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Introducing WTax’s Custodian Tax Product Offering

Introducing WTax’s Custodian Tax Product Offering

Jan 10, 2023

For the last two decades, WTax has been at the forefront of providing end-investors with access to tax technical expertise and expedited reclaim processing through proprietary reclaim technology, ensuring any eligible tax yield is obtained and the associated administrative burden of the ever-evolving and complex withholding tax reclaim process is alleviated.

Throughout this time, WTax has built strong working relationships and operational workflows with foreign tax authorities and over 150 custodians, brokers and International Central Securities Depositories (ICSDs) globally. WTax’s global expansion has translated into a thorough understanding of the custody tax process and an acute awareness of the challenges custodians often face when it comes to delivering agile tax service solutions within the heightened sensitivity of time-to-market delivery.

The inherent agile nature of WTax’s business, which is built on a panoply of expertise, ranging from tax technical to technology, with the added value of our in-house-built technology, has positioned WTax as a leader in global withholding tax recovery and organically presented us with new opportunities to develop tax relief solutions for Custodian banks and similar financial intermediaries, such as Brokers and ICSDs. WTax’s Custodian Tax Product suite demonstrates further development and investment into our existing Tax Reclaim and Relief at Source services and trying to express that our investment whilst navigating through constant international tax legislation changes.

Additionally, WTax is thrilled to have hired Caroline Ashkboos to spearhead the expansion of this business initiative and to continue WTax’s proactive approach to identifying new custodian product opportunities as soon as market-need and opportunity is detected. Caroline is a custody tax product veteran, having worked in custody tax for more than 15 years, more recently at BNY Mellon and began her career with BNP Paribas. Caroline shares her thoughts on her months at WTax: “After almost four months with WTax, and having spent many years of my career working for two major global custodians, the added value WTax is able to provide custodians and similar financial intermediaries across the industry is striking. Although withholding tax is our core business whereby we have a wealth of expertise in this domain, agile technology is at the forefront of our strengths. With the two combined, I am convinced WTax can assist custodians in strengthening their tax product strategy and overcoming frequent challenges that are often faced within tax service workflows and beyond, which will enhance client experience, mitigate risks and minimise costs.”

A summary of WTax’s Custodian Tax Product Solutions to support Custodians withholding tax relief and reclaim functions is as follows, with further expansion throughout 2023:

Custodian Tax Product Overview
Tax Form Pre-Population An automated solution to assist custodians with the pre-population of global tax forms and any accompanying tax documents on behalf of their clients for the purpose of withholding tax relief applications.
Tax Integrity (Risk) Reporting Automated tools for Custodian Banks to enhance their risk mitigation and reporting frameworks in response to increasingly complex global tax compliance requirements and tax authority scrutiny. These tools include:

– Health Checks on Beneficial Owners
– Health Checks on Tax Rate Tables
– Tax Reclaim Accrual Checks
– Health checks for potential tax fraud detection
Ad-hoc Tax Services A subset of tax relief support solutions that are often challenging to implement within Custodians’ systems and operating models, but yet are in demand from end-clients as they offer an opportunity for maximised withholding tax reclaim yield. These solutions include:

– Reclaims on non-cash corporate action events
– Reclaims on substantial holdings
– Below minimum reclaim amount (MRA) submissions
– No tax service markets
– Cross-border reclaims
– Migration support
Tax Authority Query Management Due to the increasingly complex global tax compliance requirements and tax authority scrutiny impacting the volumes of Tax Authority queries, alongside internal challenges in meeting response deadlines set by Tax Authorities, WTax can assist by providing Custodian Banks with an outsourced service offering to manage Tax Authority Query responses.
Outsourced Tax Service Function A comprehensive suite of sophisticated, outsourced withholding tax relief and reclaim services that are customisable in terms of operational models, market coverage and claim type (Treaty and/or Legal precedent claims). WTax’s Outsourced Tax Service Function offering is a comprehensive offer that incorporates all the above services in one end-to-end solution.

For more information on WTax’s Custodian Tax Products, please contact Stephanie Buchanan Thomas, Strategic Partnerships Director, at stephanieb@wtax.co.