Connecticut Sales and Use Tax

The state of Connecticut imposes a sales and use tax which is applicable to online access to information including all data and access fees.

The tax rate as of 2017 is 1% and is applicable to clients with the state of legal residency of Connecticut or a Connecticut permanent/resident address.

The sales and use tax will be applied to all research and market data subscriptions as well as special connections such as VPN, IB Gateway, Extranet and Dedicated Leased Lines.

The sales and use tax will be passed through to client accounts at the time of the subscription billing. The tax is only applicable if a monthly fee is charged, therefore should an account receive a waiver the sales and use tax will similarly be waived.

 

 

Chicago Personal Property Tax

Chicago has a personal property tax which applies to a non-possessory computer lease by a Chicago resident. The Chicago tax authorities have ruled that tax is to be applied in cases where a customer pays for electronic research/use of an interactive site. The passive receipt or streaming of information is not subject to the tax.

Clients whose permanent residential address or principal business address is Chicago will have this tax passed through to their accounts.

The tax rate, as of October 2017, is 9%. The tax will be charged on the research and news feeds a client is subscribed to. Should a research and news feed be eligible to a waiver based upon commissions generated, the tax will not be applied.

As of October 2017, research and news subscriptions which would be subject to the tax would include

Base IBIS Research Platform and the IBIS Research Essentials Subscription Bundle
Cusip
Dow Jones News Service
Dow Jones Real Time News
US Press Release Feed
Reuters Global Newswire
Reuters StreetEvents Calendars
Reuters Fundamentals
Reuters Basic Newfeed
Morningstar Equity, ETF and Credit Reports
Wall Street Horizons
Zacks Equity Research Reports

The above list is provided on a best efforts basis and is subject to change. Clients will be responsible for any pass through tax regardless of any discrepancy from the list provided above.

 

股息等值支付預征稅款 - 常見問題

背景

自2017年1月1日起,根據新的國稅局(IRS)規定,美國將對持有美國股票衍生品頭寸的非美人士就股息等值支付預徵稅款。之前,美國未對此類收入徵稅。法規要求我們這樣的中介機構充當扣稅代理人,代表IRS徵稅。以下內容涵蓋所涉稅種概況、稅額確定方式以及受影響的產品。
 
概述
新法規的目的?
新規定源於國內稅收法第871(m)章節,旨在協調非美人士獲得的美國股票股息及(很大程度上)使持有人等同於持有美國股票的衍生品合約的股息等值支付之稅收處理辦法。
 
比如以IBM為底層證券的總回報互換。持有IBM股票頭寸的非美人士需就股息收入繳納30%的美國預扣稅(根據稅收優惠協定可減少)。而在第871(m)章節實施前,在互換上持有IBM多頭敞口的非美人士若收到等同於股息的收入,則無需繳納美國預扣稅。之前,儘管因互換收到的股息與直接持有股票的情況相同,但互換持有人免於納稅。現在,第871(m)章節規定此類“股息等值支付”也需繳納美國預扣稅。
 
什麼是股息等值支付?
股息等值支付指參照美國股票股息支付的淨額,用於計算轉移至多頭方或從多頭方轉移的淨額,即使是多頭方向空頭方支付一定淨額或淨支付額為零。相應地,此等支付不僅包括代替股息進行的實際支付,還包括在計算交易的一項或多項條款(包括利率、名義金額或買價)時考慮的預估股息支付額。
 
以某美股的上市看漲期權為例,若期權持有人在除息日之前未行權,則持有人無權獲得股息。然而,持有人在買入期權時支付的權利金隱含了期權有效期內的預估股息現值。[1]由於該因素降低了期權買方向賣方支付的金額,它被視為股息等值支付,需遵守相關稅收法規。
 
誰需繳納股息等值預扣稅?
該稅收適用於非美國納稅人賬戶中持有的符合要求的頭寸。它不適用於美國納稅人。非美國納稅人的賬戶通常以提交IRS表格W-8為證,可包括以下賬戶類型:個人賬戶、聯名賬戶、機構賬戶和信託賬戶。
 
哪些衍生產品可能面臨股息等值預扣稅征繳?
法規採用兩步走檢驗法來確定某衍生產品是否需繳納該預扣稅。首先,衍生產品必須參照美國權益證券的股息。舉例:
-          股票期權
-          受監管的個股期貨
-          受監管的指數期貨和指數期貨期權
-          結構化、交易所交易的票據
-          差價合約
-          可轉債
-          證券借貸交易
-          自定義籃子的衍生品以及
-          權證
 
如果底層頭寸為美國股票。該產品所在的交易所以及交易對手方的身份不影響法規的適用。換言之,不論衍生品是在交易所上市,還是在場外市場交易,也不論它是在美國還是海外交易,都可能需適用該法規。
 
其次,衍生品產品在發行時必須基本複制底層美國股票的風險收益因素。法規通過delta(對於簡單的合約)以及等效性檢驗(對於復雜的合約)來確定衍生品是否符合該要求。
 
Delta是一項關聯度指標,計算衍生品公允市值變動和該衍生品參照的美國股票公允市值變動之比。通常,就本法規而言,delta僅在衍生品“發行”時被計算一次。底層證券的公允市值變動或衍生品在二級市場被重新銷售後,該值不會重新計算。
 
