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Common Reporting Standard – What our Customers need to know?

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WHAT IS CRS? In order to help fight against tax evasion, governments around the globe are introducing new information and reporting requirements for financial institutions. This is known as the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). Participation is obligatory, and Manulife is required by the CRS to (1) identify where our customers are tax resident and (2) report on certain accounts and policies held directly or indirectly by tax residents in any of the participating CRS countries. While similar in nature, the CRS is in addition to the requirements under the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). CRS requires Manulife to send the reportable information to domestic tax authorities. These authorities in turn will exchange that information automatically with jurisdictions of residence of account holders on an annual basis. WHO IS AFFECTED? Given the broad application of the CRS, all of Manulife’s customers may be affected. Manulife is required by the CRS to (1) identify where our customers are tax resident and (2) report on certain accounts and policies held directly or indirectly by tax residents in any of the participating CRS countries. Manulife will require CRS self-certification from new customers, where applicable from 1 January 2017 onwards. We will contact existing customers at a later stage, if required. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO? Manulife will ask you to complete a self-declaration form. We may need to request further information or documentation from you to confirm your tax status. Customers with more than one relationship with different Manulife entities may receive multiple requests for confirmation of their tax status. WHERE CAN I FIND FURTHER INFORMATION? For general questions on CRS, please do not hesitate to contact your Manulife representative, or call our hotline at (+65) 6833 8188 Manulife does not provide tax advice. For further information on your tax residency, please refer to the rules governing tax residence that have been published by your national tax authority or contact your tax advisor. You can also visit the OECD Automatic Exchange of Information portal.
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