Why we need to ask you for information

We are now required by law to collect certain information about our clients.  Please don’t be offended when we ask for your personal details.

We must obtain information about our clients to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT), the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standards (CRS).

Please note that we will not be able to start work for you until we have all the required information.

STEP ONE:  Information we require

We will ask you for the following information:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Date of birth
  • If you are a NZ resident/citizen

STEP TWO:  ID we need

We will need to see your ID (your passport is the best option).  Click here for more options in relation to your ID.

We will also need a document showing your residential address (eg a utility bill or rates statement or bank statement or letter from the IRD).  This document must be less than 12 months old.

STEP THREE:  We need to verify your ID

The easiest option for us is to meet you face to face and to see your original passport and proof of address.

However we appreciate that this might not be the easiest option for you!  Click here for more options.

STEP FOUR:  Is there anyone else we need to identify and verify?

If you are instructing us as a company or a trust (or other type of entity like a body corporate), we will potentially need this information from more individuals associated with the entity (such as directors, shareholders,  trustees, beneficiaries, committee members).

STEP FIVE:  We may require information confirming how you acquired the funds or wealth

Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements (especially when a trust is involved).


If we are not able to obtain all the required information from you, it is likely we will not be able to act for you.  Because the law applies to everyone, we need to ask for the information even if you have been a client of ours for a long time.



Information required when we place funds on interest bearing deposit in our trust account

If we will be holding your funds in our trust account you may want these funds placed on interest bearing deposit, on call.  If so, we will need to ask whether you are a tax resident of NZ or another country and you must complete a form provided by our bank.

If we place funds on interest bearing deposit (IBD) on your behalf we are required to report to our bank whether you are a US tax resident or a tax resident of another country.

We are not allowed to place funds on IBD without holding a form signed by you, confirming if you are a tax resident of another country.

This requirement is primarily because of FATCA.  What is FATCA?   FATCA is the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the intergovenmental agreement between the United States and New Zealand relating to it.  The FATCA agreement between NZ and the US is directed at reducing tax evasion by US taxpayers. FATCA requires financial institutions to report on financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.  Whilst AlexanderDorrington is not a “financial institution”, our trust account is subject to the FATCA provisions.  You can read about privacy issues relating to FATCA.

What is a US citizen or tax resident?  A US citizen includes persons born in the US, having a US citizen parent or persons who are US-naturalised.  A US tax resident includes a green card holder and someone who satisfies the substantial presence test.  The substantial presence test is satisfied when a person is present in the US for 31 days in the current year (calendar year), and for at least 183 days in the period of the current year and the two years prior to the current year.  When assessing the 183 days, this includes all days present in the US in the current year, 1/3 of the days present in the US in the year prior to the current year, and 1/6 of the days present in the US in the year two years prior to the current year.  You can  read more on the IRS website.