A non-U.S. financial intermediary with the status of QI can certify treaty residence and/or non-U.S. residence on behalf of its direct clients and therefore obtain a reduced rate of U.S. withholding for its direct non-U.S. customers without revealing their identity (either to upstream custodians or the IRS).

Generally a QI can fulfill the documentation requirements of the QI regime by complying with local know-your-customer (KYC) rules, such as anti-money laundering rules. As such, the QI regime provides for a simplified documentation process.

Other benefits include the ability to obtain a refund of over-withholding on behalf of direct clients.