Q: Printable forms: W8 form
Use the following instructions to accurately complete the IRS W8 form:
Use Form W-8 or a substitute form containing a substantially similar statement to tell the payer, mortgage interest recipient, middleman, broker, or barter exchange that you are a nonresident alien individual, foreign entity, or exempt foreign person not subject to certain U.S. information return reporting or backup withholding rules.
Caution: Form W-8 does not exempt the payee from the 30% (or lower treaty) nonresident withholding rates.
Nonresident Alien Individual
For income tax purposes, "nonresident alien individual" means an individual who is neither a U.S. citizen nor resident. Generally, an alien is considered to be a U.S. resident if:
- 1. at least 31 days during the calendar year, and
- 2. 183 days or more during the current year and the 2 preceding calendar years (counting all the days of physical presence in the current year, one -third the number of days of presence in the first preceding year, and only one -sixth of the number of days in the second preceding year).
See Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for more information on resident and nonresident alien status.
Note: If you are a nonresident alien individual married to a U.S. citizen or resident and have made an election under section 6013(g) or (h), you are treated as a U.S. resident and may not use Form W-8.
Exempt Foreign Person For purpose of this form, you are an "exempt foreign person" for a calendar year in which:
- You are a nonresident alien individual or a foreign corporation, partnership, estate, or trust,
- You are an individual who has not been, and plans not to be, present in the United States for a total of 183 days or more during the calendar year, and
- You are neither engaged, nor plan to be engaged during the year, in a U.S. trade or business that has effectively connected gains from transactions with a broker or barter exchange.
If you do not meet the requirements of 2 or 3 above, you may instead certify on Form 1001, Ownership, Exemption, or Reduced Rate Certificate, that your country has a tax treaty with the United States that exempts your transactions from U.S. tax.
When To File — File Form W-8 or substitute form before a payment is made. Otherwise, the payer may have to withhold and send part of the payment to the Internal Revenue Service (see Backup Withholding below). This certificate generally remains in effect for three calendar years. However, the payer may require you to file a new certificate each time a payment is made to you.
Where To File - File this form with the payer of the qualifying income who is the withholding agent (see Withholding Agent on page 2). Keep a copy for your own records.
A U.S. taxpayer identification number or Form W-8 or substitute form must be given to the payers of certain income. If a taxpayer identification number or Form W-8 or substitute form is not provided or the wrong taxpayer identification number is provided, these payers may have to withhold 20% of each payment or transaction. This is called backup withholding.
Note: On January 1, 1993, the backup withholding rate increases from 20% to 31%.
Reportable payments subject to backup withholding rules are:
If backup withholding occurs, an exempt foreign person who is a nonresident alien individual may get a refund by filing Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, with the Internal Revenue Service Philadelphia, PA 19255, even if filing the return is not otherwise requires.
U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number
The Internal Revenue law requires that certain income be reported to the Internal Revenue Service using a U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN). This number can be a social security number assigned to individuals by the Social Security Administration or an employee identification number assigned to businesses and other entities by the Internal Revenue Service.
Payments to account holders who are foreign persons (nonresident alien individuals, foreign corporations, partnerships, estates, or trusts) generally are not subject to U.S. reporting requirements. Also, foreign persons are not generally required to have a TIN, nor are they subject to any backup withholding because they do not furnish a TIN to a payer or broker.
However, foreign persons with income effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States (income subject to regular (graduated) income tax), must have a TIN. To apply for a TIN, use Form SS -4, Application for Employer Identification Number, available from local Internal Revenue Service offices, or Form SS -5, Application for a Social Security Card, available from local Social Security Administration offices.
For purposes of the reporting rules, mortgage interest is interest paid on a mortgage to a person engaged in a trade or business originating mortgages in the course of that trade or business. A mortgage interest recipient is one who receives interest on a mortgage that was acquired in the course of a trade or business.
Mortgage interest is not subject to backup withholding rules, but is subject to reporting requirements under section 6050H. Generally, however, the reporting requirements do not apply if the payer of record is a nonresident alien individual who pays interest on a mortgage not secured by real property in the United States. Use Form W-8 or substitute form to notify the mortgage interest recipient that the payer is a nonresident alien individual.
