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W-8 and W-9 Series Forms for Individual Taxpayers and Foreign Withholding Rules

Claiming Treaty Exemptions From Withholding on Effectively Connected Income, Foreign Intermediaries, Royalties

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will provide tax advisers with a detailed and practical guide to Form W-8 series reporting for withholding on income associated with foreign entities or accounts for individual taxpayers. The panelist will describe the most recent 2017 changes to Form W-8BEN and will offer useful tips to help complete the form, including the treaty position references and issuing Form W-8 from the payee's perspectives.


U.S. businesses making certain payments are required to obtain a Form W-8BEN or other W-8 (foreign entities or individuals), or a Form W-9 (U.S. taxpayers), bearing certain information about the payee. The forms, when properly filed, reduce or eliminate U.S. federal income tax withholding.

Form W-8BEN is part of the increasingly complex foreign information reporting regime, and the IRS integrates and cross-references W-8BEN filings with other information requirements, including FATCA requirements. IRS audit activity is aggressive in this area, and tax professionals need to grasp reporting obligations to file Form W-8BEN. A key challenge is determining when the forms are required from foreign and U.S. payees and when tax withholding is or isn't required.

Form W-8BEN requires any taxpayer claiming a treaty position to specify both the article and paragraph of the tax treaty that they are referencing. Also, filers are required to furnish more detail to support any claim of special rates, citing specific article and paragraph to substantiate eligibility for the claimed rate of withholding.

Listen as Margaret Nowak, EA, MBA, MST, Director at Mueller, analyzes the upcoming new Form W-8BEN and provides insights for compliance with W-8BEN and W-9 for U.S. taxpayers.



  1. U.S. withholding-related information forms individuals
    1. Form W-8BEN (certificate of foreign status of beneficial owner)
    2. Form W-9 (request for taxpayer identification number and certification)
    3. Form W-8ECI (effectively connected with U.S. trade or business)
    4. Form W-8EXP (foreign government or organization)
    5. Form W-8IMY (foreign intermediary, flow-through entity, or certain U.S. branches)
  2. Required information on forms
  3. When a payor may have to withhold on certain payments
  4. Claiming tax treaty withholding exemptions
  5. Compliance challenges with Forms W-9 and W-8BEN series


The panelist will review these and other key issues:

  • Implications of the new requirement for a foreign tax identifying number
  • Circumstances that require payor companies to obtain a form from payees or to withhold because they haven't received a valid form
  • Tactics for performing a line-by-line review to ensure a form is accurate and complete
  • When an equivalent form is acceptable--and forms that are equivalent
  • Automatic exchange of information (AEoI) and W8 series/W9


Nowak, Margaret
Margaret (Peggy) Nowak, EA, MBA, MST


Ms. Nowak has been practicing public accounting for over 20 years. She has extensive Big 4 expertise in U.S....  |  Read More

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