If you are not a U.S. citizen or entity formed within the U.S. and have an account with Interactive Brokers, you are requested to declare your citizenship or country of formation with the US tax authority (IRS). This declaration can be done online by correctly filling out the W-8BEN form. Filling out this form is an easy process that only takes a few minutes. In the short movie below, we show you where to find the W-8BEN in your IB account management and how to fill it out.
If you fail to declare your foreign citizenship or country of formation, and IB does not have a valid W-8BEN form on file, you are presumed to be a US person/entity without a proper tax certification. As a US person/entity, you will be subject to backup withholding at a rate of 28% on interest, dividends, and substitute payments in lieu; as well as gross proceeds.
Every 3 years the IRS requires a re-certification of the W-8BEN form. IB will ask the beneficial account owner to re-certify their foreign status by re-signing the W8-BEN in order to continue their status as a foreign person and claim the tax treaty benefits. If you experience any problems or have questions regarding the W-8BEN form or how IB handles Non-US persons and entities, select this Tax Information and Reporting link and choose the tab Non-US Persons and Entities or consult the following IRS information page for more details: www.irs.gov/instructions/iw8/ch02.html
Understanding the basic facts about transferring accounts between US brokerage firms can be help to avoid delays. Through this article and other Knowledge Database resources, Interactive Brokers seeks to assist with your incoming and outgoing ACATS requests.
US brokerage firms utilize a standardized system to transfer customer accounts from one firm to another. Known as the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service or ACATS, the process allows assets to move seamlessly between brokerage firms in a unified time frame. ACATS transfers are facilitated by a third party, the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC), to assist participating members with timely asset transfers.
The majority of assets may be transferred between US brokerage firms and some banks through ACATS. This standardized system includes stocks, US corporate bonds, listed options, unit investment trusts, mutual funds, and cash. Information on assets eligible for transfer is provided at "Assets Eligible..." Though impacted by multiple factors and time constraints, the accepted or rejected transfers finalize within 10 business days in most cases.
4 simple steps of the ACATS process will help you understand the flow and minimize delays. Familiarizing yourself with the transfer process helps to ensure a successful transition.
The financial institution that is receiving your assets and account transfer is known as the "receiving firm." Investors always work with and through the "receiving firm" to move full or partial account assets into a new broker.
Contact the "receiving firm" (Interactive Brokers) to review the firm's trading policies and requirements. You should verify that your assets are eligible for trading at the "receiving firm" before initiating the transfer request. Not all ACATS transferable assets are acceptable for trading at every brokerage firm.
All outgoing ACATS transfers, full or partial, must be approved by the "delivering firm." Investors, however, should work with and through the "receiving firm" in order to begin the the transfer process or to status the progress of the request.
Investors must always begin the ACATS transfer with the "receiving firm." An ACATS transfer form or Transfer Initiation Form (TIF) must be submitted. The "receiving firm" takes your reqeust and communicates with the "delivering firm" via ACATS. The process begins with this request for transfer of the account.
For your Interactive Brokers Account, the transfer is usually submitted online. Video instruction on submitting the transfer is provided at "How to deposit funds via a full ACATS/ATON Transfer." or through Step-by-step instructions.
Note: Outgoing account transfers from your IB account should be directed to the other broker. Your request will be submitted to IB from the other broker through the ACATS electronically.
Brokers ensure the safety and security of transfer requests by only authorizing requests between open accounts that meet the following criteria:
Ultimately responsible for validating the transfer, the "delivering firm" may accept information from the "receiving firm" correcting data originally entered. Approved or validated requests result in the delivery of positions to the "receiving firm" for their acceptance. Assets may not be accepted by the "receiving firm" for the following:
Note: The most common reasons for ACATS rejections are outlined by clicking here.
The processing time for each transfer request is fixed. In general, approved transfers complete within 4 to 8 business days. Almost all transfers complete within 10 business days. Each firm is required to perform certain steps at specific intervals in the process. Feel free to review the Full ACATS transfer process flow.
While Interactive Brokers does not charge a fee to transfer your account via ACATS, some brokers do apply a fee for full and partial transfers. Prior to initiating your transfer, you should contact the "delivering firm" to verify any charge.
Interactive Brokers Customer Service stands poised to assist with your incoming ACATS transfer reqeust. Click here for Customer Service contact resources.
Note: Outgoing or ACATS transfers sending accounts to another broker should be directed to the "receiving firm." Their Account Transfer Group will work with Interactive Brokers directly to complete your outgoing request.
Income payments (dividends and payment in lieu) from U.S. sources into your IB account may have U.S. tax withheld. Generally, a 30% rate is applied to non-U.S. accounts. Exemption from the withholding or a lower rate may apply if your home country has a tax treaty with the U.S. Complete the applicable Form W-8 to find out your status.