Portfolio Interest — Generally, portfolio interest paid to a nonresident alien. individual or foreign partnership, estate, or trust is not subject to backup withholding rules. However, if interest is paid on portfolio investments to a beneficial owner that is neither a financial institution nor a member of a clearing organization, Form W-8 or substitute form is required.
Registered obligations not targeted to foreign markets qualify as portfolio interest not subject to 30% withholding, but require the filing of Form W-8 or substitute form. See Instructions to Withholding Agents on this page for reporting rules.
See Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations, for registered obligations targeted to foreign markets and when Form W-8 or substitute form is not required on these payments.
Bearer obligations — The interest from bearer obligations targeted to foreign markets is treated as portfolio interest and is not subject to 30% withholding. Form If each owner of a joint account is a is not subject to 30% withholding. Form W-8 or substitute form is not required.
Dividends — Any distribution or payment of dividends by a U.S. corporation sent to a foreign address is subject to the 30% (or lower treaty) withholding rate, but is not subject to backup withholding. Also, there is no backup withholding on dividend payments made to a foreign person by a foreign corporation. However, the 30% withholding (or lower treaty) rate applies to dividend payments made to a foreign person by a foreign corporation if:
If a foreign corporation makes payments to another foreign corporation, the recipient must be a qualified resident of its country of residence to benefit from that country's tax treaty.
Broker or Barter Exchanges — Income from transactions with a broker or barter exchanges is subject to reporting rules and backup withholding unless Form W-8 or substitute form is filed to notify the broker or barter exchange that you are an exempt foreign person as defined on page 1.
Name of Owner — If Form W-8 is being filed for portfolio interest, enter the name of the beneficial owner.
U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number — If you have a U.S. taxpayer identification number, enter your number in this space (see the discussion earlier).
Permanent Address — Enter your complete address in the country where you reside permanently for income tax purposes.
If you are:
Show the address of:
Your permanent residence
A partnership or corporation
An estate or trust
Permanent residence or principal office of any fiduciary
Also show your current mailing address if it differs from your permanent address. Account Information (optional) - If you have more than one account (savings, certificate of deposit, pension, IRA, etc.) with the same payer, list all account numbers and types on one Form W-8 or substitute form unless your payer requires you to file a separate certificate for each account. If you have more than one payer, file a separate Form W-8 with each payer. Signature - If only one foreign person owns the account(s) listed on this form, that foreign person should sign the Form W-8. If each owner of a joint account is foreign, each person should sign a separate Form W-8.
Notice of Change in Status — If you become a U.S. citizen or resident after you have filed Form W-8 or substitute form, or you cease to be an exempt foreign person, you must notify the payer in writing within 30 days of your change in status.
To notify the payer, you may check the box in the space provided on this form or use the method prescribed by the payer.
Reporting will then begin on the account(s) listed and backup withholding may also begin unless you certify to the payer that:
1. The U.S. taxpayer identification number you have given is correct, and
2. The Internal Revenue Service has not notified you that you are subject to backup withholding because you failed to report certain income. You may use form W-9. Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certificaton to make these certifications.
If an account is no longer active, you do not have to notify a payer of your change in status unless you also have another account with the same payer that is still active.
False Certificate — If you file a false certificate when you are not entitled to the exemption from withholding or reporting,you may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment under U.S. perjury laws.
Instructions to Withholding Agents
Withholding Agent — Generally, the person responsible for payment of the items discussed above to a nonresident alien individual or foreign entity is the withholding agent (see Pub. 515).
Retention of Statement — Keep Form W-8 or substitute form in your records for at least four years following the end of the last calendar year during which the payment is paid or collected.
Portfolio Interest — Although registered obligations not targeted to foreign markets are not subject to 30% withholding, you must file Form 1042S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, to report the interest payment. Both Form 1042S and a copy of Form W-8 or substitute form must be attached to Form 1042, Annual Withholding Tax Return for U.S. Source Income of Foreign Persons.