Guidance

How to report Automatic Exchange of Information

Find out how to report information to HMRC using the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) if you are a financial institution.

Overview

Financial institutions must use the online system to report to HMRC under Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) agreements.

The filing date for returns for each year ending 31 December is the following 31 May. You can be charged a penalty for late returns.

The list of territories which are covered by the AEOI process is regularly updated.

Check which territories you need to report on in the International Exchange of Information Manual.

All references to AEOI include:

  • the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA)
  • Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOTs)
  • the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Non-mandatory fields on the HMRC portal and in the HMRC schema do not mean the information is not mandatory under the FATCA, CDOT and CRS requirements.

The online system will only accept Latin characters from Latin character set 1 (iso-8859-1).

How to report AEOI

From the ‘At a glance’ page on the HMRC portal, under ‘Create an AEOI return’, select ‘Create an AEOI return online’.

You can:

  • search for a specific financial institution
  • view all the financial institutions you‘ve registered

If you’re a financial institution reporting on your own behalf, your institution should be the only one in the list.

Select ‘Create an AEOI return’ for the relevant financial institution.

Online questions

You will be asked questions about the reporting period you’ve entered.

You should provide details of any elections you’re making and the regime that applies, for example FATCA.

If you’re making a mixed return, including accounts under FATCA, CDOT and CRS answer the question for the regime to which the election refers.

Question 1

Are you electing not to report cash value insurance contracts or annuity contracts described in section III A of the CRS to non-EU jurisdictions?

Section III A of the CRS describes a pre-existing individual account that is a cash value insurance contract or an annuity contract that the reporting financial institution is prevented by law from selling to residents of a reportable jurisdiction.

You should select:

  • yes – if you elect not to report cash value insurance contracts or annuity contracts described in section III A of the CRS to non-EU jurisdictions
  • no – if you’re not making this election
  • not applicable – if you’re reporting under US FATCA or CDOTs only

Question 2

Are you making an election to treat dormant accounts as not being reportable accounts?

This is for CRS only and indicates that the financial institution has elected not to report dormant accounts. You should select either:

  • yes – if you’re not reporting dormant accounts within the meaning set out in the UK regulations
  • no – if you’re not making this election
  • not applicable – if you’re reporting under US FATCA or CDOTs only

Question 3

If you’re reporting US specific persons, are you making an election to use alternative due-diligence procedures taken from US Treasury regulations?

For US persons, if you’re using the standard UK due-diligence procedures in identifying reportable persons, in the UK guidance, then you should select ‘no’.

You should only select ‘yes’ if you’re applying to use due-diligence procedures derived from the US regulations.

Question 4

Are you making an election to use thresholds in your due-diligence process?

Threshold exemptions can apply to certain pre-existing and new individual accounts, and pre-existing entity accounts.

There are no threshold exemptions for new entity accounts.

For more details on thresholds refer to IEIM402565 of the International Exchange of Information Manual.

To apply the threshold exemptions it’s necessary to make an election, and this is done by answering ‘yes’ to this question.

Question 5

Are you submitting any nil returns?

It’s not usually necessary to submit nil returns. You may have potentially reportable accounts whose balances fall below the relevant thresholds, meaning that there’s nothing to report once you’ve applied the thresholds.

In this case, it will be necessary to submit a nil return in order to make the election to apply the thresholds by selecting ‘yes’ to the previous question. You may make a nil return voluntarily if you wish. By selecting ‘yes’ to this question, the return will then proceed to the final screens before submission.

Detailed returns

From the next 2 screens, you’re able to:

  • change reporting financial institution details, if anything is incorrect
  • create your return
  • delete a draft return

After selecting ‘Create your return’ you can input details for each reportable account. You can then add the next one by selecting ‘add your next account holder’ for each reportable account holder until you create your full return.

Guidance in the International Exchange of Information Manual explains what constitutes a reportable account for different types of accounts.

Type of account holders

There are 6 different types of ‘account holder’ you can choose from:

Reportable person

The reportable person is an individual. This includes reportable individuals holding debt or equity interests in investment entities, such as trusts that qualify as financial institutions.

Reportable entity

The reportable person is an entity. This includes:

  • an entity that is tax resident in a Reportable Jurisdiction
  • a specified US or CDOT person
  • an entity with no residence for tax purposes that has its place of effective management in a Reportable Jurisdiction

It includes Active Non-Financial Entities but not Passive Non-Financial Entities.