對於大多數合約,規則如下:
·         2017年之前– 2017年1月1日以前發行的衍生品(即客戶於2016年12月31日在我司持有的任意衍生品)不適用新的扣稅規則。
·         2017年當年- 對於2017年發行的衍生品,若其發行時的delta為1.0,則可能需按新規則納稅。
·         2017年以後– 對於2017年12月31日以後發行的衍生品,若其發行時的delta大於等於0.8,則可能需按新規則納稅。
如衍生品被歸為“複雜”產品,則不適用delta規則,而適用實質等效性檢驗。
 
如何確定衍生品發行的時間?
確定衍生品的發行時間非常重要。這將決定該產品是否適用新規(2017年以前發行的產品無需按新規納稅),以及計算delta的時間。一般來說,產品的“發行”時間為自其存在、誕生日期或最初的發行時間。在二級市場上再次銷售不算作發行。
 
因此,上市期權、期貨、其他交易所交易產品及場外市場產品的發行規則不同。比如,在美國交易所交易的期權在其首次被交易所列為可交易時一般尚未發行。相反,當客戶買入期權時該期權才算發行(可確定delta)。另一方面,交易所交易票據、可轉債和權證等可轉讓衍生品僅在它們首次被出售時才視作發行。發行時的delta值在其被出售給之後的買方時將沿用。
 
有無特例?
新規的確有少數幾個特例。包括:
•        參照“合格指數”的衍生品- 其中“合格指數”一般指標普500、納斯達克100或Russell 2000等被市場廣泛應用的美國股票被動寬基指數。
•        參照基本不由美國股票構成的指數的衍生品– 比如參照恆生指數的產品。
•        如果非美國人士直接擁有底層證券,則股息等值支付(或其部分)無需繳納美國預扣稅的情況。這在底層證券為支付“股息”的美國共同基金、房地產投資基金(REIT)及交易所交易基金的衍生品中最常見(其中“股息”被重新定義為資本利得或資本回報)。
 
是否能舉例說明新規何時適用、何時不適用?
•        客戶於2017年1月2日買入IBM的個股期貨。該期權的delta為1.0。需適用新規。
•        客戶於2016年12月28日買入IBM在OCC上市的深度價內期權。該期權的delta為1.0。由於該期權於2017年以前發行,因此不適用新規。
•        客戶於2017年1月15日買入窄基指數期貨。假設指數不是“合格指數”。該期貨應適用新規。
•        客戶於2017年1月2日買入追踪美國股票的交易所交易票據,delta為1.0。該票據於2016年7月1日發行。由於票據的發行日早於2017年,因此不適用新規。
 
股息等值預扣額是如何計算的?
如果衍生品適用新的871(m)規則,則該衍生品的股息等值支付等於底層美股每股股息乘以該衍生品對應的底層股票數,再乘以delta(如一份對應100股、支付1.00美元股息、delta為.80的期權合約需為80美元股息等值支付納稅)。
 
對於復雜的衍生品合約,股息等值支付等於底層證券每股股息乘以合約發行時合約對底層證券的對沖數量。
 
如何合併計算合約的delta?
自2018年起,客戶若在2天內買入delta小於.80的多頭看漲期權並賣出相同數量、相同底層證券看跌期權,則此類頭寸在計算delta時將被合併計算(如買入delta為0.60的多頭看漲期權,賣出delta為.40的看跌期權將導致多頭delta為1.0)。
 
2017年,只有場外產品可能被合併計算並導致產品的delta達到1.0。
 
我們會向客戶提供什麼信息,告知他們受影響的頭寸?
為盡量降低稅賦,當非美國人士創建可能產生稅收的定單時,我們會通過TWS發出警示信息。這將給客戶機會取消定單,以防產生潛在稅賦;客戶也可選擇提交定單,在產生股息時支付稅款。客戶可通過在稅務預扣日期(通常為股息登記日)不持有衍生品來避稅。
 
 

重要提示: 我方不提供稅務、法律或財務建議。客戶應諮詢其自有顧問,以確定法規871(m)對其交易活動的影響。


[1] 儘管看漲期權持有人不會收到股息,持有人為期權支付的權利金隱含了預期股息(因為除息日股價預期會下跌,跌幅等於股息額,因此現金股息會降低看漲期權的權利金) 。

How to update the US Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on your account

Background: 

If you have been informed or believe that your account profile contains an incorrect US SSN/ITIN, you may simply log into your Account Management to update this information. Depending on your taxpayer status, you can update your US SSN/ITIN by modifying one of the following documents:

1) IRS Form W9 (if you are a US tax resident and/or US citizen holding a US SSN/ITIN)

2) IRS Form W-8BEN (if you are a Non-US tax resident holding a US SSN/ITIN)

Please note, if your SSN/ITIN has already been verified with the IRS you will be unable to update the information. If however the IRS has not yet verified the ID, you will have the ability to update through Account Management. 