U.S. tax treaties with some countries have different benefits. Legal tax residents of the following countries may be eligible for the treaty benefits. Below is a list of the tax treaty countries. Benefits vary by country.
|Barbados||Estonia||Israel||Romania||Trinidad & Tobago|
|China, People's Rep. Of||Greece||Kazakhstan||South Africa||United Kingdom|
|Commonwealth of Ind. States||Hungary||Korea, Rep. of||Spain||Venezuela|
*Country list as of April 2009
Refer to IRS Publication 901 for details on withholding rates for your tax residence country and your eligible benefits.
3 simple questions can help you choose a tax certification form. Read the questions and select the form. For more detailed help, see Tax Information & Reporting.
|• U.S. Citizen||• U.S. Business or Organization|
|• U.S. Green Card Holder||• U.S. Domestic Trust|
|• U.S. Legal Resident|
If the answer is YES, complete Form W-9
If the answer is NO, go to # 2.
|• H-1B Visa Holder||• TN Visa Holder
|• O-1 Visa Holder|
If the answer is YES, find your status by the "substantial presence test." See More U.S. Legal Resident Info
If the answer is NO, go to # 3.
*Question does Not apply to U.S. Citizens/Entities or Green Card Holders
|• Permanent Home Outside of U.S||• Entity Formed Outside of U.S.|
|•Business or Organization formed outside of U.S.|
If the answer is YES, complete Form W-8 (U.S. Citizens, Green Card Holders, and Entities still complete the W-9.)
NOT SURE because you work, live, or study in the U.S. then, see More U.S. Legal Resident Info
Disclaimer: IB does not provide tax advice. These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax adviser or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Filling out a tax certification form is required to open an IB account. The forms confirm your tax status in relation to the United States. Information provided by you may lower or exempt the U.S. tax withholding on your account.
This article will help you to:
►Choose the correct certification form ►Find your tax treaty benefits
►Fill out and submit your form online ►Answer tax certification questions
Which Form Do You Pick?
Tax Treaty Benefits
Management of account activity differs for each account type. IB is a U.S. broker and must follow U.S. guidelines. 3 simple questions help you choose the right form
Some countries have a tax treaty with the U.S. Find out if you benefit from a lower tax-withholding rate. Tax Treaty Benefit Info
Filling Out The Form
Tax Certification – FAQ’s
|The certification form is direct. Supply basic account information on the true owner of the assets or entity. Select W-9 Instructions or W-8 Instructions for help.||Seek professional advice for tax questions. These common questions and answers may help you make an informed decision. Tax Certification - Frequently Asked Questions|
Disclaimer: IB does not provide tax advice. These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax advisor or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
This information is for general educational purposes only. Individuals should consult with their financial adviser or legal counsel to determine how rollover regulations affect their unique situations.
Generally, an investor changing jobs or leaving the workforce may utilize either a Direct Rollover election to continue their retirement savings outside of their employer-sponsored retirement plan. Assets distributed directly to your IRA from the retirement plan may qualify as a Direct Rollover.
What is a Direct Rollover?
The Direct Rollover is a tax-free distribution to you of cash or other assets from one retirement plan that you contribute to another retirement plan, including an IRA. The contribution to the IRA is called a rollover contribution. The Direct Rollover method transfers the assets directly from the retirement plan (and not to the IRA owner) into the investor's IRA, avoiding the 20% mandatory IRS withholding. This option to transfer retirement assets has no age limitations.
Eligible retirement plans include:
Who do you contact first?
Contact your retirement plan administrator or the human resources office for eligibility and requirements. The plan administrator is required to provide a reasonable direct method of asset transfer. Completion of an IRA Rollover Form provided by the administrator may be required, in some cases. In other cases, the plan accepts an IRA Rollover Form supplied by your IRA's broker. Therefore, it is important to check with the plan administrator.
Initiating your Direct Rollover through IB
For those transfers that require a broker-supplied IRA Rollover Form, Interactive Brokers provides a convenient IRA Rollover Form. Interactive Brokers will forward the request to the plan administrator or broker for processing. Funds may be transferred by either wire transfer or check directly to Interactive Brokers.
Before accepting an IRA rollover transaction into an IRA, we require that you review your eligibility for the rollover and certify your understanding of the rollover rules and conditions. The IRA Rollover Form includes the Rollover Form and an IRA Rollover Certification Form.
The Fund Transfers page within the Account Management lets you notify IB of an IRA Rollover deposit of funds into your account. Select the Funding tab in the header link and choose Deposit Funds in the Transaction list. In the Method list, select Direct Rollover. Complete, sign, and return both forms to the Interactive Brokers address on the form.
Contact Customer Service with any additional questions.
In compliance with Treasury Department Circular 230, unless stated to the contrary, any information contained in this article was not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer.