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Instructions for Applying for an Electronic W-8 Memorandum of Understanding

OMB No. 1545-1621

A withholding agent interested in applying for an Electronic W-8 Memorandum of Understanding should provide the information requested below on the letterhead of its organization.  This letter should include the withholding agent’s name, address, EIN, and compliance manager contact.  In addition, it should include a brief description of the withholding agent’s business.

All applications should be submitted to the Online W-8 Coordinator at-
Internal Revenue Service
Qualified Intermediary Program
290 Broadway, 12th floor
New York City, New York 10007-1867 USA
Attention: Online Form W-8 Coordinator

Applications for an Electronic W-8 Memorandum of Understanding should include answers to the following questions:

1)  Is the withholding agent a payment settlement entity using the Electronic W-8 (“E-W8”) system to meet its obligations under IRC § 6050W?

2)  Is this application being submitted by a parent entity wishing to apply for a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) for each of its subsidiaries?  If so, please provide a list including name, address, and EIN of each subsidiary that the parent would like to include in the MOU.

3)  Does the system follow an interview format that guides the user through a series of questions and directs the user to appropriate follow-up questions?  

4)  Does the system pre-populate any fields for the user?  If so, please indicate which fields are pre-populated and under what conditions.  

5)  Which forms and user types (e.g. individual, corporation, or partnership) are supported by the system?

6)  How does the system authenticate and verify each user?  Please provide a brief description including authentication and verification procedures for joint and entity accounts.  

7)  Does the system confirm that the user agrees to the electronic submission of tax forms?

8)  Does the system attempt to detect U.S. persons, dual citizens, and those subject to U.S. resident taxation?  If so, please describe how the system detects such information.

9)  Does the system ask individual beneficial owner users about their country of birth?  If so, what follow-up questions are asked of those individual beneficial owners born in the United States?  

10)  When a U.S. address is provided by a user describe what steps are taken by the system to account for possible U.S. resident taxation?

11)  Does the system request both U.S. and non-U.S. tax identification numbers?

12) Is the user required to acknowledge under penalties of perjury each applicable certification set forth in the paper Form W-8 by checking off each certification separately?

13)  Does the system instruct the user that the electronic signature will be treated as an acceptance of all the information provided or confirmed, and constitutes a legally binding digital signature?

14)  Describe how the system validates the information provided by the user.  Please include the following:

a)  A description of how the system validates internal consistency of each form,
b) A description of which account holder information (e.g. account master file) or third-party information is used to validate data gathered during the EW-8 interview process, and
c) A list of all EW-8 data fields validated and an explanation of which fields are validated against which specific account holder or third-party information.

15)  Describe what processes (including manual processes) are used to assist the user in completing a form when it initially fails system validation.  Please categorize the processes by cause of failure.  Indicate what records are kept of such processes and of the ultimate results.

Questions regarding the Electronic W-8 Program should be directed to Ashton Ellis, Technical Advisor – Qualified Intermediary, by phone at (212) 298-2283, or by FAX at (212) 298-2106.

Paperwork Reduction Act Notice
We ask for this information to carry out the laws of the United States.  Treas. Reg. §1.1441-1(e)(4)(iv) provides that a withholding agent may establish a system for a beneficial owner to electronically furnish a Form W-8 or an acceptable substitute Form W-8.  Withholding agents with systems that electronically collect Forms W-8 may voluntarily choose to participate in the IRS EW-8 MOU Program.  We use the information requested on this application to determine your eligibility to enter into a memorandum of understanding.  You are not required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number.  Books or records relating to a form or its instructions must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue law.  The time needed to complete the form will vary depending on individual circumstances.  The estimated average time for completing this form is 45 minutes.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-Nov-2014