Common Reporting Standard
The new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) requires Mauritian Reporting Financial Institutions (RFIs) to elicit certain additional information in respect of foreign tax residencies, entity classification, and Controlling Persons under the Standard. The purpose of these FAQs is to help you understand how you may be impacted. Please note that RFIs have a legal obligation to obtain the information required for the CRS. Section 76 (5A) of the Income Tax Act has been amended by Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) to oblige RFIs to implement the CRS. Section 76 of the Income Tax Act has also been amended to safeguard the confidentiality of information exchanged with other jurisdictions. Please note that Standard Bank is unable to provide tax advice. Should you require any additional assistance in completing forms or otherwise meeting your CRS obligations please consult your tax advisor. A glossary is available for your further insight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS)?
Offshore tax evasion is a major issue for jurisdictions all over the world. The Automatic Exchange of Information under the CRS is a global standard for the automatic exchange of taxpayer financial account information relating to the accounts of tax payers from other participating tax jurisdictions. The standard has been developed by the OECD and G20 with the input of other jurisdictions and Financial Institutions.
What is a Reporting Financial Institution (RFI)?
The definition of a Financial Institution under the CRS includes all banks, asset managers, life insurers, and certain types of investment entities as RFIs.
Who is reportable?
CRS requires RFIs to identify customers who appear to be tax resident in a jurisdiction other than Mauritius and report certain information to MRA. MRA will then share that information with the relevant participating jurisdiction(s).
What is meant by tax residence?
The rules for tax residency may differ by jurisdiction and your particular circumstance. If in doubt please consult the OECD website at http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/tax-residency/ or your tax advisor.
What information will I be required to provide?
To comply with our obligations under the CRS Standard Bank is required to obtain the self-certification that has been provided to you wherein we ask for your:
Residential address (for Individuals) or registered address (for Entities)
Date of birth (for Individual and Controlling Persons)
Country and town / city of birth (for Individual and Controlling Persons)
Country of principal office and effective management (for Entities)
Country of registration or incorporation (for Entities)
All countries of tax residence (Individuals and Entities)
Associated tax identification numbers
Entity type (for Entities)
Controlling Persons of certain Entity types with their tax residency information
I have no foreign tax residencies. Why am I required to provide this information?
Standard Bank is legally required to establish the tax residencies status of all our customers, even if you are tax resident only in Mauritius. Your details will only be reportable to MRA to the extent you or your organisation is a Reportable Person.
I have already been requested to provide similar information for FATCA?
CRS and FATCA are different regulations. Although the objectives are similar the requirements are different. CRS requires us to identify foreign tax residencies whereas FATCA requires us to identify US persons.
Will I be required to provide similar information again in future?
Given that CRS is a global standard no further such initiatives are anticipated. We may however require you to re-certify where a change of circumstances occurs through an update of your account details indicating you may be reportable.
Will Standard Bank respect my data privacy?
Standard Bank will respect your data privacy. We will only disclose your information to the relevant tax authorities if we are legally required to do so.
Is my information safe?
The customer information obtained and exchanged is treated with secrecy and security. All members of the Standard Bank Group, staffs and third parties are subject to this.
Is there any other information I need to supply?
CRS obliges us to ascertain the reasonableness of your self-certification. In certain instances we may need to request supporting documentation for this.
What information will be reported to the tax authorities?
In addition to the information elicited on the self-certification, for a Reportable Person we will report:
Account balance or value at the end of the tax year
Total amounts of interest, dividends, or payments credited for the tax year.
Where can I find additional information?
For further information on your tax residency, please refer to the rules governing tax residence that have been published by each national tax authority. You can also find out more at the OECD’s AEOI portal or at the MRA website at: http://www.mra.mu/index.php/business-corporation/crs
Common Reporting Standard Glossary
This glossary consolidates the definitions ascribed to various terms relevant under AEOI. The purpose is of general guidance only so certain definitions are set out in abridged form. For the avoidance of doubt readers should consult the definitions below in the OECD’s Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information document, which can be found at https://eservices.mra.mu/download/AEOIStandard261015.pdf
The term “Account Holder” means the person listed or identified as the holder of a Financial Account by the Financial Institution that maintains the account. A person, other than a Financial Institution, holding a Financial Account for the benefit or account of another person as agent, custodian, nominee, signatory, investment advisor, or intermediary, is not treated as holding the account for purposes of the Common Reporting Standard, and such other person is treated as holding the account. In the case of a Cash Value Insurance Contract or an Annuity Contract, the Account Holder is any person entitled to access the Cash Value or change the beneficiary of the contract. If no person can access the Cash Value or change the beneficiary, the Account Holder is any person named as the owner in the contract and any person with a vested entitlement to payment under the terms of the contract. Upon the maturity of a Cash Value Insurance Contract or an Annuity Contract, each person entitled to receive a payment under the contract is treated as an Account Holder.
