IRS Releases Final FATCA Form W-8BEN-E

The Internal Revenue Service has released the new 2014 Form W-8BEN-E (2-2014) that coincides with FATCA (Foreign Tax Compliance Act) and QI entity classification reporting requirements.

The newest version of Form W-8BEN-E must be used by entities that are beneficial owners of a payment, or of another entity that is the beneficial owner. The form has thirty parts, whereas the draft form only had twenty-seven.  All filers will complete Parts I and XXIX.

Part I of the form requires general information, the QI status, and the FATCA classification of the filer.  Question 4 of Part I requests the QI status. If the filer is a disregarded entity, partnership, simple trust, or grantor trust, then the filer must complete Part III if the entity is claiming benefits under a U.S. tax treaty. Question 5 requests the FATCA classification of the filer. The classification indicated determines which one of the Parts IV through XXVIII must be completed.

Part XXIX requires certification, under penalty of perjury, by the payee or a person authorized to sign on the payee’s behalf.  This part of the final form also contains the following language that does not appear in the current form: “I agree that I will submit a new form within 30 days if any certification made on this form becomes incorrect.”

Note that if the filer is a passive NFFE, it must complete Part XXVI as well as Part XXX if it has substantial U.S. owners.  For a Passive NFFE, a specified U.S. person is a substantial U.S. owner if the person has more than a 10 percent beneficial interest in the entity.

Completion of the other parts of the final form W-8BEN-E will depend upon the FATCA classification of the filer. The classifications on the newest version Form W-8BEN-E maintain the classification of a Restricted Distributor (previously Part X, but in the final form Part XI) (see the Rev. 2013 version of the W-8BEN-E).  The complete list of classifications by part is as follows:

Part I Identification of Beneficial Owner
Part II Disregarded Entity or Branch Receiving Payment.
Part III Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits (if applicable). (For chapter 3 purposes only)
Part IV Sponsored FFI That Has Not Obtained a GIIN
Part V Certified Deemed-Compliant Nonregistering Local Bank
Part VI Certified Deemed-Compliant FFI with Only Low-Value Accounts
Part VII Certified Deemed-Compliant Sponsored, Closely Held Investment Vehicle
Part VIII Certified Deemed-Compliant Limited Life Debt Investment Entity
Part IX Certified Deemed-Compliant Investment Advisors and Investment Managers
Part X Owner-Documented FFI
Part XI Restricted Distributor
Part XII Nonreporting IGA FFI
Part XIII Foreign Government, Government of a U.S. Possession, or Foreign Central Bank of Issue
Part XIV International Organization
Part XV Exempt Retirement Plans
Part XVI Entity Wholly Owned by Exempt Beneficial Owners
Part XVII Territory Financial Institution
Part XVIII Excepted Nonfinancial Group Entity
Part XIX Excepted Nonfinancial Start-Up Company
Part XX Excepted Nonfinancial Entity in Liquidation or Bankruptcy
Part XXI 501(c) Organization
Part XXII Non-Profit Organization
Part XXIII Publicly Traded NFFE or NFFE Affiliate of a Publicly Traded Corporation
Part XXIV Excepted Territory NFFE
Part XXV Active NFFE
Part XXVI Passive NFFE
Part XXVII Excepted Inter-Affiliate FFI
Part XXVIII Sponsored Direct Reporting NFFE
Part XXIX Certification
Part XXX Substantial U.S. Owners of Passive NFFE

William H. Byrnes has achieved authoritative prominence with more than 20 books, treatise chapters and book supplements, 1,000 media articles, and the monthly subscriber Tax Facts Intelligence. Titles include: Lexis® Guide to FATCA Compliance, Foreign Tax and Trade Briefs, Practical Guide to U.S. Transfer Pricing, and Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture; Recovery, and Compliance (a Global Guide). He is a principal author of the Tax Facts series. He was a Senior Manager, then Associate Director of international tax for Coopers and Lybrand, and practiced in Southern Africa, Western Europe, South East Asia, the Indian sub-continent, and the Caribbean. He has been commissioned by a number of governments on tax policy. Obtained the title of tenured law professor in 2005 at St. Thomas in Miami, and in 2008 the level of Associate Dean at Thomas Jefferson. William Byrnes pioneered online legal education in 1995, thereafter creating the first online LL.M. offered by an ABA accredited law school (International Taxation and Financial Services graduate program).

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