Indirect Account Holders
A financial institution that receives documentation from a payee through a nonqualified intermediary, a flow-through entity, or a U.S. branch of a foreign bank or insurance company subject to U.S. or state regulatory supervision has reason to know that the documentary evidence is unreliable or incorrect if a reasonably prudent person in the financial institution's position would question the claims made. This standard requires, but is not limited to, compliance with the following rules.
You must review the withholding statement provided with Form W-8IMY (PDF) and may not rely on allocation or withholding information in the statement to the extent the information does not support the claims made for a payee with attached withholding certificates or documentary evidence and supporting statements. You may not treat a payee as a foreign person if a U.S. address is provided for the payee. You may not treat a person as a resident of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty if the address for the person is outside the treaty country.
You may, however, treat a payee as a foreign person and may treat a foreign person as a resident of a treaty country if a reasonable explanation is provided, in writing, by the nonqualified intermediary, flow-through entity, or U.S. branch.
If you receive a Form W-8 for a payee in association with a Form W-8IMY, you must review each Form W-8 and verify that the information is consistent with the information on the withholding statement. If there is a discrepancy, you may rely on the Form W-8, if valid, and instruct the nonqualified intermediary, flow- through entity, or U.S. branch to correct the withholding statement, or, alternatively, you may apply the presumption rules to the payee.
If you receive documentary evidence for a payee in association with a Form W-8IMY, you must review the documentary evidence provided by the nonqualified intermediary, flow- through entity or U.S. branch to determine that there is no obvious indication that the payee is a U.S. person subject to Form 1099 reporting or that the documentary evidence does not establish the identity of the person who provided the documentation (for example, the documentary evidence does not appear to be an identification document).