Information gathering compliance
We have already addressed recent changes requiring more questions to be asked and more information to be held about you in order to combat tax evasion and money laundering.
The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is a global initiative to combat tax evasion which came into effect 1 July 2017 and requires financial institutions to collect information to pass onto tax authorities which will be exchanged world wide to ensure the correct tax is paid to the correct countries.
The Inland Revenue Department are currently running an awareness campaign with the focus of generating awareness among NZ tax residents who have offshore accounts or overseas financial interests so that the correct steps can be taken to satisfy the reporting requirements.
If your bank has contacted you requesting information, it is important that you respond. NZ banks have warned that customers could have their accounts frozen if they do not respond to requests for information as part of their regulatory obligations.
The recently introduced Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT) requires Accountants to comply from 1 October 2018 and aims to establish a compliance programme which will require us to confirm client identities and report suspicious activities and certain transactions.
We are currently working through the establishment of our compliance programme. Lawyers, conveyancers and trust and company service providers are required to comply from 1 July 2018 and real estate agents from 1 January 2019.