26 CFR § 1.529A-7 - Electronic furnishing of statements to designated beneficiaries and contributors.

§ 1.529A-7 Electronic furnishing of statements to designated beneficiaries and contributors.

(a) Electronic furnishing of statements -

(1) In general. A filer required under § 1.529A-5 or § 1.529A-6 to furnish a written statement to a designated beneficiary of or contributor to an ABLE account may furnish the statement in an electronic format in lieu of a paper format. A filer who meets the requirements of paragraphs (a)(2) through (6) of this section is treated as furnishing the required statement.

(2) Consent -

(i) In general. The recipient of the statement must have affirmatively consented to receive the statement in an electronic format. The consent may be made electronically in any manner that reasonably demonstrates that the recipient can access the statement in the electronic format in which it will be furnished to the recipient. Alternatively, the consent may be made in a paper document if it is confirmed electronically.

(ii) Withdrawal of consent. The consent requirement of this paragraph (a)(2) is not satisfied if the recipient withdraws the consent and the withdrawal takes effect before the statement is furnished. The filer may provide that a withdrawal of consent takes effect either on the date it is received by the filer or on another date no more than 60 days later. The filer also may provide that a request for a paper statement will be treated as a withdrawal of consent.

(iii) Change in hardware or software requirements. If a change in the hardware or software required to access the statement creates a material risk that the recipient will not be able to access the statement, the filer must, prior to changing the hardware or software, provide the recipient with a notice. The notice must describe the revised hardware and software required to access the statement and inform the recipient that a new consent to receive the statement in the revised electronic format must be provided to the filer if the recipient does not want to withdraw the consent. After implementing the revised hardware and software, the filer must obtain from the recipient, in the manner described in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, a new consent or confirmation of consent to receive the statement electronically.

(iv) Examples. For purposes of the following examples that illustrate the rules of this paragraph (a)(2), assume that the requirements of § 1.529A-7(a)(3) have been met:

(A) Example 1. Filer F sends Recipient R a letter stating that R may consent to receive statements required under § 1.529A-5 or § 1.529A-6 electronically on a website instead of in a paper format. The letter contains instructions explaining how to consent to receive the statements electronically by accessing the website, downloading the consent document, completing the consent document, and emailing the completed consent back to F. The consent document posted on the website uses the same electronic format that F will use for the electronically furnished statements. R reads the instructions and submits the consent in the manner provided in the instructions. R has consented to receive the statements electronically in the manner described in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(B) Example 2. Filer F sends Recipient R an email stating that R may consent to receive statements required under § 1.529A-5 or § 1.529A-6 electronically instead of in a paper format. The email contains an attachment instructing R how to consent to receive the statements electronically. The email attachment uses the same electronic format that F will use for the electronically furnished statements. R opens the attachment, reads the instructions, and submits the consent in the manner provided in the instructions. R has consented to receive the statements electronically in the manner described in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(C) Example 3. Filer F posts a notice on its website stating that Recipient R may receive statements required under § 1.529A-5 or § 1.529A-6 electronically instead of in a paper format. The website contains instructions on how R may access a secure web page and consent to receive the statements electronically. By accessing the secure web page and giving consent, R has consented to receive the statements electronically in the manner described in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) Required disclosures -

(i) In general. Prior to, or at the time of, a recipient's consent, the filer must provide to the recipient a clear and conspicuous disclosure statement containing each of the disclosures described in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) through (viii) of this section.

(ii) Paper statement. The recipient must be informed that the statement will be furnished on paper if the recipient does not consent to receive it electronically.

(iii) Scope and duration of consent. The recipient must be informed of the scope and duration of the consent. For example, the recipient must be informed whether the consent applies to statements furnished every year after the consent is given until it is withdrawn in the manner described in paragraph (a)(3)(v)(A) of this section, or only to the statement required to be furnished on or before the due date immediately following the date on which the consent is given.

(iv) Post-consent request for a paper statement. The recipient must be informed of any procedure for obtaining a paper copy of the recipient's statement after giving the consent and whether a request for a paper statement will be treated as a withdrawal of consent.

(v) Withdrawal of consent. The recipient must be informed that -

(A) The recipient may withdraw a consent by writing (electronically or on paper) to the person or department whose name, mailing address, and email address is provided in the disclosure statement;

(B) The filer will confirm, in writing (electronically or on paper), the withdrawal and the date on which it takes effect; and

(C) A withdrawal of consent does not apply to a statement that was furnished electronically in the manner described in this paragraph (a) before the date on which the withdrawal of consent takes effect.

(vi) Notice of termination. The recipient must be informed of the conditions under which a filer will cease furnishing statements electronically to the recipient.

(vii) Updating information. The recipient must be informed of the procedures for updating the information needed by the filer to contact the recipient. The filer must inform the recipient of any change in the filer's contact information.

(viii) Hardware and software requirements. The recipient must be provided with a description of the hardware and software required to access, print, and retain the statement, and the date when the statement will no longer be available on the website.

(4) Format. The electronic version of the statement must contain all required information. See Publication 1179, “General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms 1096, 1098, 1099, 5498, and Certain Other Information Returns.”

(5) Notice -

(i) In general. If the statement is furnished on a website, the filer must notify the recipient that the statement is posted on a website. The notice may be delivered by mail, electronic mail, or in person. The notice must provide instructions on how to access and print the statement. The notice must include the following statement in capital letters, “IMPORTANT TAX RETURN DOCUMENT AVAILABLE.” If the notice is provided by electronic mail, the foregoing statement must be in the subject line of the electronic mail.

(ii) Undeliverable electronic address. If an electronic notice described in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section is returned as undeliverable, and the correct electronic address cannot be obtained from the filer's records or from the recipient, then the filer must furnish the notice by mail or in person within 30 days after the electronic notice is returned.

(iii) Corrected statements. If the filer has corrected a recipient's statement that was furnished electronically, the filer must furnish the corrected statement to the recipient electronically. If the recipient's statement was furnished through a website posting and the filer has corrected the statement, the filer must notify the recipient that it has posted the corrected statement on the website within 30 days of such posting in the manner described in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section. The corrected statement or the notice must be furnished by mail or in person if -

(A) An electronic notice of the website posting of an original statement or the corrected statement was returned as undeliverable; and

(B) The recipient has not provided a new email address.

(6) Access period. Statements furnished on a website must be retained on the website through October 15 of the year following the calendar year to which the statements relate (or the first business day after such October 15 if October 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday). The filer must maintain access to corrected statements that are posted on the website through October 15 of the year following the calendar year to which the statements relate (or the first business day after such October 15 if October 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday) or the date 90 days after the corrected statements are posted, whichever is later. The rules in this paragraph (a)(6) do not replace the filer's obligation to keep records under section 6001 and § 1.6001-1(a).

(b) Applicability date. This section applies to statements required to be furnished after December 31, 2020. See § 1.529A-8 for the provision of transition relief.

The following state regulations pages link to this page.