 

How to Modify Your W9/W8

1) To submit this information change request, first login to Account Management

2) Click on the Settings section followed by Account Settings

 

3) Find the Profile(s) section. Locate the User you wish to update and click on the Info button (the "i" icon) to the left of the User's name

 

4) Scroll down to the bottom where you will see the words Tax Forms. Next to it will be a link with the current tax form we have for the account. Click on this tax form to open it

 

5) Review the form. If your US SSN/ITIN is incorrect, click on the UPDATE button at the bottom of the page

 

6) Make the requisite changes and click the CONTINUE button to submit your request.

 

7) If supporting documentation is required to approve your information change request, you will receive a message.  Otherwise, your information change request should be approved within 24-48 hours.

Withholding Tax on Dividend Equivalent Payments - FAQs

Background

Beginning January 1, 2017, new IRS regulations will impose U.S. withholding taxes on US dividend equivalent payments to non-US persons holding derivative positions on US equities. Previously, US withholding tax was not imposed on these payments. The regulations require intermediaries, such as us, to act as withholding agents and collect US tax on behalf of the IRS. An overview of the tax, how it’s determined and the products impacted is provided below.
 
Overview
What is the purpose of the regulation?
The regulation derives from Section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code and is intended to harmonize the US tax treatment imposed on non-U.S. persons with respect to dividends on U.S. stock and dividend equivalent payments paid on derivative contracts that replicate (to a high degree) ownership of such stock.
 
An example of this would be a total return swap having IBM as its underlying.  A non-U.S. person holding an IBM stock position would be subject to a 30% US withholding tax (reduced by treaty) on dividend payments. On the other hand prior to the implementation of Section 871(m), a non-U.S. person holding long exposure to IBM on the swap could receive payments equivalent to the dividends without imposition of U.S. withholding tax. This was the case even though the payments replicated similar economic exposure. Section 871(m) now considers those ‘dividend equivalent payments’ subject to US withholding tax.
 
What is a dividend equivalent payment?
A dividend equivalent payment is any gross amount that references the payment of a dividend on a U.S. equity and that is used to compute any net amount transferred to or from the long party, even if the long party make a net payment to the short party or the net payment is zero. Accordingly, such payments would include not only an actual payment in lieu of a dividend but also an estimated dividend payment that is implicitly taken into account in computing one or more of the terms of the transaction, including interest rate, notional amount or purchase price.
 
In the case of a listed call option on a U.S. stock, for example, the holder of the call is not entitled to receive a dividend unless the option is exercised prior to the dividend ex-date. Nonetheless, the premium paid by the holder to purchase the option implicitly takes into account the present value of the expected dividends over the option term.[1] Since this factor serves to lower the payment from the option buyer to the seller, it is viewed as a dividend equivalent payment potentially subject to the rules.
 
Who is subject to the dividend equivalent withholding tax?
The tax applies to qualifying positions held in an account of a non-U.S. taxpayer. It does not apply to U.S. taxpayers. Accounts of non-U.S. taxpayers generally are evidenced by the submission of an IRS Form W-8 and can include the following account types: individual, joint, organization and trust.
 
What derivative instruments potentially are subject to the dividend equivalent withholding tax?
The regulations adopt a two-part test to determine if a derivative instrument is subject to the rules. First, the derivative instruments must reference the dividend on a U.S. equity security. Examples include:
-          equity options
-          regulated single stock futures
-          regulated index futures and options on index futures
-          structured and exchange traded notes
-          CFD contracts
-          convertible bonds
-          securities lending transactions
-          derivatives on custom baskets and
-          warrants
 
If the underlying position is a U.S. equity. The exchange upon which the instrument is traded and the identity of the counterparty do not affect the application of the rules. That is, a derivative can be subject to the rules, whether it is exchange listed or over the counter or trades in the United States or overseas.
 
Second, the derivative instrument must substantially replicate the economics of the underlying U.S. equity at the time of issuance. The rules look to delta (for simple contracts) and a substantially equivalency test (for complex contracts) to make this determination.
 
Delta is a correlation measurement that computes the ratio of the change in the fair market value of the derivative instrument to a change in the fair market value of the U.S. equity referenced by the derivative.  In general, for purposes of this regulation, delta is only determined once over the life of the derivative instrument – at the time it is ‘issued’. It is not recomputed as the fair market value of the underlying security changes or when the derivative instrument is re-sold in the secondary market.
 
For most contracts, the rules are as follows:
·         Pre-2017 – a derivative instrument issued prior to January 1, 2017 (i.e., anything held by a customer with us on December 31, 2016) is not subject to the new withholding tax rules.
·         2017 - a derivative instrument issued in 2017 is potentially subject to the new withholding tax regime if the delta at the time of issuance is 1.0.
·         After 2017 – a derivative instrument issued after December 31, 2017 is potentially subject to the new withholding tax rules if the delta at the time of issuance is 0.8 or greater.
If the derivative is classified as “complex,” the delta test does not apply and instead the substantial equivalency test applies. 
 
So When Is a Derivative Instrument Issued?
Identified when a derivative instrument is issued is very important. It determines if the instrument is subject to the rules (pre-2017 issued instruments are not) and when the delta computation is made. In general, an instrument is ‘issued’ when it comes into existence, its inception date or date of original issuance. Instruments are not issued when re-sold in the secondary market.
 
As a result, there are differences in the issuance rules for listed options, futures, other exchange traded products and over-the-counter products. For example, a listed option traded on a US exchange, generally, is not issued when first listed by an exchange as available for trading. Instead, the listed option is issued (delta determined) when the option is entered into by the customer. On the other hand, for transferable derivatives, such as exchange traded notes, convertible bonds and warrants, they would be issued only when first sold. The delta determined at that time would carryover when sold to a subsequent purchaser. 
 
Are There Any Exceptions?
The rules do provide limited exceptions to withholding. These include:
•        a derivative instrument that references a “qualified index” - generally, a passive broad publicly available index on U.S. equities such as the S&P 500, NASDAQ 100 or Russell 2000.
•        a derivative instrument that references an index with little or no U.S. equity composition – such as the Hang Seng Index.
•        if the dividend equivalent payment (or portion thereof) would not be subject to U.S. withholding tax if the non-US person owned the underlying security directly. This most often will occur for derivative instruments on U.S. mutual funds, REITs and exchange traded funds that pay ‘dividends’ which are re-characterized as capital gain distributions or returns of capital.
 
Can you provide some examples of when the rules will or will not apply?
•        Customer purchases single stock futures on IBM on January 2, 2017. The delta of the future is 1.0. The future is subject to the rule.
•        Customer purchases a deep in the money OCC listed option on IBM on December 28, 2016. The delta of the future is 1.0. The option is not subject to the rule as it was issued prior to 2017.
•        Customer purchases index future on a narrow based index on January 15, 2017. Assume the index is not a ‘qualified index.’ The future is subject to the rule.
•        Customer purchases an exchange trade note that tracks U.S. equities on January 2, 2017 with a delta of 1.0. The note was issued on July 1, 2016. The option is not subject to the rule as it was issued prior to 2017
 
How is the dividend equivalent withholding computed?
If the derivative instrument is subject to the new Section 871(m), a dividend equivalent payment with respect to such instrument equals the per share dividend on the underlying U.S. equity, multiplied by the number of underlying shares referenced by the instrument, multiplied by the delta (e.g., an option contract delivering 100 shares of a stock paying $1.00 dividend and having a delta of .80 would be subject to a tax based upon $80.00 dividend equivalent payment).
 
In the case of a complex derivative contract, the dividend equivalent will be equal to the per share dividend on the underlying, multiplied by the contract’s hedge equivalent to the underlying as calculated when the contract was issued.
 
How are contracts combined for purposes of determining delta?
Starting in 2018, customers who purchase derivative instrument such as a long call having a delta below the .80 threshold and selling a put on the same underlying and same share quantity within 2 days of one another will have those positions combined for the purpose of determining whether the threshold has been exceeded (e.g., the purchase of a long call with a delta of 0.60 coupled with the sale of a put with a delta of .40 would result in a long delta of 1.0).
 
In 2017, only over-the-counter instruments are potentially subject to combination to create a delta 1.0 instrument. 
 
What information do we provide to inform clients about impacted positions?
To minimize exposure to the withholding tax, we intend to provide a TWS warning message will be provided when non-U.S. persons create an order that could generate the tax. This will give customers the option of canceling the order to avoid potential withholding or submitting the order and possibly paying the tax when a dividend occurs. Customers may avoid the potential withholding tax by not owning the derivative on the applicable withholding date (i.e., generally the dividend Record Date).
 
 

IMPORTANT NOTE: We do not provide tax, legal or financial advice. Each customer must speak with the customer’s own advisors to determine the impact that the Section 871(m) rules may have on the customer’s trading activity.


[1] While the holder of the call option does not receive a dividend, the premium paid by the holder for the option implicitly takes expected dividends into account (i.e., because the stock price is expected to drop by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date, cash dividends imply lower call premiums).

Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS), referred to as the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (AEOI), calls on countries to obtain information from their financial institutions and exchange that information with other countries automatically on an annual basis. The CRS sets out the financial account information to be exchanged, the financial institutions required to report, the different types of accounts and taxpayers covered, as well as common due diligence procedures to be followed by financial institutions.
 
Interactive Brokers will comply with the OECD's Common Reporting Standard – Automatic Exchange of Information (CRS-AEOI).
 
  • What is reported:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Tax ID Number
    • Tax Country
    • Date of Birth
    • Place of Birth
    • Year-end account balance
    • Gross Proceeds (all sales)
    • Interest income
    • Dividend income
  • To whom is the information reported:
    • For accounts held by the Interactive Brokers U.K. entity, the above information will be reported to HM Revenue & Customs of the United Kingdom. (During the first reporting period in May 2017, only Jurisdiction 1 countries will be reported.) The list can be found on the OECD website by clicking here http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/AEOI-commitments.pdf
    • For accounts held by Interactive Brokers Hong Kong entity, the above information will be reported to Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong.
    • For accounts held by Interactive Brokers Japan entity, the above information will be reported to National Tax Agency of Japan
    • For accounts held by Interactive Brokers India entity, the above information will be reported to Income Tax Department of Japan
    • For accounts held by Interactive Brokers Canada entity, the above information will be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency
    • For accounts held by Interactive Brokers LLC, there is no reporting since the United Sates has not signed the CRS.
  • When will reporting take place and for what timeframe:
    • For IB UK accounts, the information will be reported for the first time in May 2017 for the calendar year 2016
    • For IB India, the information will be reported for the first time in May 2017 for the calendar year 2016
    • For IB HK, the information will be reported for the first time in May 2018 for the calendar year 2017
    • For IB Japan, the information will be reported for the first time in May 2018 for the calendar year 2017
    • For IB Canada, the information will be reported for the first time in May 2018 for the calendar year 2017
    • Non-Disclosed Introducing Brokers are responsible for their own reporting

 

FATCA Procedures - Grantor Trust Tax Information Submission

Overview: 

Interactive Brokers is required to collect certain documentation from clients to comply with U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and other international exchange of information agreements.

