Family Abroad

What is a W8 Form? Why Should I Complete This Form?

what is a w8

If you do not have a tax residence in any country, the permanent residence address is where you maintain your principal office. A substitute form does not need to contain all of the provisions contained on the official form, so long as it contains those provisions that are relevant to the transaction for which it is furnished. You may omit the chapter 4 certifications on your substitute form if such certifications are not required based on the payments made to the payees. If you are an FFI documenting the chapter 4 status of your account holders under your chapter 4 requirements or an applicable IGA, however, you may not omit the chapter 4 certifications.

what is a w8

If they delay in submitting the form, your company or the withholding agent might have to withhold the full 30% that is normally withheld under US tax law. The form should be returned to the company or entity that sent the form W-8BEN, not the IRS. The W-8BEN-E is a form from the United State’s tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All foreign Bookkeeping for A Law Firm: Best Practices, FAQs Shoeboxed (non-U.S.) businesses that are receiving payment from an American company must fill out the W-8BEN-E form. The W-8BEN-E is an IRS form used by foreign companies doing business in the United States. The W-8BEN-E form is used to confirm that a vendor is a foreign company and must be filled out before the vendor can be paid, according to the University of Washington.

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However, you may continue to treat an FFI as having the same chapter 4 status that it had prior to the change in circumstances until the earlier of 90 days from the date of the change or the date that new documentation is obtained. See the Instructions for Form 8833 for more information on the filing requirements. A transferor is any person, foreign or domestic, that transfers a partnership interest. In the case of a trust, to the extent all or a portion of the income of the trust is treated as owned by the grantor or another person under sections 671 through 679 (such trust, a grantor trust), the term transferor means the grantor or other person.

  • Having a written agreement for your independent contractor is essential, and one of the reasons you want one, in addition to the factors cited above, is that you want to be prepared if you receive questions from the IRS or have to undergo a tax audit.
  • If the applicable treaty has no LOB article, the entity must check the box indicating no LOB article in the treaty.
  • The full name of Form W-9 is ‘Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification’.
  • As mentioned, W8 forms are not submitted or requested by the IRS and do not form part of your tax returns.

See Requirements for Obtaining and Verifying a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIINs), earlier. Complete line 10 by stating that you derive business profits or gains (other than from real property) not attributable to a permanent establishment. Additionally, for a claim that gain or income with respect to a PTP interest is not attributable to a permanent establishment in the United States, you must identify the name of each PTP to which the claim relates. Your permanent residence address is the address in the country where you claim to be a resident for purposes of that country’s income tax. If you are giving Form W-8BEN-E to claim a reduced rate of, or exemption from, withholding under an income tax treaty, you must determine residency in the manner required by the treaty. Do not show the address of a financial institution (unless you are a financial institution providing your own address), a post office box, or an address used solely for mailing purposes unless it is the only address you use and it appears in your organizational documents (that is, your registered address).

Specific Instructions

The US has a number of Income Tax treaties with foreign countries that allow reductions on taxed amounts. By filling out the W-8 form, foreign individuals or entities are declaring who they are, where they are from, and the various types of income they’ve earned in order to determine how they will be taxed. There are different types to consider that apply to foreign individuals, businesses, or other organizations with income-earning activities in the US.

As mentioned earlier, the W-8BEN is the equivalent of the W-9 used for US persons. Just because your US company is operating overseas, that does not mean that it is exempt from paying taxes. As you well know, all US citizens residing in the US and those who spend most of the year in the US are required to pay income tax. A non-citizen living outside of the US is classified as a Non-Resident Alien (NRA) and is taxed at a different rate. Tax authorities often ask for written agreements to help establish that a valid independent contracting arrangement is in place (rather than employment) and to ensure that taxes for contractors are being paid correctly. Failing to provide those documents (whether via an audit or a less formal inquiry) can make it more difficult for the business to establish that it has acted within the law.

Form W-8BEN-E

If you’re a non-resident alien receiving income from U.S. sources, then W8 tax forms are the right forms for you. As a non-resident alien you are charged 30 percent on funds received by U.S. companies unless you submitted a completed form to them. If a withholding agent fails to collect Form W-8 from an individual or entity and doesn’t withhold taxes, the withholding agent may be subject to a penalty of up to 30% of payments they made to a payee outside the U.S. Submitting Form W-8 could eliminate all withholding, or it could reduce the amount required to be withheld. You, as the payee, must take the additional step of claiming an exemption on the applicable Form W-8 if you want to reduce or eliminate withholding.

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