W8 Form | What Should You Know About Form W-8 BEN?

The โ€œW8 formโ€, or W-8 BEN as it is formally known, is an important form for foreign non-residents of the United States to claim special tax treatment.

This is especially important for any foreigner who plans to establish financial ties in the US by opening US bank accounts for foreigners.

In this article, weโ€™re going to be sharing everything you need to know about the W8 Form, including who should file and how.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. W8 Form
  2. What Does Form W8 Relate To?
  3. Who Needs to Fill Out Form W8?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Open Accounts With Banks in the USA?

W8 Form

W8 Form refers to Form W-8 BEN, which is a form that foreign non-resident individuals file with the IRS in order to certify their foreign status for tax withholding and reporting purposes in the United States.ย 

Not surprisingly, filing the W8 Form is an important step in terms of tax compliance for foreign individuals looking to take advantage of tax treaty benefits. In fact, Form W-8 BEN is one of the very few non-resident alien tax forms that exist for individuals.

When dealing with major commercial institutions that frequently encounter international clients, including the largest banks in the world, you should expect that they will serve you with these forms directly. Other times, you may need to request the forms.

However, itโ€™s important to point out that there are two options to choose from when filing the Form W8 series, which include Form W-8 BEN and Form W-8 BEN-E. In short, Form W-8 BEN is for individuals while Form W-8 BEN-E is for entities.

What Does Form W8 Relate To?

Generally speaking, Form W8 relates to income received from the following US sources and the related withholding.

  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • Royalties income
  • Rents income
  • Annuities income
  • And more

Weโ€™ll take a closer look at who needs to fill out Form W-8 BEN in the next section. However, as always, if you are searching for specific information on your reporting obligations or W8 Form instructions, you should consult with a qualified professional that can help you navigate through your unique situation.

Who Needs to Fill Out Form W8?

Form W8 needs to be filled out by any non-resident alien (foreigner living outside of the United States) who is the beneficial owner of an amount held in the US that is subject to withholding.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are three of the most common questions we receive from people looking into how to file W8 form. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch.

What Is a W8 Form For?

The W8 Form is used to certify the foreign status of a beneficial owner of certain US sources of income for tax withholding purposes. In short, filing a W8 Form allows individuals to benefit from tax treaties in place between the United States and their country of residence.

Who Should Fill Out a W8 Form?

A W8 Form should be filled out by any foreign non-resident of the United States (non-resident alien) who is the beneficial owner of an amount held in the US that is subject to withholding.

Does a W8 Replace a W9?

No, W8 does not replace W9. This is because W8 and W9 serve two separate purposes. While W8 relates to tax treaty benefits and withholding for foreign non-resident aliens, W9 is used for collecting the taxpayer identification number for individuals and entities.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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