This guide contains instructions for a Trust to complete the online tax information and to electronically submit a W-9 or W-8BEN.

 

U.S. Tax Classification

Your U.S. income tax classification determines the tax form(s) required to document the account.

You must login to Account Management with the trust's primary username to access the Tax Form Collection page.

1.      Tax Form Collection

The Tax Form Collection page lets account holders review and update important tax-related information and lets account holders electronically fill out an IRS Form W-9 (U.S. taxpayers) and IRS Form W-8 (non-U.S. taxpayers).
 
Accessing the Tax Form Collection Page
 
a. Click Manage Account > Account Information > Tax Information > Tax Forms.
 
b. Click the Update Tax Forms button to access the Collection page.
The Tax Form Collection page opens, displaying a form with tax-related information that should already be completed. (Advisors and brokers can check the status of client updates to this page on the Dashboard Pending Items tab.
 
c.  Review the Trust’s information and update as required.
 
Confirm the primary tax residency of the trust beside the Tax Residency question, "In what country is the trust a resident for tax purposes?"  Select the appropriate country in the drop down menu.
 
 
Select in the Tax Residency drop down menu the applicable country.
 
d. Click Continue.
 

2.      Classification for US Tax Purposes

 
Confirming the Trust’s classification for U.S. purposes
 
a. Review the Trust’s status by confirming the question, “How are you classified for US tax purposes?” The answer is pre-filled based upon your information completed during the account application process. 
 
 
b. Click the Continue button to confirm the trust classification and complete the Form W-8 or W-9 for the entity. 
 
c. Click the Continue button to identify each Grantor. 
 

3.      Identify Grantors

 

a. Click Manage Account > Account Information > Tax Information > Tax Forms.

 
b. Click the Create button beside each grantor to send each user the applicable tax questionnaire and to submit the tax certification form (W-8 or W-9).  
 
Also, update the "Percentage of Ownership" to add up to 100%, if necessary.
 
 
 
 
c. Enter the required fields for the username and password for specified grantor and click the Continue button to complete the email delivery of the link.
 
 
 
We will then send the owner a link to complete the necessary tax form. This link will only be used for the collection of tax forms. You must provide the username and password to the Grantor as link will not contain them.   
 
Each Grantor must login with the username/password created and complete the pending tasks by going to Manage Account > Account Information > Tax Information > Tax Forms  > Update Tax Forms.
 
d. Click the Continue button upon creating and sending usernames to each Grantor.  
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer
This guide does not constitute tax or legal advice and Interactive Brokers cannot advise you on how to complete an IRS Forms W-8 or W-9.  Instructions are for information purposes only and do not address all possible scenarios. Please consult your tax professional if you are unsure how to complete.
 

Entity and FATCA Classification for Non-Financial Entities

Introduction
Interactive Brokers (“IB”, “we” or “us”) is required to collect certain documentation from clients (“you”) to comply with U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and other international exchange of information agreements.

This guide contains a series of flowcharts and accompanying notes that summarize IRS rules relating to:

1. The tax classification for purposes of determining which W-8 or W-9 tax form an entity is required to complete; and

2. The FATCA classification required of entities completing the W-8 tax form (Part I, Section 5).

Note: The flowcharts and notes contained herein do not cover every possible scenario and other scenarios not presented here exist and may more closely align with your situation. You should consult a tax professional regarding your particular circumstances if you are still unsure of your U.S. entity and/or FATCA classification after reading this guide.

 

What is NOT Covered in this Guide
The guide is directed to non-U.S. entities that (i) are the beneficial owners of the payments made to the account and (ii) are not financial institutions. This guide does not apply to:
 

• Individuals (use W-9 or W-8BEN)
• U.S. entities (use W-9)
• Entities acting as an intermediary (such as a nominee, broker, custodian, investment advisor) on behalf of another person (use W-8IMY).
• Non-U.S. Tax-Exempt Organizations and Private Foundations
• Financial Institutions
 

Note: The U.S. entered into bilateral agreements called Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with many countries regarding the implementation of FATCA. In some cases, the provisions of an applicable IGA could modify the results described in this guide. Entities are covered by an IGA should refer to the IGA and/or consult a tax professional for their filing requirements.
 

1. U.S. Tax Classification
Your U.S. income tax classification determines the tax form(s) required to document the account. The flow chart below may help you determine your tax classification and the tax form to be completed.

Important: The U.S. imposes income tax on its residents’ worldwide income. On the other hand, nonresidents are only subject to withholding tax on certain limited types of US source investment income (dividends from U.S. companies, etc.). Completion of a W-8 series tax form certifies you are NOT taxable as a U.S. resident. A W-8 form may also be used to claim a reduced rate of withholding tax under a U.S. income tax treaty.

