QI Support Services
Do your clients receive US-sourced FDAP income?
If your clients receive US-sourced FDAP (fixed, determinable, annual or periodical) income, you are automatically subject to IRC Chapter 3. This requires you to document and report all non-US clients who receive US-sourced income to both the IRS and your upstream counterparty.
Your institution may choose to enter into a contract with the IRS to become a Qualified Intermediary (QI), which provides you with a number of benefits, including the ability to pool clients for reporting purposes so you do not have to disclose your clients.
If you are considering becoming a QI, or if you have been told by your upstream that you should become a QI and you are not sure what is involved, please get in touch and we will talk you through the process so you can make the right decision for your institution.
If you are already a QI and need ongoing expert help to maintain compliance, or if you need to conduct a Periodic Review, we can help. Our range of QI support services is designed to help you at every stage of your journey as a QI and includes:
How We Can Help
Ad Hoc Support
If you need occasional help with an operational or policy decision, or additional expertise to assist with a one-off project, get in touch for a quote for ad hoc support.
Many clients find that the gaps in their knowledge are extensive, and need support in developing and operationalising compliance programme. We can become your ‘expert on call’, delivering monthly value with a retained services agreement.
TConsult does not offer or provide tax, investment or legal advice.
We provide board-level briefings and white papers to help senior staff evaluate the benefits of becoming a QI and make an informed decision about whether to apply for QI status.
If you decide to become a QI, we will help you to prepare your application by assembling the necessary information and working with you to identify the best operating model for you business.
Compliance Manual Support
Your QI agreement requires that you have written controls to ensure that all clients are properly documented, withheld and reported. Your QI compliance manual is your bible.
We draw on our experience of best practice in the industry to help you to write a compliance manual that establishes your policies and procedures communicates them clearly to your staff. This should be a living document, that reflects your current operating practices and controls, so we can also help you to review and update your compliance manual, giving you confidence that your business can meet its obligations to the IRS.
We offer a number of QI-related training courses, aimed at different levels of your organisation. These include:
- Briefings for senior staff to help them understand the QI agreement in context so they can prioritise resources more effectively
- Training for client relationship managers to help them support clients through the onboarding and documentation renewal processes
- Training for back office staff responsible for validating documentation, applying tax treaty rates and generating 1042-S reports
- Training for in-house developers to help them develop robust internal administrative systems
- Training for your internal audit function, if they are nominated to carry out your formal periodic review in your certification year
If you have a specific training need within your organisation, please contact us and we will design a course that achieves your aims.
Interim Compliance Review
Interim compliance reviews – also known as health checks – help you to assess your current level of compliance and identify areas for improvement.
Responsible Officers often find it useful to carry out an interim compliance review at least once during the three year certification cycle to ensure that any issues are caught and remedied early. Whilst the IRS do require all events of default and material failures to be disclosed, if these are already cured before your certification year, you can still make a certification of effective controls to the IRS. An interim compliance review is therefore a valuable tool in the Responsible Officer’s armoury.
We can conduct an interim compliance review (ICR) in person in your offices, or remotely. We follow the methodology for a formal periodic review, giving your staff a ‘dress rehearsal’ ahead of the formal periodic review. We review a sample of your accounts and interview key staff to give you a comprehensive analysis of your current status.
If you are approaching your certification date, your Responsible Officer should be preparing to appoint an auditor to conduct your Periodic Review.
TConsult can act as your external auditor, conducting your formal Periodic Review according to the methodology in Publication 515 so your Responsible Officer can make either a certification of effective controls or a qualified certification to the IRS.
Documentation is the cornerstone of compliance for a QI. If you get the documentation right, everything else becomes much easier.
TConsult offers a manual W8 validation service, allowing you to be confident that this vital piece of documentation is valid on the face. If you decide to repaper your client base and have a high volume of W8 forms to validate as a one-off project, if you need to clear a backlog or provide cover for your in-house validator, or if you just occasionally encounter a tricky case and need an external opinion – we can help.
If you have US clients, you should be receiving and validating forms W-9. On the W-9 your client will have to include their name and either an SSN, ITIN or EIN (employer identification number). If you cannot match a client’s TIN to the name provided, you may not consider the W-9 form reliable Consequently, you are required to withhold 28% backup withholding to any US sourced FDAP income paid to that client. You will also be required to report any backup withholding that has taken place on Form 945.
When you report these clients on your 1042-S information report, the TIN must match the IRS database. if it doesn’t, you may receive a 1099-B or 1099-C notices that are warnings that you may be penalised if you do not correct the mismatch. TIN Matching is therefore an important check to make sure that you have a valid and reliable form W-9. If you properly TIN match all clients that present a Form W-9, you remove the risk of backup withholding, 945 reporting and receiving 1099 related penalty notices.
TConsult offers a TIN matching service from just £3 per TIN. Please contact us for a copy of our TIN matching brochure.