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Sec. 1.6041-4 Foreign-related items and other exceptions.

(a) Exempted foreign-related items

(1) Returns of information are not required for payments that a payor can, prior to payment, reliably associate with documentation upon which it may rely to treat as made to a foreign beneficial owner in accordance with § 1.1441-1(e)(1)(ii) or as made to a foreign payee in accordance with § 1.6049-5(d)(1) or presumed to be made to a foreign payee under § 1.6049-5(d) (2), (3), (4), or (5). Returns of information are also not required for a payment that a payor or middleman can, prior to payment, reliably associate with documentation upon which it may rely to treat as made to a foreign intermediary or flow-through entity in accordance with § 1.1441-1(b) if it obtains from the intermediary or flow-through entity a withholding statement described in § 1.6049-5(b)(14) that allocates the payment to a chapter 4 withholding rate pool (as defined in § 1.6049-4(f)(5)) or specific payees to which withholding applies under chapter 4. Payments excepted from reporting under this paragraph (a)(1) may be reportable, for purposes of chapter 3 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), under § 1.1461-1(b) and (c) and, for purposes of chapter 4 of the Code, under § 1.1474-1(d)(2). The provisions in § 1.6049-5(c) regarding documentation of foreign status shall apply for purposes of this paragraph (a)(1). The provisions in § 1.6049-5(c)(5) regarding the definitions of U.S. payor and non-U.S. payor shall also apply for purposes of this paragraph (a)(1). See § 1.1441-1(b)(3)(iii)(B) and (C) for special payee rules regarding scholarships, grants, pensions, annuities, etc. The provisions of § 1.1441-1 shall apply by substituting the term “payor” for the term “withholding agent” and without regard to the fact that the provisions apply only to amounts subject to withholding under chapter 3 of the Code and the regulations under that chapter.

(2) Returns of information are not required for payments of amounts from sources outside the United States (determined under the provisions of part I, subchapter N, chapter 1 of the Code and the regulations under those provisions) paid by a non-U.S. payor or non-U.S. middleman and that are paid and received outside the United States. For a definition of non-U.S. payor and non-U.S. middleman, see §1.6049-5(c)(5). For circumstances in which an amount is considered to be paid and received outside the United States, see §1.6049-4(f)(16).

(3) If a foreign intermediary, as described in §1.1441-1(c)(13), or a U.S. branch that is not treated as a U.S. person receives a payment from a payor, which payment the payor can reliably associate with a valid withholding certificate described in §1.1441-1(e)(3)(ii) or (iii), or §1.1441-1(e)(3)(v), respectively, furnished by such intermediary or branch, then the intermediary or branch is not required to report such payment when it, in turn, pays the amount, unless, and to the extent, the intermediary or branch knows that the payment is required to be reported under this section and was not so reported. For example, if a U.S. branch described in §1.1441-1(b)(2)(iv) fails to provide information regarding U.S. persons that are not exempt from reporting under §1.6041-3(q) to the person from whom the U.S. branch receives the payment, the U.S. branch must report the payment on an information return. See, however, paragraph (a)(7) of this section for when reporting under section 6041 is coordinated with reporting under chapter 4 of the Code or an applicable IGA (as defined in §1.6049-4(f)(7)). The exception described in this paragraph (a)(3) for amounts paid by a foreign intermediary shall not apply to a qualified intermediary that assumes reporting responsibility under chapter 61 of the Code with respect to amounts reportable under the agreement described in §1.1441-1(e)(5)(iii).

(4) Returns of information are not required for amounts paid with respect to notional principal contracts referred to in section 1.863-7 or 1.988-2(e) which the payor may treat as effectively connected income of a foreign payee under the provisions of section 1.1441-4(a)(3) or if the payee provides a representation in a master agreement that governs the transactions in notional principal contracts between the parties (for example, an International Swap and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Agreement, including the Schedule thereto) or in the confirmation on the particular notional principal contract transaction that the counterparty is a foreign person. See, however, section 1.1461-1(c)(2)(i) for applicable reporting requirements.

(5) Returns of information are not required for the period that the amounts paid represent assets blocked as described in section 1.1441-2(e)(3). The exemption in this paragraph (a)(5) shall terminate when payment is deemed to occur in accordance with the provisions of section 1.1441-2(e)(3).

(6) For rules concerning direct sellers, see section 1.6041A-1(d)(3)(i)(C).

(7) Returns of information are not required for payments with respect to which a return is not required by applying the rules of §1.6049-4(c)(4) (by substituting the term “a payment subject to reporting under section 6041” for the term “an interest payment”).

(b) Joint owners.

Amounts paid to joint owners for which a certificate or documentation is required as a condition for being exempt from reporting under paragraph (a) of this section are presumed made to U.S. payees who are not exempt recipients if, prior to payment, the payor or middleman cannot reliably associate the payment either with a Form W-9 furnished by one of the joint owners in the manner required in §§31.3406(d)-1 through 31.3406(d)-5, or with documentation described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section furnished by each joint owner upon which the payor or middleman can rely to treat each joint owner as a foreign payee or foreign beneficial owner. However, in the case of a withholdable payment (as defined in §1.6049-4(f)(15)) made to joint payees, if any joint payee does not appear to be an individual, the payment is presumed made to a foreign payee that is a nonparticipating FFI (as defined in §1.1471-1(b)(82)). See §1.1471-3(f)(7).

(c) Conversion into United States dollars of amounts paid in foreign currency.

For rules concerning foreign currency conversion, see section 1.6049-4(d)(3)(i).

(d) Effective/applicability date.

This section applies to payments made on or after January 6, 2017. (For payments made after June 30, 2014, and before January 6, 2017, see this section as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1, as revised April 1, 2016. For payments made after December 31, 2002, and before July 1, 2014, see this section as in effect and contained in 26 CFR part 1, as revised April 1, 2013.)

[Adopted by T.D. 6364, 24 FR 1178, Feb. 17, 1959; republished by T.D. 6500, 25 FR 12108, Nov. 26, 1960, as amended by T.D. 8734, 62 FR 53387-53498, Oct. 14, 1997; T.D. 8804, 63 FR 72183-72189, Dec. 31, 1998; T.D. 8856, 64 FR 43408-73413, Dec. 30, 1999; T.D. 8881, 65 FR 32151-32212, May 22, 2000; T.D. 9658, 79 FR 12725-12809, Mar. 6, 2014; amended by T.D. 9808, 82 FR 2046-2122, Jan. 6, 2017.]

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