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.

What information do we need

We will ask you for the following information:

  • Full name
  • Residential address
  • Date of birth

We will also need to verify this information.  To do this we will need to see your ID (your passport is one option).  We will also need a document showing your residential address (eg a utility bill or bank statement).  This document must be less than 12 months old.  If you are unable to provide proof of your address we may be able to verify it using our access to NZ databases.

The best scenario is for you to bring your original passport and proof of address and meet us face to face.

However if that is not possible you have two other options:

  1. You can get the IDs certified by a ‘trusted referee’ (see below) and email us the copies.  This may take longer and may cause a delay in us starting work for you. OR
  2. We can send you a link via email to a verification tool we use called Cloudcheck.   You do not need to download any software.  You simply upload your ID via your smart phone.  Via the camera on your device it checks your face against your ID.

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

Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements.

How to get your ID certified if you cannot meet us face to face

You must go to a ‘trusted’ referee and have them certify the ID.  They must sight the original ID, make a statement to the effect that they are a true copy and represent the identity  of the named individual.

Certification must include the name, signature and date of certification.  The trusted referee must specify their capacity to act as a trusted referee.

Certification must have been carried out in the 3 months preceding the presentation of the copied documents.

Copies of international ID must be certified by a person authorised by law in that country to take statutory declarations or equivalent in the customer’s country.

In NZ a trusted referee must be:

  • At least 16 years old
  • Commonwealth representative
  • Member of the police
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Registered medical doctor
  • Registered teacher
  • Lawyer (but not the lawyer you are instructing)
  • Notary public
  • MP
  • Chartered accountant
  • Kaumatua (as verified through a reputable source)
  • A person who has the legal authority to take statutory declarations or the equivalent in NZ

What if you do not have a passport

Option 1:  You can use a NZ firearms licence or NZ refugee travel document.

Option 2:  You can use your NZ drivers licence AND one of the following:

  • A credit card, debit card or bank statement less than 12 months old (must be issued from a registered bank)
  • A document issued by a government agency that contains your name and signature (ie Gold Card)
  • A statement issued by a government agency which is less than 12 months old (ie an IRD statement)

Option 3:  You can use either your birth certificate or certificate of NZ citizenship AND one of the following:

  • NZ drivers licence
  • Valid and current international driving permit
  • 18+ card

If you cannot provide the required information

If we are not able to obtain 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.