 

Flowchart for Determining Tax Classification and Required Tax Form (Non-Trust Entities)

 

 

Flowchart for Determining Tax Classification and Required Tax Form (Trusts)

 

 

 

2. FATCA Classification

The W8 tax forms are also used to collect FATCA classifications. Many countries have executed “Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA)” with the U.S. requiring its local financial institutions to classify its customers for FATCA purposes. The classification rules under an IGA may not exactly match the classification rules established by the IRS. Other institutions have agreed with the IRS to become FATCA compliant and determine their customers’ FATCA classifications under the IRS rules. We are required to collect this information. The flowchart below applies the IRS default FATCA classification rules and is general in nature.  The flowchart is accompanied by sample W-8BEN-E screenshots for a common account structure: a non-U.S. corporation classified for FATCA purposes as a Passive Non-Financial Foreign Entity (NFFE), which qualifies for treaty witholding rates.
 

Note: It is important to recognize many organizations meet the qualifications for multiple FATCA types and you must select the most appropriate classification. Your specific situation may not fall within the general guidance. We recommend you seek your own independent advice as we are not in a position to make this determination for you and the rules are complex.
 

Flowchart for Determining FATCA Classification

 

Example: A corporation is a common form of entity ownership, involving two or more owners with none having any personal liability for the debts of entity.  As outlined in the Tax Classification flowchart above, an entity of this type would be required to complete the W-8BEN-E. Assuming the corporation is not classified as a Foreign Financial Entity (e.g. bank, broker, investment manager, hedge fund, mutual fund, insurance company) as discussed in footnote 5 below, then its FATCA classification would be Passive NFFE.  Screenshots of the W-8BEN-E for this sample entity are provided below.

 Sample Screenshots - W-8BEN-E (Passive NFFE)

 

 

 

Footnotes

 1  The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) established rules for determining the tax classification of entities formed outside the United States. These rules apply regardless of how the entity is classified in its country of organization or residency.
 

Generally corporate entities are treated as the beneficial owners of an account and should complete a W-8BEN-E and select “corporation” unless they elect otherwise (discussed below).


IRS regulations assign a default classification to each entity type. This default classification may be overridden by making a filing with the IRS and obtaining an US employer identification number. Certain entities cannot change their classification and are treated as corporations in all events (e.g., Sociedad Anonima, Public Limited Company and Aktiengesellschaft). A complete list may be found at US Treasury Regulation Section 301.7701-2(b)(8).
 

The IRS default classification usually depends on (i) the number of owners and (ii) whether any owner is personally liable for the debts of the entity based on the organizing statute (i.e., bank guarantees or other contractual agreements by owners are ignored). The following table summarizes the default rules:
 

 
Number of Owners
Owners have Limited Liability?
 
 
Yes?
No?
 
 
1 Owner
Corporation
Disregarded Entity
 
 
2+ Owners
Corporation
Partnership
 
 
 
 

Note: Since the entity tax classification of a disregarded entity is determined by its owner, a US disregarded entity may find the flowchart helpful if the owner is a non-US entity.
 

A fiscally transparent entity (such as a partnership, simple trust or grantor trust) using IRS Form W-8IMY must provide IRS tax forms for all of its beneficial owners (partners in a partnership, beneficiaries for a simple trust and settlors for a grantor trust) for the account to be documented for US tax purposes.
 

Certain unit investment trusts (generally where there is an ability to vary the investments) are not considered trusts for US tax purposes. These investment trusts are treated in the same manner as a traditional business entity under the rules discussed above (i.e., corporation, partnership or disregarded entity).
 

Finally, a trust (other than a unit investment trust treated as a business entity) is considered a non-US trust for US tax purposes if (1) a court outside the United States is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of the trust, and (2) any non-US person has the ability to control (or veto) any “substantial decision” of the trust.
 

The flowchart assumes that the default entity classification rules apply and the entity is not a per se corporation.
 

 

A partnership or simple or grantor trust may enter into a withholding agreement with the IRS pursuant to which the partnership or simple or grantor trust agrees to withhold US taxes on the account. The flowchart assumes no withholding agreement was executed.
 

 

 

3  In general, US tax treaty benefits are granted to the beneficial owner of the income determined under US tax principles. For fiscally transparent entities (such as partnerships, simple or grantor trusts or disregarded entities), this means the owners of the entity, NOT THE ENTITY ITSELF, claim US tax treaty benefits. These benefits are claimed on the beneficial owners’ W8 tax forms. However in certain limited cases, an entity may be considered fiscally transparent for US tax purposes but not fiscally transparent by the country with which the US has an income tax treaty. This type of an entity is called a “hybrid entity.” In certain cases, a hybrid entity, not the owners, may claim US tax treaty benefits if the hybrid entity meets the so-called qualified resident test under the applicable tax treaty. A qualifying “hybrid entity” claims the benefits of a US tax treaty by providing a Form W-8BEN-E, in addition to the form required by the flowchart. Importantly, electing hybrid status does not eliminate the need to document all beneficial owners. We note it is unusual for a hybrid entity to claim treaty benefits. The more common scenario is the beneficial owners claim treaty benefits on their tax forms.
 

