We are 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.  We will need your full name, residential address, date of birth, and whether you are a New Zealand resident/citizen or not.  We will need to verify your ID and will need proof of your residential address.

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



We will ask you to complete an onboarding form.  See below for the appropriate forms.

You then have three options to enable us to verify your identity:

  1. PREFERRED OPTION:  You can verify your identity electronically, using your smartphone and NZ or Australian passport or driver licence.  We also outsource this process to First AML Limited who will liaise with you.
  2. Get your ID certified by a trusted referee.  We outsource this process to First AML Limited.  They will liaise with you to complete this.
  3. Visit our office and bring your passport and proof of address.

Note that we will need your consent to give First AML your name and contact details.  For further information about First AML’s data security and privacy policy, refer to https://www.firstaml.co.nz/security/

Options 1 & 2 are the most cost effective.  First AML’s fees for verifying your identity will be included in our invoice to you.  It costs more if we have to verify your identity ourselves.



This option is only available if you are a NZ citizen or resident.  If you are a non-resident we must pass your details onto First AML to complete the verification.

We will need to see your ID (your passport is the best option).  Find alternative options for 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.

If you are instructing us as a company or a trust (or other types of entity like a body corporate), we will need the same information and verification for the other individuals associated with the entity (such as directors, shareholders,  trustees, beneficiaries, committee members).  If they are not coming to meet with us we will need to pass their details onto First AML.



You may be asked to provide information to confirm the structure of the entity.  This may include corporate information, partnership documents, trust deeds etc.  This information is required in order to determine who are the controlling parties and beneficial owners of the entity.  The associated directors, shareholders, partners, trustees and beneficiaries may also need to provide identity information.



Please be aware that, depending on the type of transaction and the entities involved, we may be required to ask for information about your source of funds or source of wealth.




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.



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 intergovernmental 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.