Active Non-Financial Foreign Entity (NFE)
The term “Active NFE” means any NFE that meets any of the following criteria:
a) Less than 50 percent of the NFE’s gross income for the preceding calendar year or other appropriate reporting period is passive income and less than 50 percent of the assets held by the NFE during the preceding calendar year or other appropriate reporting period are assets that produce or are held for the production of passive income;
b) The stock of the NFE is regularly traded on an established securities market or the NFE is a Related Entity of an Entity the stock of which is regularly traded on an established securities market;
c) The NFE is a Governmental Entity, an International Organization, a Central Bank, or an Entity wholly owned by one or more of the foregoing;
d) Substantially all of the activities of the NFE consist of holding (in whole or in part) the outstanding stock of, or providing financing and services to, one or more subsidiaries that engage in trades or businesses other than the business of a Financial Institution, except that an Entity does not qualify for this status if the Entity functions (or holds itself out) as an investment fund, such as a private equity fund, venture capital fund, leveraged buyout fund, or any investment vehicle whose purpose is to acquire or fund companies and then hold interests in those companies as capital assets for investment purposes;
e) The NFE is not yet operating a business and has no prior operating history, but is investing capital into assets with the intent to operate a business other than that of a Financial Institution, provided that the NFE does not qualify for this exception after the date that is 24 months after the date of the initial organization of the NFE;
f) The NFE was not a Financial Institution in the past five years, and is in the process of liquidating its assets or is reorganizing with the intent to continue or recommence operations in a business other than that of a Financial Institution;
g) The NFE primarily engages in financing and hedging transactions with, or for, Related Entities that are not Financial Institutions, and does not provide financing or hedging services to any Entity that is not a Related Entity, provided that the group of any such Related Entities is primarily engaged in a business other than that of a Financial Institution;
h) i) It is established and operated in its jurisdiction of residence exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, artistic, cultural, athletic, or educational purposes; or it is established and operated in its jurisdiction of residence and it is a professional organisation, business league, chamber of commerce, labour organisation, agricultural or horticultural organisation, civic league or an organisation operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare;
ii) It is exempt from income tax in its jurisdiction of residence;
iii) It has no shareholders/members who have a proprietary or beneficial interest in its income or assets;
iv) The applicable laws of the NFE’s jurisdiction of residence or the NFE’s formation documents do not permit any income or assets of the NFE to be distributed to, or applied for the benefit of, a private person or non-charitable Entity other than pursuant to the conduct of the NFE’s charitable activities, or as payment of reasonable compensation for services rendered, or as payment representing the fair market value of property which the NFE has purchased; and
v) The applicable laws of the NFE’s jurisdiction of residence or the NFE’s formation documents require that, upon the NFE’s liquidation or dissolution, all of its assets be distributed to a Governmental Entity or other non-profit organisation, or escheat to the government of the NFE’s jurisdiction of residence or any political subdivision thereof.
The term “Cash Value” means the greater of (i) the amount that the policyholder is entitled to receive upon surrender or termination of the contract (determined without reduction for any surrender charge or policy loan), and (ii) the amount the policyholder can borrow under or with regard to the contract. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the term “Cash Value” does not include an amount payable under an Insurance Contract.
Cash Value Insurance Contract
The term “Cash Value Insurance Contract” means an Insurance Contract (other than an indemnity reinsurance contract between two insurance companies) that has a Cash Value.
The term “Controlling Persons” means the natural persons who exercise control over an Entity. In the case of a trust, such term means the settlor, the trustees, the protector (if any), the beneficiaries or class of beneficiaries, and any other natural person exercising ultimate effective control over the trust, and in the case of a legal arrangement other than a trust, such term means persons in equivalent or similar positions. The term “Controlling Persons” shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations.
The term “Custodial Account” means an account (other than an Insurance Contract or Annuity Contract) that holds one or more Financial Assets for the benefit of another person.
The term “Custodial Institution” means any Entity that holds, as a substantial portion of its business, financial assets for the account of others. An entity holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business if the entity’s gross income attributable to the holding of financial assets and related financial services equals or exceeds 20 percent of the entity’s gross income during the shorter of: (i) the three-year period that ends on December 31 (or the final day of a non-calendar year accounting period) prior to the year in which the determination is being made; or (ii) the period during which the entity has been in existence.
