On 5 October 2017, the Swiss Banking Association (“SBA”) published Circular 7939, which covers the translations of IRS Forms W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E, the extension of the FFI Agreement renewal, and several evaluations made by the FATCA Qualification Board.
With this Circular, the SBA has provided Swiss Financial Institutions (“FIs”) with German, French, and Italian translations of the current and updated IRS Forms W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E. FIs may use the translated IRS Forms effective immediately. Additionally, the Circular includes a reminder that the new IRS Form W-8IMY must be implemented and used by 1 January 2018, while all other new W-8 Forms must be implemented and used by 1 February 2018. Please refer to the link to find the German, French, and Italian translations of the IRS Forms W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E in PDF format under Circular 7939.
Circular 7939 also discusses the IRS-granted extension for FIs that have not renewed their FFI Agreement. On 1 August 2017, the IRS published a FAQ clarifying that FIs have been granted an extension until 24 October 2017 to renew their FFI Agreement. Please refer to the link for access to the FAQ published by the IRS (the FFI Agreement renewal topic is covered in question 12 under “Registrations Update”).
Lastly, Circular 7939 discusses various evaluations made by the FATCA Qualification Board, including evaluations made regarding FATCA self-certifications and plausibilization, deaths of US person(s) controlling a passive NFFE, and identifying entitled third party beneficiaries of cash value and annuity insurance contracts. Please refer to the following links for additional details to the evaluations made by the FATCA Qualification Board:
Partner, Operational Tax
+41 58 792 43 72
Swiss Banking Association Publishes Factsheet for Limitation on Benefits Provisions on the Updated IRS Form W-8BEN-E
On 22 September 2017, the Swiss Banking Association (“SBA”) published a factsheet for the limitation on benefits (“LOB”) provisions included on the updated IRS Form W-8BEN-E according to the revised Qualified Intermediary Agreement (in force as of 1 January 2017). The factsheet will provide Financial Institutions (“FIs”) with generic and simplified definitions of the various LOB categories listed on the W-8BEN-E and Treaty Statements. While the factsheet does not constitute tax advice, FIs may use it as a guidance for their entity clients when they complete the LOB section of the W-8BEN-E or Treaty Statement. Furthermore, the factsheet covers the additional categories of the Swiss-U.S. income tax treaty.
The factsheet is available in German, French, Italian, and English. It can be found on the SBA’s website published as Circular 7936. Please refer to the link for the factsheet in PDF format.
Swiss Banking Association Publishes Circular Regarding the Classification of Dividend-Equivalent Payments According to Section 871(m)
On 26 September 2017, the Swiss Banking Association (“SBA”) published Circular 7937 in order to provide clarification regarding the classification of dividend-equivalent payments relating to Section 871(m). Under the Qualified Intermediary Agreement, FIs must withhold tax on US-source income to non-US recipients (withholding rates vary depending on which Double Tax Treaty rate applies), and this includes certain dividend-equivalent payments under Section 871(m).
The SBA had several discussions with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters and the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“FTA”), which resulted with the FTA releasing a ruling describing the classification of payments within the scope of 871(m). Based on this, the Circular covers the classification of dividend-equivalent payments according to Section 871(m) as applicable under the Switzerland-US Double Tax Treaty. Additionally, the Circular discusses how withholding on US-source income applies to this classification of dividend-equivalent payments.
Please refer to the link for access to the SBA’s Circular 7937.
Partner, Operational Tax
+41 58 792 43 72