Customer tax issues – How do you ensure you do not enable customers to evade tax?
We are fully committed to the exchange of information with relevant authorities and are actively pursuing measures that ensure clients are tax transparent, even in advance of a regulatory or legal requirement to do so.
Regulatory and public expectations of a bank’s role in ensuring tax compliance by its clients have dramatically shifted. Banks are now expected to assist tax authorities in pursuing tax evaders in addition to not facilitating tax evasion or any form of non-compliance with tax obligations.
Major regulatory reform is underway in numerous jurisdictions to ensure the timely sharing of information with relevant authorities. Bilateral tax treaties, the United States' Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Common Reporting Standard and other initiatives are designed to foster greater transparency and ensure that in the near future, an individual wishing to “hide” assets from tax authorities will be unable to do so. HSBC has been compliant with the United States' FATCA since the effective date of 1 July 2014.
HSBC fully welcomes and supports these reforms, including the move to Common Reporting in 2016-2018, and is already in the process of adopting all necessary measures to fulfil its obligations.
View page 39 of our Strategic Report 2015 for more information.