Please refer to the IRS Instructions for Form W-8BEN for use in conjunction with this guide. If there are discrepancies between the following instructions and the IRS website, the IRS website takes precedence.
What is Form W-8 BEN?
Form W-8 BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for U.S. Tax Withholding, is used by a foreign person to establish both foreign status and beneficial ownership and to claim income tax treaty benefits with respect to income other than compensation for personal services.
Line 1: Name - MANDATORY
Enter your legal name.
Line 2: Citizenship - MANDATORY
Enter the name of the country of which you are a citizen
- If you are a U.S. citizen, do not complete this form – complete a Form W-9.
- If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. and have a green card and an SSN or ITIN, do not complete this form – complete a Form W-9.
- If you are a citizen of more than one country including the country in which you are a resident, enter the country in which you currently reside.
Line 3: Permanent Residence Address - MANDATORY
Your permanent residence address is the address in the country where you claim to be a resident for income tax purposes.
- Do not use a P.O. Box or care of address.
- If you do not have a street address, enter a descriptive address (e.g. lot #, site #, concession #).
Line 4: Mailing Address
Enter your mailing address if it is different than your permanent residence address from Line 3.
Line 5 and Line 6 – and entry must be made in one of these lines, but not both:
Line 5: U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number
If you have a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number, either a social security number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), enter it here.
Line 6: Foreign Tax Identifying Number –Complete this field unless you have entered a U.S. Taxpayer ID number on Line 5. Enter your FTIN issued by your country of citizenship. If you do not have one, you need to explain why in this field (e.g. “country does not issue FTIN”). Do not leave blank and do not fill in “NA” or “not applicable”. If you are unsure of how to obtain your FTIN, please contact your HR department.
Line 7: Reference Number
Individuals may leave this line blank. If you are a sole proprietor or a partnership, please refer to these instructions on completing this line.
Line 8: Date of Birth – MANDATORY as of January 1, 2018.
Line 9: Treaty Claim
If you are a resident of a country that has an income tax treaty with the U.S. and would like to make a claim for reduced tax withholding rates, enter the country of residence. Do not abbreviate the name of the country. A list of countries that have U.S. tax treaties is available via this link. If you are unsure of your country’s status, please contact your HR department.
Line 10: Special Rates and Conditions – If you are requesting special withholding rates under specific treaty conditions, please refer to these IRS instructions. If you are unsure how to proceed, please contact your HR department.
Certification - MANDATORY
The form must be signed and dated by the beneficial owner of the income of the account.
- Sign and date the form.
- Clearly print the name of the individual who has signed the form.
As an employee, it is your responsibility to understand all tax implications that impact your equity and/or share purchase holdings.