The term “Depository Account” includes any commercial, checking, savings, time, or thrift account, or an account that is evidenced by a certificate of deposit, thrift certificate, investment certificate, certificate of indebtedness, or other similar instrument maintained by a Financial Institution in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business. A Depository Account also includes an amount held by an insurance company pursuant to a guaranteed investment contract or similar agreement to pay or credit interest thereon.
The term Depository Institution means any Entity that accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business.
For purposes of AEOI due diligence, acceptable documentary evidence includes any of the following:
1) A certificate of residence issued by an authorised government body (for example, a government or agency thereof, or a municipality) of the jurisdiction in which the payee claims to be a resident.
b) With respect to an individual, any valid identification issued by an authorised government body (for example, a government or agency thereof, or a municipality), that includes the individual’s name and is typically used for identification purposes.
c) With respect to an Entity, any official documentation issued by an authorised government body (for example, a government or agency thereof, or a municipality) that includes the name of the Entity and either the address of its principal office in the jurisdiction in which it claims to be a resident or the jurisdiction in which the Entity was incorporated or organised.
d) Any audited financial statement, third-party credit report, bankruptcy filing, or securities regulator’s report.
The term “Entity” means a legal person or a legal arrangement, such as a corporation, partnership, trust, or foundation.
The term “Excluded Account” means any of the following accounts:
a) a retirement or pension account that satisfies the following requirements:
i) the account is subject to regulation as a personal retirement account or is part of a registered or regulated retirement or pension plan for the provision of retirement or pension benefits (including disability or death benefits);
ii) the account is tax-favoured (i.e. contributions to the account that would otherwise be subject to tax are deductible or excluded from the gross income of the account holder or taxed at a reduced rate, or taxation of investment income from the account is deferred or taxed at a reduced rate);
iii) information reporting is required to the tax authorities with respect to the account;
iv) withdrawals are conditioned on reaching a specified retirement age, disability, or death, or penalties apply to withdrawals made before such specified events; and
v) either (i) annual contributions are limited to USD 50 000 or less, or (ii) there is a maximum lifetime contribution limit to the account of USD 1 000 000 or less.
b) an account that satisfies the following requirements:
i) the account is subject to regulation as an investment vehicle for purposes other than for retirement and is regularly traded on an established securities market, or the account is subject to regulation as a savings vehicle for purposes other than for retirement;
ii) the account is tax-favoured (i.e. contributions to the account that would otherwise be subject to tax are deductible or excluded from the gross income of the account holder or taxed at a reduced rate, or taxation of investment income from the account is deferred or taxed at a reduced rate);
iii) withdrawals are conditioned on meeting specific criteria related to the purpose of the investment or savings account (for example, the provision of educational or medical benefits), or penalties apply to withdrawals made before such criteria are met; and
iv) annual contributions are limited to USD 50 000 or less.
c) a life insurance contract with a coverage period that will end before the insured individual attains age 90, provided that the contract satisfies the following requirements:
i) periodic premiums, which do not decrease over time, are payable at least annually during the period the contract is in existence or until the insured attains age 90, whichever is shorter;
ii) the contract has no contract value that any person can access (by withdrawal, loan, or otherwise) without terminating the contract;
iii) the amount (other than a death benefit) payable upon cancellation or termination of the contract cannot exceed the aggregate premiums paid for the contract, less the sum of mortality, morbidity, and expense charges (whether or not actually imposed) for the period or periods of the contract’s existence and any amounts paid prior to the cancellation or termination of the contract; and
iv) the contract is not held by a transferee for value.
d) an account that is held solely by an estate if the documentation for such account includes a copy of the deceased’s will or death certificate.
e) an account established in connection with any of the following:
i) a court order or judgment.
ii) a sale, exchange, or lease of real or personal property, provided that the account satisfies the following requirements:
i) the account is funded solely with a down payment, earnest money, deposit in an amount appropriate to secure an obligation directly related to the transaction, or a similar payment, or is funded with a Financial Asset that is deposited in the account in connection with the sale, exchange, or lease of the property;
ii) the account is established and used solely to secure the obligation of the purchaser to pay the purchase price for the property, the seller to pay any contingent liability, or the lessor or lessee to pay for any damages relating to the leased property as agreed under the lease;
iii) the assets of the account, including the income earned thereon, will be paid or otherwise distributed for the benefit of the purchaser, seller, lessor, or lessee the property is sold, exchanged, or surrendered, or the lease terminates;
iv) the account is not a margin or similar account established in connection with a sale or exchange of a Financial Asset; and
v) the account is not associated with an account (described in subparagraph C(17)(f)) to which a customer can make an overpayment with respect to a balance due.
