26 CFR 601.206 - Certification required to obtain reduced foreign tax rates under income tax treaties.
(a) Basis of certification. Most of the income tax treaties between the United States and foreign countries provide for either a reduction in the statutory rate of tax or an exemption from tax on certain types of income received from sources within the foreign treaty country by citizens, domestic corporations, and residents of the United States. Some of the treaty countries reduce the withholding tax on such types of income or exempt the income from withholding tax after the claimant furnishes evidence that he is entitled to the benefits of the treaty. Other countries initially withhold the tax at statutory rates and refund the excess tax withheld after satisfactory evidence of U.S. residence has been accepted. As part of the proof that the applicant is a resident of the United States and thus entitled to the benefits of the treaty, he must usually furnish a certification from the U.S. Government that he has filed a U.S. income tax return as a citizen, domestic corporation, or resident of the United States.
(b) Procedure for obtaining the certification. Most of the treaty countries which require certification have printed special forms. The forms contain a series of questions to be answered by the taxpayer claiming the benefits of the treaty, followed by a statement which the foreign governments use for the U.S. taxing authority's certification. This certification may be obtained from the office of the district director of the district in which the claimant filed his latest income tax return. Some certification forms are acceptable for Service execution; however, others cannot be executed by the Service without revision. In these instances the office of the district director will prepare its own document of certification in accordance with internal instructions. This procedure has been accepted by most treaty countries as a satisfactory substitute.
(c) Obtaining the official certification forms. The forms may be obtained from the foreign payor, the tax authority of the treaty country involved, or the District Office, Foreign Operations District.