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Tag Archive for Form W-9

Form W-8BEN And What It’s Used For

Non-U.S. persons must pay U.S. tax on certain kinds of income they receive from U.S. sources. Typically, the income is taxed at a flat rate of 30%. The only way for this tax to be alleviated is if an income tax treaty exists between the U.S. and another country and that treaty authorizes a lower rate of tax.

You might be wondering how the United States collects this tax. For example, the non-U.S. person might decide not to pay it, thus thumbing his nose at the government. In that case, does the U.S. government dispatch secret service agents to all four corners of the globe to track down the tax evader, who may owe only a small amount of tax? Of course not. The U.S. knows all too well that it would be a waste of time and resources to take on the role of a bounty hunter. Read more

Independent Contractor Versus Employee?

contvsemp2Is it better to be an independent contractor or an employee? For a small business owner (SBO), the question mostly is, how to determine what business relationship exists between the person providing the services & the SBO; and if that relationship is that of an independent contractor or an employee.

So how is that determination made?

Common Law Rules fall into 3 categories. Behavioral: Does the company have the right to control what the worker does & how he does it?; Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer?; And the Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits?

•The general rule of thumb is that one is an independent contractor if the payer (of the fees) has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.

•Hence you are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done & how it will be done). You may have freedom of action but the employer has the legal right to the details of how the services will be performed.

An independent contractor is considered self-employed and employee is not. Read more

IRS Releases Final Form W-9

TaxConnections Blogger Jim Calvin posts the new IRS Form W-9The Internal Revenue Service has released the final Form W-9 after releasing a draft version this past May. The final Form W-9 and instructions contain no substantive changes and are largely the same as the previously released draft. This may come as a disappointment to many in the industry that sought clarifications and changes to the updated form.

More significantly, the finalization of Form W-9 triggers the six-month grace period (absent additional guidance) found in the FATCA regulations to begin using the new form. This is particularly important for withholding agents currently using substitute Form W-9s (including embedded Form W-9s on paper or electronic forms). Updates may be necessary because the IRS generally requires substitute forms to be substantially similar to the official form, particularly when it comes to the required certifications. The final Form W-9 has added a new certification with respect to FATCA; thus, creating the potential need to update substitute forms within the six month grace period. It is unclear whether the certification is needed if a FATCA exemption does not apply (or never will for the particular withholding agent), so additional guidance from the IRS will be needed to clarify.

The Form W-9 (Rev. August 2013) adds two new fields; one to indicate the type of entity that is exempt from back-up withholding and the other to indicate the type of entity that is exempt from FATCA withholding. The instructions include an updated list of exempt payees for back-up withholding with a corresponding code to be entered into the new field, if applicable. The list removes the international organization and foreign central bank of issue payee types Read more

Responsible Officers: Removal of Penalty of Perjury Declaration

TaxConnections Blog Post Removal of Penalty of Perjury Declaration regarding FATCAIt had been expected that a Responsible Officer (RO) would be required to certify, under penalty of perjury, as to compliance with FATCA. The original post describing the possible consequences to a Responsible Officer making a false certification under FATCA can be found here.

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service opened the FATCA registration system and published additional guidance. There is not a full length “FFI Agreement” as the IRS had previously stated would be published in a Revenue Procedure before the opening of the registration site; instead, the Agreement is more of a broad and open-ended certification by the RO that the FFI will comply with FATCA. This is similar to that provided in a recent draft of Form 8957. The specific certification is as follows:

Financial Institution – Agreement

I, Joe Smith, as RO for the Financial Institution, certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the information submitted above is accurate and complete and agree that the Financial Institution (including its branches, if any) will comply with FATCA obligations in accordance with the terms and conditions reflected in regulations, intergovernmental agreements, and other administrative guidance to the extent applicable to the Financial Institution based on its status in each jurisdiction in which it operates. Read more

Responsible Officers Certifications Under FATCA

TaxConnections Blogger Jim Calvin Posts about FATCAWhat could be the consequences to a Responsible Officer making a false certification under FATCA?

It is expected that participating FFIs will be required to identify a Responsible Officer who will be required to certify, under penalty of perjury, as to compliance with FATCA (Chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code). The proposed regulations describe several certifications by Responsible Officers and by others. Implementation will likely require that subordinate certifications and documentation from other persons will be required to support the certification made by the Responsible Officer.

The Internal Revenue Service may criminally prosecute a false document case under more than one statute. Only one of those possibilities is discussed below – that is, section 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code – because it is the one most likely to be invoked, and, in fact, it is the most frequently charged criminal tax violation. It applies where a “return, statement or other document…contains or is verified by a written declaration that it is made under penalties of perjury.” In addition, civil sanction may, and almost always does, follow a criminal investigation.

Sometimes referred to as the false-statement, tax perjury or fraud statute, section 7206 aptly illustrates the serious consequences of a false certification. Consider those consequences: Any person who willfully makes Read more