 

4  The rules for classifying trusts are difficult and complex. The flowchart applies generalized rules only. There are many nuances to be considered when classifying a trust which are not addressed in the flowchart. For example, simple trusts cannot have charitable beneficiaries.
 

 

5  What is a foreign financial institution for FATCA purpose?
The various FATCA classifications can be broken down into two major categories: foreign financial institutions (FFI) and non-financial foreign (NFFE). Very generally, a financial institution is an entity that is a:


• Depository Institution
• Custodial Institution
• Investment Entity
• Insurance Company that issues certain cash value insurance or annuity contracts.
 

An FFI typically is required to register with the IRS, obtain a Global Intermediary Identification Number and report on its customers / owners to the appropriate tax authorities. If the entity does not meet the definition of a Financial Institution, it is considered an NFFE and covered by this guide book.
 

Subject to variations under IRS regulations and intergovernmental agreements:


• a Depository Institution is an institution that accepts deposits in the ordinary course of a banking or similar business. This includes banks and credit unions.
• a Custodial Institution is an institution which holds financial assets for the account of others as a substantial portion of its business. This includes brokers, custodial banks, trust companies, clearing organizations, etc.
• an Investment Entity is any entity if either
(i) the entity generates 50%+ of its gross income from (i) trading in money market instruments, foreign currency, transferrable securities, interest rates, futures, etc.; (ii) portfolio management or (iii) otherwise investing, administering or managing funds or financial assets on behalf of other persons (generally, broker-dealers and investment managers);
or
(ii) 50%+ of the entity gross income is attributable to investing, reinvesting, or trading in financial assets AND it is managed by a Financial Institution (mutual funds, hedge funds, and collective investment vehicles are examples);
or

(iii) the entity holds itself out as an entity created to invest, reinvest, or trade invest in financial assets (mutual funds, hedge funds, and collective investment vehicles are examples).
 

An individual cannot be an FFI. Thus, an organization managed by a professional individual investment advisor (as opposed to an employee of an organization) would not be considered an Investment Entity under (ii) above because it is not managed by a financial institution.
 

Trusts, family investment companies and funds may fall within the definition of an Investment Entity when they are professionally managed by a financial institution – i.e. where a financial institution handles the day-to-day functions of the entity or has discretionary authority over the fund.
 

Example: Individual created a non-US Trust A and appoints X, a non-US bank or other financial institution, as the trustee. X, as trustee, is responsible for the management and administration of Trust A. Trust A is an Investment Entity and a Foreign Financial Institution because it is managed by a Foreign Financial Institution.
 

Example: Individual created a non-US Trust A and appoints Y, an individual professional manager, as the trustee. Y, as trustee, is responsible for the management and administration of Trust A. Trust A is not an Investment Entity or a Foreign Financial Institution because it is not managed by a Foreign Financial Institution. Individuals cannot be financial institutions.
 

 

6  The IRS has a list of countries with which it has executed intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to authorize the implementation of FATCA in that jurisdiction. The list of IGAs can be found at https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Pages/FATCA....
 

 

7  See #4 for the definition of Financial Institution. An organization that is not considered a financial institution is considered a non-financial foreign entity (NFFE). There are 3 types of NFFEs; Excepted, Active and Passive. An Active NFFE is an operating business where less than 50% of (i) its gross income is considered passive income and (ii) its average assets are held for the production of passive income. Any NFFE that is not Excepted or Active is a Passive NFFE and must provide us with a certification of its substantial US owners (if any) – generally 10%+ direct or indirect ownership. Some IGAs modify the means of substantial US owners and refer to them as Controlling Persons.
 

8   Other possible choices include nonfinancial group entity, excepted nonfinancial start-up company, excepted non-financial entity in liquidation or bankruptcy, publicly traded NFFE or sponsored NFFE. See the instructions to the W-8 for further information.
 

 

Disclaimer

This guide does not constitute tax or legal advice and Interactive Brokers cannot advise you on how to complete IRS Forms W-8. Examples included in this guide are for illustration only and do not address all possible scenarios. Please consult your tax professional if you are unsure how to complete IRS Forms W-8.

FATCA FAQs - Issues Involving Mismatch Between Tax Treaty Country and Address

FATCA related FAQs involving mismatches between tax treaty country and address. See KB2601 for other FATCA related FAQ topics.

 

Q1: I claimed treaty benefits in one country but have an address outside that treaty country. Why did I receive an email asking for additional documentation?
 

A1: We are required to verify your connection with the treaty country since you also have an address outside that country. We can process your claim for treaty benefits if you provide one document from Category (A) AND one document from Category (B) below.
 

                                Category (A)
AND
Category (B)
ANY OF the following unexpired documents issued by the treaty country:
ANY OF the following documents that match your address in the treaty country:
·         Driver’s license
·         Driver’s license
·         Passport
·         Bank or brokerage statement*
·         National identity card
·         Utility bill*

*Bank or brokerage statements and utility bills must be less than 12 months old.  Alternatively, if you cannot provide documents from both categories, please provide a written explanation as to why you are entitled to treaty benefits together with any supporting documentation. Note: we may request further information or documentation from you depending on the explanation provided.
 

 

Q2: I submitted a proof of address and I received an email that the document submission did not resolve the issue. Why?
 

