IRS Updates Instructions for Form W-8BEN to Conform with New Regulations

July 26, 2017 Adam Rivera

The IRS has updated the instructions for Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals). There are a number of changes from the previous revision:

  • Some minor updates made to Form W-8BEN to conform with Form W-8BEN-E.
  • Instructions have been updated to reflect temporary and final regulations under chapters 3 and 4 (published in January 2017)
    • Instructions include additional information on when a foreign TIN and date of birth are required to be included on Form W-8BEN
      • Some specific Line 6 changes:
        • If you are providing this form to document a financial account described above but you do not enter a TIN on line 6, and you are not a resident of a U.S. possession, you must provide the withholding agent with an explanation for why you have not been issued a TIN
          • The explanation may be written on line 6, in the margins of the form, or on a separate attached statement associated with the form.
        • If you are not using this form to document a financial account described above, you may provide the TIN issued to you by your jurisdiction of tax residence on line 6 for purposes of claiming treaty benefits (rather than providing a U.S. TIN on line 5, if required)
      • Instructions also include information about the use of electronic signatures
        • A withholding agent may allow you to provide this form with an electronic signature.
        • The electronic signature must indicate that the form was electronically signed by a person authorized to do so (for example, with a time and date stamp and statement that the form has been electronically signed).
          • Simply typing your name into the signature line is not considered an electronic signature.

The post IRS Updates Instructions for Form W-8BEN to Conform with New Regulations appeared first on Sovos.

About the Author

Adam Rivera is a member of the Regulatory Analysis Team's Direct Tax division at Sovos. His main areas of focus are Federal and State Tax Withholding and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reporting. Prior to Sovos, Adam worked as a legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives. He also has experience in securities law, focusing on securities litigation and researching emerging crowdfunding methods of raising capital. Adam is a member of both the Massachusetts and Florida Bars. He earned his B.A. from the University of Florida and his J.D. from the University of Miami.

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