order that we may comply with our reporting obligations to the CRA. Your advisor or representative at Desjardins will need to ask you additional questions if you are a tax resident of another country and/or a U.S. citizen, and you may have to provide documents as proof of residence.
A TIN is a combination of letters or numbers that a country assigns to an individual or business for tax purposes. For example, in Canada:
- for individuals, the TIN will be their Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- for businesses, such as corporations and partnerships, the TIN will be the Business Number (BN) or the Quebec enterprise number (NEQ). Note: TINs for trusts always begin with the letter "T".
The following information will be reported to the CRA for account holders that are tax residents of any other country or U.S. citizens:
- identifying information for the account holder: name, address, country of residence for tax purposes, date of birth, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or reason why they don't have one
- financial information about the account: account number, account balances or year-end value, and certain amounts paid or credited to the account during the year, such as interest and dividends
No. Desjardins operates under strict federal and provincial privacy laws. Information that we collect and disclose to the CRA is strictly for the uses permitted in the Income Tax Act.
If you are a resident of Canada and provide a self-certification, then you will remain a resident of Canada for tax purposes and are not reportable under FATCA. This self-certification involves declaring that any modification to a U.S. address, U.S. telephone number, or standing instructions to transfer funds to an account maintained in the U.S. associated with your account exist or will arise only in the context of temporary visits that you make to the U.S. If you have questions about your residence for tax purposes, Desjardins recommends speaking with a tax advisor who is not employed by Desjardins.
The CRA may impose a financial penalty if you have a reportable account and do not provide the required information about your tax residence.
To learn more about the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), see:
- the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website - External link. This link will open in a new window.
- the OECD - External link. This link will open in a new window. website
To learn more about the Foreign Account tax Compliance Act (FATCA), see:
- the Canadian Bankers Association - External link. This link will open in a new window. website
- the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Industry Association - External link. This link will open in a new window. website
- the IRS website - External link. This link will open in a new window.
- your tax advisor
Possibly. We sometimes need additional information in order to update your tax residence information.
To check if a call you receive is really from Desjardins, see the list of Desjardins numbers that may call you.