What is an Employer/Fiscal Agent (under IRC Sec 3504)? | IRS Definition of an Employer/Fiscal Agent (under IRC Sec 3504)
A fiscal agent is generally a bank or other financial institution that takes financial action on behalf of another entity, usually a non-profit organization or charity. As non-profits and charities may not be well-versed in making their own investments or building their own financial capital, it is necessary to ensure that they are able to make the most of their funding.
Fiscal agents bear the responsibility of managing the funds to the best of their ability. Agents are notably separate from fiscal sponsors or fiscal sponsorships, which instead operate on a fundraising basis, rather than managing already existing funding.
The IRS rules regarding fiscal agents can be complicated, as fiscal agents do need to provide financial and legal oversight for the charity. A fiscal agent may also refer to a charity that is designed for exactly this purpose, in which case it becomes a tax-exempt organization itself.