Furnish Specified Information - ISDA Provision

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2002 ISDA Master Agreement
A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual

Section 4(a) in a Nutshell
Use at your own risk, campers!

4(a) Furnish Specified Information. It will deliver to the other party (or to such government or taxing authority as it reasonably directs):—

(i) any tax documents specified in the Schedule or any Confirmation;
(ii) any other documents specified in the Schedule or any Confirmation; and
(iii) any other document the other party reasonably requests to minimise withholding tax on any payment (and which would not materially prejudice the provider’s position), if need be accurately completed and executed and delivered as specified in the Schedule or such Confirmation or, otherwise as soon as reasonably practicable.

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Section 4(a) in full

4(a) Furnish Specified Information. It will deliver to the other party or, in certain cases under clause (iii) below, to such government or taxing authority as the other party reasonably directs:―

(i) any forms, documents or certificates relating to taxation specified in the Schedule or any Confirmation;
(ii) any other documents specified in the Schedule or any Confirmation; and
(iii) upon reasonable demand by such other party, any form or document that may be required or reasonably requested in writing in order to allow such other party or its Credit Support Provider to make a payment under this Agreement or any applicable Credit Support Document without any deduction or withholding for or on account of any Tax or with such deduction or withholding at a reduced rate (so long as the completion, execution or submission of such form or document would not materially prejudice the legal or commercial position of the party in receipt of such demand), with any such form or document to be accurate and completed in a manner reasonably satisfactory to such other party and to be executed and to be delivered with any reasonably required certification, in each case by the date specified in the Schedule or such Confirmation or, if none is specified, as soon as reasonably practicable.

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Related agreements and comparisons

Related Agreements
Click here for the text of Section 4(a) in the 1992 ISDA
Comparisons
Click to compare this section in the 1992 ISDA and 2002 ISDA.

Resources and navigation

Resources Wikitext | Nutshell wikitext | 1992 ISDA wikitext | 2002 vs 1992 Showdown | 2006 ISDA Definitions | 2008 ISDA | JC’s ISDA code project
Navigation Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
Events of Default: 5(a)(i) Failure to Pay or Deliver5(a)(ii) Breach of Agreement5(a)(iii) Credit Support Default5(a)(iv) Misrepresentation5(a)(v) Default Under Specified Transaction5(a)(vi) Cross Default5(a)(vii) Bankruptcy5(a)(viii) Merger without Assumption
Termination Events: 5(b)(i) Illegality5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event5(b)(iii) Tax Event5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event

Index — Click ᐅ to expand:

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Content and comparisons

Section 4(a) of the 1992 ISDA is materially identical.
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Summary

Specified information” is not actually a defined term under the ISDA Master Agreement but merely a capitalised heading. In the JC’s book, capitalising a heading is borderline illiteracy, but ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ feels differently about it and we have learned which battles to pick. At any rate, the “Specified Information”, so called, is that stuff set out in the Schedule at Part 3. These are the documents that the parties agree to deliver to each other at certain times. Part 3 itemises what must be delivered, by whom, by when, and whether the Specified Information in question is covered by the Section 3(d) representation as to its accuracy and completeness. (What good would any information be that was not covered by that representation? We will let you amble over to the article on Section 3(d) to consider that.)

The Part 3 table will also totally bugger up the formatting in your document: it is a well-known fact that no ISDA negotiator on the face of the earth knows how to format a table in Microsoft Word.

Then again, nor does anyone else.
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General discussion

Not providing documents for delivery is an Event of Default ... eventually

The importance of promptly furnishing[1] the documents for delivery goes as follows:

The fabulous Section 3(d) representation, giving one’s counterparty the right to close out should any so-designated representations turn out not to be true. This is sure to occupy an inordinate amount of your negotiation time — in that it occupies any time at all — because you are as likely to be hit in the face by a live flying starfish in the driest part of the Gobi Desert as you are to close out an ISDA Master Agreement because your counterparty is late in preparing its annual accounts. But that’s a personal view and you may not rely on it.

The 3(d) representation, in the documents for delivery table in the Schedule, therefore covers only the accuracy and completeness of Specified Information and not (for example) whether Specified Information is delivered at all. For that, see Section 4(a) - Furnish Specified Information.

What’s that Section 3(d) representation malarkey?

If one is required to “furnishSpecified Information under Section 4, two things can go wrong:

  • No show: one can fail to provide it, at all, in which case there is a Breach of Agreement, but be warned: the period before one can enforce such a failure, judged by the yardstick of modern financial contracts, is long enough for a whole kingdom of dinosaurs to evolve and be wiped out; or
  • It’s cobblers: one can provide the Specified Information, on time, but it can be a total pile of horse ordure. Now, here is a trick for young players: if your Specified Information is, or turns out to be, false, you have no remedy unless you have designated that it is “subject to the Section 3(d) representation”. That is the one that promises it is accurate and not misleading.

Now you might ask what good an item of Specified Information can possibly be, if Section 3(d) didn’t apply and it could be just made up on the spot without fear of retribution — as a youngster, the JC certainly asked that question, and has repeated it over many years, and is yet to hear a good answer — but all we can presume is that in its tireless quest to cater for the unguessable predilections of the negotiating community, ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ left this preposterous option open just in case. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Withholding under the ISDA

TL;DR: The basic rationale is this:

The combination of the Payer Tax Representations and the Gross-Up clause of the ISDA Master Agreement has the following effect:

  • Section 3(e): I promise you that I do not have to withhold on my payments to you (as long as all your Payee Tax Representations are correct and you have, under Section 4(a), given me everything I need to pay free of withholding);
  • Section 2(d): I will not withhold on any payments to you. Unless I am required to by law. Which I kind of told you I wasn’t... If I have to withhold, I'll pay the tax the authorities and give you the receipt. If I only had to withhold because of my connection to the taxing jurisdiction (that is, if the withholding is an Indemnifiable Tax), I’ll gross you up. (You should look at the drafting of Indemnifiable Tax, by the way. It's quite a marvel). ...
  • Gross-Up: Unless the tax could have been avoided if the Payee had taken made all its 3(f) representations, delivered all its 4(a) material, or had its 3(f) representations been, like, true).
  • Stamp Tax is a whole other thing.
  • As is FATCA, which (as long as you’ve made your FATCA Amendment or signed up to a FATCA Protocol, provides that FATCA Withholding Taxes are excluded from the Section 3(e) Payer Tax Representations, and also from the definition of Indemnifiable Tax. Meaning one doesn't have to rep, or gross up, FATCA payments.

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See also

Template:M sa 2002 ISDA 4(a)
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References

  1. Sigh. Sending.