iii) an obligation of a Financial Institution servicing a loan secured by real property to set aside a portion of a payment solely to facilitate the payment of taxes or insurance related to the real property at a later time.
iv) an obligation of a Financial Institution solely to facilitate the payment of taxes at a later time.
f) A Depository Account that satisfies the following requirements:
i) the account exists solely because a customer makes a payment in excess of a balance due with respect to a credit card or other revolving credit facility and the overpayment is not immediately returned to the customer; and
ii) the Financial Institution implements policies and procedures either to prevent a customer from making an overpayment in excess of USD 50 000, or to ensure that any customer overpayment in excess of USD 50 000 is refunded to the customer within 60 days [,...]. For this purpose, a customer overpayment does not refer to credit balances to the extent of disputed charges but does include credit balances resulting from merchandise returns.
g) any other account that presents a low risk of being used to evade tax, has substantially similar characteristics to any of the accounts described in subparagraphs C (17) (a) through (f), and is defined in domestic law as an Excluded Account, provided that the status of such account as an Excluded Account does not frustrate the purposes of the Common Reporting Standard.
Exempt Collective Investment Vehicle
The term “Exempt Collective Investment Vehicle” means an Investment Entity that is regulated as a collective investment vehicle, provided that all of the interests in the collective investment vehicle are held by or through individuals or Entities that are not Reportable Persons, except a Passive NFE with Controlling Persons who are Reportable Persons.
An Investment Entity that is regulated as a collective investment vehicle does not fail to qualify under subparagraph B(9) as an Exempt Collective Investment Vehicle, solely because the collective investment vehicle has issued physical shares in bearer form, provided that:
a) the collective investment vehicle has not issued, and does not issue, any physical shares in bearer form. In Mauritius, the issue of bearer shares is not allowed. This option is not applicable to Mauritius.
b) the collective investment vehicle retires all such shares upon surrender;
c) the collective investment vehicle performs the due diligence procedures set forth in Sections II through VII and reports any information required to be reported with respect to any such shares when such shares are presented for redemption or other payment; and
d) the collective investment vehicle has in place policies and procedures to ensure that such shares are redeemed or immobilised as soon as possible.
The term “Financial Account” means an account maintained by a Financial Institution, and includes a Depository Account, a Custodial Account and:
a) In the case of an Investment Entity, any equity or debt interest in the Financial Institution. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the term “Financial Account” does not include any equity or debt interest in an Entity that is an Investment Entity solely because it
(i) renders investment advice to, and acts on behalf of, or
(ii) manages portfolios for, and acts on behalf of, a customer for the purpose of investing, managing, or administering Financial Assets deposited in the name of the customer with a Financial Institution other than such Entity;
b) In the case of a Financial Institution not described in subparagraph C(1)(a) (the definition above), any equity or debt interest in the Financial Institution, if the class of interests was established with a purpose of avoiding reporting in accordance with Section I; and
c) Any Cash Value Insurance Contract and any Annuity Contract issued or maintained by a Financial Institution, other than a noninvestment-linked, non-transferable immediate life annuity that is issued to an individual and monetises a pension or disability benefit provided under an account that is an Excluded Account.
The term “Financial Account” does not include any account that is an Excluded Account.
The term Financial Institution means a Custodial Institution, a Depository Institution, an Investment Entity, or a Specified Insurance Company.
High Value Account
The term “High Value Account” means a Pre-existing Individual Account with an aggregate balance or value that exceeds USD 1 000 000 as of 31 December 2015 or 31 December of any subsequent year.
The term “Insurance Contract” means a contract (other than an Annuity Contract) under which the issuer agrees to pay an amount upon the occurrence of a specified contingency involving mortality, morbidity, accident, liability, or property risk.
"The term “Investment Entity” means any Entity:
a) That primarily conducts as a business one or more of the following activities or operations for or on behalf of a customer:
i) Trading in money market instruments (cheques, bills, certificates of deposit, derivatives, etc.); foreign exchange; exchange, interest rate and index instruments; transferable securities; or commodity futures trading;
ii) Individual and collective portfolio management; or
iii) Otherwise investing, administering, or managing Financial Assets or money on behalf of other persons; or
b) The gross income of which is primarily attributable to investing, reinvesting, or trading in Financial Assets, if the Entity is managed by another Entity that is a Depository Institution, a Custodial Institution, a Specified Insurance Company, or an Investment Entity described in subparagraph A(6)(a).
