Act on the Exchange of Financial Account Information (FKAustG)

The Act on the Exchange of Financial Account Information (Finanzkonten-Informationsaustauschgesetz, FKAustG) is the adoption by the German government of OECD standards on the automatic exchange of information (AEOI/CRS) to promote tax honesty in participating countries.

What is the FKAustG?

FKAustG stands for Finanzkonten-Informationsaustauschgesetz, the Act on the Exchange of Financial Account Information, and is legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany (promulgated on 30 December 2015) to enact the Directive 2014/107/EU of the European Council in respect of the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation.

The Act obliges financial institutions in Germany to conduct a comprehensive collection and reporting of account-related data of customer subject to taxation in participating countries. The aim is to ensure tax transparency in order to combat tax evasion.

The basis of the legislation in the EU and in Germany is formed by work carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which was mandated by the G20 to create common global standards for the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in the field of taxation. Currently, 97 countries worldwide participate in AEOI, including all 28 EU countries (as of December 2015). Additional countries have declared their intention to the OECD to participate.

What does FKAustG mean for customers of banks?

Every customer of Helaba must be assessed in respect of their tax liability in participating countries. Should this assessment give rise to an indication of a possible tax liability outside of Germany, Helaba will contact its customers in this regard to request the submission of a so-called self-assessment.

For new customers with financial accounts (deposit and securities business), from 1 January 2016 the self-assessment will also be used to determine and document any tax liability outside of Germany.

What happens with the data collected?

From 2017, personal data of taxpayers in participating countries will be submitted to the German Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt für Steuern, BZSt) on an annual basis. The following data will be submitted:

  • Name, address, data and place of birth as well tax identification number
  • Balance on deposit and securities accounts
  • Interest payments, dividend payments, proceeds from sales and other earnings

If the customer refuses to give any information, Helaba is legally required to report him/her to BZSt.

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