26 C.F.R. § 1.1441-8   Exemption from withholding for payments to foreign governments, international organizations, foreign central banks of issue, and the Bank for International Settlements.


Title 26 - Internal Revenue


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES
Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations and Tax-Free Covenant Bonds

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§ 1.1441-8   Exemption from withholding for payments to foreign governments, international organizations, foreign central banks of issue, and the Bank for International Settlements.

(a) Foreign governments. Under section 892, certain specific types of income received by foreign governments are excluded from gross income and are exempt from taxation, unless derived from the conduct of a commercial activity or received from or by a controlled commercial entity. Accordingly, withholding is not required under §1.1441.1 with regard to any item of income which is exempt from taxation under section 892.

(b) Reliance on claim of exemption by foreign government. Absent actual knowledge or reason to know otherwise, the withholding agent may rely upon a claim of exemption made by the foreign government if, prior to the payment, the withholding agent can reliably associate the payment with documentation upon which it can rely to treat the payment as made to a beneficial owner in accordance with §1.1441–1(e)(1)(ii). A Form W–8 furnished by a foreign government for purposes of claiming an exemption under this paragraph (b) is valid only if, in addition to other applicable requirements, it certifies that the income is, or will be, exempt from taxation under section 892 and the regulations under that section and whether the person whose name is on the certificate is an integral part of a foreign government (as defined in §1.892–2T(a)(2)) or a controlled entity (as defined in §1.892–2T(a)(3)).

(c) Income of a foreign central bank of issue or the Bank for International Settlements—(1) Certain interest income. Section 895 provides for the exclusion from gross income of certain income derived by a foreign central bank of issue, or by the Bank for International Settlements, from obligations of the United States or of any agency or instrumentality thereof or from interest on deposits with persons carrying on the banking business if the bank is the owner of the obligations or deposits and does not hold the obligations or deposits for, or use them in connection with, the conduct of a commercial banking function or other commercial activity by such bank. See §1.895–1. Absent actual knowledge or reason to know that a foreign central bank of issue, or the Bank for International Settlements, is operating outside the scope of the exclusion granted by section 895 and the regulations under that section, the withholding agent may rely on a claim of exemption if, prior to the payment, the withholding agent can reliably associate the payment with documentation upon which it can rely to treat the foreign central bank of issue or the Bank for International Settlements as the beneficial owner of the payment in accordance with §1.1441–1(e)(1)(ii). A Form W–8 furnished by a foreign central bank of issue or the Bank for International Settlements for purposes of claiming an exemption under this paragraph (c)(1) is valid only if, in addition to other applicable requirements, it certifies that the person whose name is on the certificate is a foreign central bank of issue, or the Bank for International Settlements, and that the bank does not, and will not, hold the obligations or the bank deposits covered by the Form W–8 for, or use them in connection with, the conduct of a commercial banking function or other commercial activity.

(2) Bankers acceptances. Interest derived by a foreign central bank of issue from bankers acceptances is exempt from tax under sections 871(i)(2)(C) and 881(d) and §1.861–2(b)(4). With respect to bankers' acceptances, a withholding agent may treat a payee as a foreign central bank of issue without requiring a withholding certificate if the name of the payee and other facts surrounding the payment reasonably indicate that the payee or beneficial owner is a foreign central bank of issue, as defined in §1.861–2(b)(4).

(d) Exemption for payments to international organizations. A payment to an international organization (within the meaning of section 7701(a)(18)) is exempt from withholding on any payment. A withholding agent may treat a payee as an international organization without requiring a withholding certificate if the name of the payee is one that is designated as an international organization by executive order (pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 288 through 288(f)) and other facts surrounding the transaction reasonably indicate that the international organization is the beneficial owner of the payment.

(e) Failure to receive withholding certificate timely and other applicable procedures. See applicable procedures described in §1.1441–1(b)(7) in the event the withholding agent does not hold a valid withholding certificate described in paragraph (b) or (c)(1) of this section or other appropriate documentation at the time of payment. Further, the provisions of §1.1441–1(e)(4) shall apply to withholding certificates and other documents related thereto furnished under the provisions of this section.

(f) Effective date—(1) In general. This section applies to payments made after December 31, 2000.

(2) Transition rules. For purposes of this section, the validity of a Form 8709 that was valid on January 1, 1998, under the regulations in effect prior to January 1, 2001 (see 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 1999) and expired, or will expire, at any time during 1998, is extended until December 31, 1998. The validity of a Form 8709 that is valid on or after January 1, 1999, remains valid until its validity expires under the regulations in effect prior to January 1, 2001 (see 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 1999) but in no event shall such a form remain valid after December 31, 2000. The rule in this paragraph (f)(2), however, does not apply to extend the validity period of a Form 8709 that expires solely by reason of changes in the circumstances of the person whose name is on the certificate. Notwithstanding the first three sentences of this paragraph (f)(2), a withholding agent may choose to not take advantage of the transition rule in this paragraph (f)(2) with respect to one or more withholding certificates valid under the regulations in effect prior to January 1, 2001 (see 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 1999) and, therefore, to require withholding certificates conforming to the requirements described in this section (new withholding certificates). For purposes of this section, a new withholding certificate is deemed to satisfy the documentation requirement under the regulations in effect prior to January 1, 2001 (see 26 CFR part 1, revised April 1, 1999). Further, a new withholding certificate remains valid for the period specified in §1.1441–1(e)(4)(ii), regardless of when the certificate is obtained.

[T.D. 8211, 53 FR 24066, June 27, 1988, as amended at T.D. 8211, 53 FR 27595, July 21, 1988; Redesignated and amended by T.D. 8734, 62 FR 53464, Oct. 14, 1997; T.D. 8804, 63 FR 72185, Dec. 31, 1998; 64 FR 73410, Dec. 30, 1999]

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