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Qualified Intermediary & Other US Tax Withholding and Reporting Services

Many financial institutions signed up to the Qualified Intermediary (or QI) regime back when it was created by the US government in the early 2000s. Over time, new regulatory requirements have come on board. The introduction of FATCA and CRS, continually increasing AML requirements, and the addition of the 871(m)/Qualified Derivatives Dealer status (or QDD) have made it a challenge for some QIs to scale and align these regulatory obligations and policies with each other. Staff turnover and a struggle to locate qualified candidates in US tax law have left some QIs less than equipped to keep up. With small operational tax departments leading some QI programs, the ability to perform health checks leading up to the periodic review and QI certification to the IRS can leave some QIs without the adequate resources to remediate findings, never getting ahead of the curve. Always increasing US Internal Revenue Service (or IRS) scrutiny of customer documentation and review procedures as well as annual reporting and reconciliation variances make automating any manual processes more important than ever. All of this can leave some QIs questioning why they ever signed up to become a QI in the first place. Does any of this resonate with your organisation?

Your organisation may also be impacted by US withholding and reporting obligations in other ways, such as being on the receiving end of US source income and needing assistance in documenting your claim for specific tax withholding rates to US parties.

PwC can assist you with the following services below, covering the full scope of the QI regime and other US withholding and reporting obligations, with special attention for your organisation’s strategy, size, and business functions. These services can be provided ad hoc or end-to-end depending on the needs of your organisation. We are happy to tell you more about our services.

PwC can assist you in many ways. Through our international network we are able to assist you on different levels and in an international environment. Please contact us, to find out what we can do for you.

Our services

Assessment & Design

  • Cost/benefit analysis and eligibility assessment of obtaining or maintaining the QI or QDD status. Further assessment of customer impacts and overall impact to product offering - the business case.
  • Analysis on processes, controls, work instructions and tooling to identify gaps, remediation steps, and advise on customer experience and operational excellence.
  • Assistance in drafting or updating processes and work instructions, including identification of logical controls. 
  • Conducting QI and FATCA health checks or periodic review test runs.

Health Checks

  • Identify structural discrepancies in the design and execution of the QI processes and controls, and to advise on how to (i) cure discrepancies as well as (ii) provide comments on how to improve from both an operational and customer journey perspective. 
  • It is recommended to conduct a health check in the year of, or prior to the selected periodic review year. This is so that the QI has a chance to remediate certain failures before the periodic review, thereby improving their position with the IRS.

Periodic Reviews

  • Conduct independent periodic reviews in accordance with the IRS requirements, including sample based testing of accounts and transactions. Provision of periodic review report which is used by the QI when the Responsible Officer submits the three-year periodic certification to the IRS.
  • Assessing eligibility and assistance in the application for a waiver from the periodic review.
  • It is recommended to start the periodic review in January of the year following the year selected as the periodic review year.

Reporting

  • Reviewing and commenting on Forms 1042, 1042-S, 945, and 1099, including reconciliations to source data (up to the extent available). 
  • Assistance in the filing of the above, and related, forms.

Documentation & Tax Withholding

  • Providing full service review of customer documentation in order to determine the applicable tax rate. Assistance in preparing or reviewing documentation packages for upstream withholding agents.
  • Assisting QIs in designing in-house customer documentation review procedures including regulatory checklists and change of circumstances monitoring.

Ad-hoc Technical Support

  • Provide you with a detailed response to any QI or US tax withholding and reporting questions that you may have. 
  • Training workshops designed for the needs of your organisation. Access to the international PwC network means your training program can be matched to fit your global needs.

Paper: The fight against tax avoidance and other financial crimes vs the right of data protection: a regulatory tug-of-war for the Financial Services industry?

When we hear “GDPR” we usually think of our social media privacy (need to check the settings), but what about our financial data privacy with our accounts at banking and other financial business partners? 

While much of the public appears to understan­­d ­­their rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) with regards to their social media presence (partly due to scandals in the past) there is more bubbling under the surface with regards to individual rights under GDPR and their relationship with the financial services industry. There is a global regulatory trend towards transparency obligations of the financial services industry to counter tax evasion and money laundering. However, GDPR and the increased public demand for privacy goes opposite to this trend. This paper sets out to explore where the individual rights under GDPR may at times conflict with the regulatory requirements imposed on the financial services industry.

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Robert Jan Meindersma

Robert Jan Meindersma

Senior Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)68 360 84 41

Ralph van Melick

Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)62 002 41 67

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