What is AQAI? 

AQAI, or the Association of Qualified & Authorised Intermediaries, is a newly formed not-for-profit unincorporated industry association established to represent the interests of regulated financial firms that have adopted qualified or authorized status with a Competent Authority, such as the United States Internal Revenue Service or the Finnish Vero Skatt. Once the European Union FASTER Directive comes into force in 2027, the Association will be liaising with any EU Member State Competent Authority that chooses tax relief at source and all the financial institutions in other Member States that choose to be withholding agents under FASTER. 

Why does the industry need AQAI? 

Up to now, the needs of QIs tend to have been represented by banking, custody or brokerage associations. They do a great job representing their members, but tax is not usually at the core of what they do for their members and each type of association will have different perspectives on major issues. AQAI will represent its members when they take on legal or regulatory obligations under one of the pillars of global tax. 

What will AQAI do? 

AQAI is set up with a management committee and a number of standing sub-committees to conduct its work. Most of that work will be information gathering from the membership about issues and opportunities they want to raise with regulators like the IRS. That will be followed by outreach and engagement with the regulators to put the industry perspective and make recommendations for improvement. 

What does it cost to join? 

There will be no joining fee in the first year, although the Management committee may decide that a subscription would be proper in subsequent years, in order to fund things like a website and publication of white papers. If subscriptions are proposed, they will be agreed upon by the membership.  

How do I apply to be a member? 

Membership is at the corporate level, so it’s the financial firm that is the member. Each member appoints a representative to work alongside their colleagues on committees. To apply, just complete the application form here and your application will be reviewed by the Management Committee. 

I am an independent contractor, can I still join? 

Yes. If you are an independent contractor, a software firm, or a tax services or accounting firm, as long as you have experience in the qualified or authorized intermediary sector, you can apply to join the Association.