Passive Non-Financial Entity with controlling persons

The account holder is an entity with reportable controlling persons, specifically a Passive Non-Financial (Foreign) Entity with controlling persons resident in a Reportable Jurisdiction. This includes citizens of the USA.

See IEIM404020 and IEIM404040 of the International Exchange of Information Manual for details of what determines a Passive Non-Financial Entity.

Owner documented financial institution (FATCA only)

The account holders are reportable as detailed in IEIM401200.

Non-participating foreign financial institution (NPFFI) (FATCA only)

The account holder is reportable as an NPFFI as detailed in IEIM401300, IEIM402360 and IEIM402380 of the International Exchange of Information Manual. These are reportable for 2015 and 2016 only.

Passive non-financial entity

The account holder is an entity with no identified reportable controlling persons.

Account holder details

For controlling persons you should select the controlling person type from the drop down menu. This information is for CRS reporting only and is not mandatory.

Tax identification numbers (TIN)s for individuals or identification numbers (IN)s for entities should be provided for the account holder if held. There’s an option to choose ‘0’ if no TIN or IN is held.

For a US reportable account if the TIN is not known enter 000000000.

For more details on the reporting of US TINs for FATCA see IEIM402040 of the International Exchange of Information Manual.

You can report the account holder for up to 5 reporting jurisdictions using the portal. If you’re reporting the account holder to 6 or more reporting jurisdictions you’ll need to use the XML schema method.

Account number

This is a number by which the financial institution identifies the specific account being reported.

If there’s an account number, you must provide it with the account number type (IBAN, OBAN, ISIN, OSIN or other).

If there is not an account number you must provide an alternative reference that will enable you to identify the account in future. This could be a name or short phrase.

You’ll be asked if the account is undocumented. An account is undocumented if only a ‘hold-mail’ or ‘in-care-of’ address is held. This should only be used for CRS reporting purposes and where this applies should show the account holder as resident in the UK.

You’ll also be asked if the account is dormant. An account is considered to be dormant if the:

  • account holder has not initiated a transaction in the last 3 years on that account or any other account they hold with the financial institution
  • account holder has not communicated in the last 6 years with the financial institution that maintains the account or any other account they hold with the financial institution
  • account is considered to be dormant under the normal operating procedures of the financial institution that are applied for all accounts maintained by it, provided these procedures are substantially similar to the requirements in 1 and 2 above

There’s an additional requirement for cash value insurance contracts to be regarded as dormant. As well as the tests above, the financial institution has not communicated with the account holder in the last 6 years about the account or any other account they hold with the financial institution.

You’ll be asked if the account was closed during the reporting year.

The currency code is the currency that the assets are denominated or valued in. If mixed currencies are used, the primary currency should be reported.

The account balance is typically 31 December at the end of the reporting year. IEIM402120 of the International Exchange of Information Manual has information on account balance or value.

If the account has been closed, you must report the account balance or value immediately before closure, for FATCA and CDOT purposes.

For CRS reporting there’s no requirement to report the balance or value of the account at closure and this should be entered as 0.

If an account is being reported under CRS and FATCA and CDOT combined, the account balance or value immediately before closure must be reported.

HMRC will automatically set balance to 0 for the purposes of CRS reporting.

Account type

There are 4 choices of account type:

Depository

The financial institution accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business. For full details and restrictions see IEIM400740.

Custodial

The financial institution holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business in the UK. See IEIM400650 of the International Exchange of Information Manual.

Insurance

The financial institution is a Specified Insurance Company, meaning it provides either Cash Value Insurance or Annuity Contract products. See IEIM400840 for more information.

Investment

An entity that meets either of the tests at IEIM400770. This includes debt and equity investments such as trusts that qualify as financial institutions due to being professionally managed.

Payments

To report payments where an account has been closed see IEIM402170.

Payment types depend on the type of account, but can include:

  • dividends
  • gross proceeds or redemptions
  • interest and
  • other payments

Guidance for Custodial Accounts can be found at IEIM402200 and IEIM402220, for depository accounts at IEIM402240 and for other types of account at IEIM402260.

Your AEOI return is now ready for submission.

Reports by Bermudian financial institutions

If you’re a Bermudian financial institution and you need to make a pool report this must be done by an XML upload.

Bermudan financial institutions should submit their returns using the Bermuda CRS portal for reporting for the year ended 31 December 2016 onwards.

Published 16 April 2019