An Entity is treated as primarily conducting as a business one or more of the activities described in subparagraph A(6)(a), or an Entity’s gross income is primarily attributable to investing, reinvesting, or trading in Financial Assets for purposes of subparagraph a(6)(b), if the Entity’s gross income attributable to the relevant activities equals or exceeds 50% of the Entity’s gross income during the shorter of:
(i) The three-year period ending on 31 December of the year preceding the year in which the determination is made; or
(ii) The period during which the Entity has been in existence.
The term “Investment Entity” does not include an Entity that is an Active NFE because it meets any of the criteria in subparagraphs D(9)(d) through (g).
This paragraph shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with similar language set forth in the definition of “financial institution” in the Financial Action Task Force Recommendations.
Lower Value Account
The term “Lower Value Account” means a Pre-existing Individual Account with an aggregate balance or value as of 31 December 2015 that does not exceed USD 1 000 000.
An “NFE” (or “Non-financial foreign entity”) means any entity that is not a financial institution.
Non-Participating Foreign Financial Institution
A non-participating professionally managed investment entity is an Investment Entity that is not incorporated in a Participating Jurisdiction Financial Institution.
Non-Reporting Financial Institution
The term “Non-Reporting Financial Institution” means any Financial Institution that is:
a) A Governmental Entity, International Organisation or Central Bank, other than with respect to a payment that is derived from an obligation held in connection with a commercial financial activity of a type engaged in by a Specified Insurance Company, Custodial Institution, or Depository Institution;
b) A Broad Participation Retirement Fund; a Narrow Participation Retirement Fund; a Pension Fund of a Governmental Entity, International Organisation or Central Bank; or a Qualified Credit Card Issuer;
c) Any other Entity that presents a low risk of being used to evade tax, has substantially similar characteristics to any of the Entities described in subparagraphs B(1)(a) and (b), and is defined in domestic law as a Non-Reporting Financial Institution, provided that the status of such Entity as a Non-Reporting Financial Institution does not frustrate the purposes of the Common Reporting Standard;
d) An Exempt Collective Investment Vehicle; or
e) A trust to the extent that the trustee of the trust is a Reporting Financial Institution and reports all information required to be reported pursuant to Section I with respect to all Reportable Accounts of the trust.
Participating Jurisdiction Financial Institution
The term “Participating Jurisdiction Financial Institution” means
(i) Any Financial Institution that is resident in a Participating Jurisdiction, but excludes any branch of that Financial Institution that is located outside such Participating Jurisdiction,
(ii) Any branch of a Financial Institution that is not resident in a Participating Jurisdiction, if that branch is located in such Participating Jurisdiction.
The term “Passive NFE” means any: (i) NFE that is not an Active NFE; or (ii) an Investment Entity described in subparagraph A(6)(b) that is not a Participating Jurisdiction Financial Institution.
The term “Participating Jurisdiction” means a jurisdiction (i) with which an agreement is in place pursuant to which it will provide the information specified in Section I, and (ii) which is identified in a published list.
An Entity is a “Related Entity” of another Entity if either Entity controls the other Entity, or the two Entities are under common control. For this purpose control includes direct or indirect ownership of more than 50% of the vote and value in an Entity.
The term “Reportable Account” means an account held by one or more Reportable Persons or by a Passive NFE with one or more Controlling Persons that is a Reportable Person, provided it has been identified as such pursuant to the due diligence procedures described in Sections II through VII.
The term “Reportable Jurisdiction” means a jurisdiction (i) with which an agreement is in place pursuant to which there is an obligation in place to provide the information specified in Section I, and (ii) which is identified in a published list.
The term “Reportable Person” means a Reportable Jurisdiction Person other than:
(i) a corporation the stock of which is regularly traded on one or more established securities markets;
(ii) any corporation that is a Related Entity of a corporation described in clause (i);
(iii) a Governmental Entity; (iv) an International Organization;
(v) a Central Bank; or
(vi) a Financial Institution.
Reporting Financial Institution
The term “Reporting Financial Institution” means any Participating Jurisdiction Financial Institution that is not a Non-Reporting Financial Institution.
Specified Insurance Company
The term “Specified Insurance Company” means any Entity that is an insurance company (or the holding company of an insurance company) that issues, or is obligated to make payments with respect to, a Cash Value Insurance Contract or an Annuity Contract.
Tax residency rules are determined under the domestic tax laws of each jurisdiction. If in doubt please consult your tax advisor or the OECD website at http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/tax-residency/
The term “TIN” means Taxpayer Identification Number (or functional equivalent in the absence of a Taxpayer Identification Number). This is the unique identifier of numbers and / or letters issued to you by your tax authority. Acceptable formats for certain jurisdictions can be found at http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/tax-identification-numbers/