A2: Please confirm that the proof of identity you submitted was issued by the treaty country and that the proof of address relates to your address in the treaty country. A proof of address document alone is not sufficient to resolve the matter. Sometimes, customers inadvertently submit documentation for the other address. Please check the date of the proof of address document. We can only accept documents dated less than 12 months old. Also confirm you submitted a proof of identity document from the treaty country.
 

 

Q3: I live in Hong Kong and chose China as my tax treaty country on my Form W-8BEN. I received a notification saying the proof of address and proof of identity I submitted was not sufficient to claim benefits under the U.S.-China tax treaty. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, so the U.S.-China tax treaty applies to it, correct?
 

A3: No. According to the US Internal Revenue Service, the U.S.-People’s Republic of China tax treaty does NOT apply to Hong Kong. Unless you can provide a proof of address and identity in the People’s Republic of China or provide other evidence that you are a tax resident of People’s Republic of China, you may not claim Chinese tax treaty benefits.
 

 

Q4: I live in Macau and chose China as my tax treaty country on my Form W-8BEN. I received an e-mail saying that the proof of address I submitted for my Macau address was not sufficient to claim benefits under the U.S.-China tax treaty. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, so the U.S.-China tax treaty applies to it, correct?
 

A4: No. According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S.- People’s Republic of China tax treaty does NOT apply to Macau. Unless you can provide a proof of address and identity in the People’s Republic of China or provide other evidence that you are a tax resident of People’s Republic of China, you may not claim Chinese tax treaty benefits.
 

 

Q5: I live in Taiwan and chose China as my tax treaty country on my Form W-8BEN. I received an e-mail saying that the proof of address I submitted for my address in Taiwan was not sufficient to claim benefits under the U.S.-China tax treaty. Taiwan is formally known as the Republic of China, so the U.S.-China tax treaty applies to it, correct?
 

A5: No. According to the US Internal Revenue Service, the U.S.- People’s Republic of China tax treaty does NOT apply to Taiwan. Unless you can provide a proof of address in People’s Republic of China or provide other evidence that you are a tax resident of People’s Republic of China, you may not claim Chinese tax treaty benefits.
 

 

Q6: The information you have in your master file is out-of-date. I moved so that the address you identified as outside the treaty country is incorrect. What should I do?
 

A6: The fastest and most effective way to remedy the situation is to provide the requested information (see FAQ#1 above) so that our records are complete. You should also log into Account Management and make any required changes to your personal information.
 

 

We do not provide tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for advice in completing tax forms and determining your taxpayer status.

FATCA FAQs - Issues Involving U.S. Address or Telephone Number

FATCA related FAQs involving U.S. address or telephone number. See KB2601 for other FATCA related FAQ topics.

 

Q1: I received a notification that a review of my file indicated a U.S. address or telephone and additional information is required. What additional information do I need to provide?
 

A1: You need to provide one document from Category (A) AND one document from Category (B) from the table below AND a written explanation explaining the U.S. address.
 

Category (A)
AND
Category (B)
AND
Category (C)
ANY OF the following documents issued by a non-US country:
ANY OF the following documents that match your foreign address:
A reasonable written explanation supporting your claim of non-US status. 
·         Driver’s license
·         Driver’s license
·         Passport
·         Bank or brokerage statement*
·         National identity card
·         Utility bill*

*Bank or brokerage statements and utility bills must be less than 12 months old.

 

Q2: The day count table on the account application says I am a U.S. tax resident and will not let me complete IRS Form W-8. What should I do?
 

A2: The US Internal Revenue Service generally considers individuals who spend a significant number of days in the United States each year to be U.S. taxpayers. The table flags customers who exceed those IRS rules for U.S. income tax residency and requires a W-9. Alternatively, it may be possible for you to satisfy the “closer connection test” or utilize a U.S. tax treaty to avoid U.S. tax residency. Please refer to IRS Publication 519 for details or consult a tax professional regarding IRS rules for counting days, the closer connection test and U.S. tax treaties.
 

 

Q3: I am a studying in the U.S. and present on an F-1 visa. I responded to your email and provided a copy of my F-1 visa. I received an email saying my response was insufficient to resolve the issue. Why?
 

A3: Please check the expiration date of your visa. If your visa has expired, please provide other evidence of your status, such as an Optional Practical Training (OPT) card, a copy of Form I-20 endorsed by the DSO for your school or another Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Also confirm you submitted the necessary proof of identify and address documentation.
 

 

Q4: I use my daughter’s address to receive all mail. She lives in the United States. What should I do?
 

A4: In this case, you can probably satisfy the substantial presence test noted in the notification you've received . Please provide the number of days you spent or plan to spend in the U.S. in the current and prior two years (e.g., 2015, 2014 and 2013). Also refer to the documentation requirements outlined in FAQ#1 above.

 
 

Q5: The address or telephone you noted in your email is out-of-date. I have since moved out of the United States. What should I do?
 

A5: The fastest and most effective way to remedy the situation is to provide the information as requested in the notification you've received (see FAQ#1 above), so that our records are complete. You should also log into Account Management and make any required changes to your personal information of record.
 

 

We do not provide tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for advice in completing tax forms and determining your taxpayer status.

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