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How to Fill In IRS Form W-8BEN

W-8BEN, “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for Untied States tax Withholding and Reporting”

Here's how to fill in IRS form W-8BEN

If you are a non U.S. legal person and your primary residence is outside of the U.S. you will be required to fill out a form W-8BEN when applying for a U.S. individual brokerage account. The purpose of the form is:

  1. To document your foreign status and prove that you do not need to pay taxes in the U.S.
  2. To claim any applicable treaty benefits.

U.S. account holders who do not submit the W-8BEN form are subject to an automatic 30% tax withholding on all income and gains from the account.

This is how you fill out the form:

Part I – Identification of Beneficial Owner

  1. Your name (the account holder).
  2. The country that you are a citizen of.
  3. Your primary residence address.
  4. Mailing address (if it’s different from where you live).
  5. Leave this blank, unless you have a U.S. taxpayer I.D. (you would know if you did)
  6. Your tax identification in the country where you pay your taxes.
  7. This field is optional and only if applicable.
  8. Your date of birthScreen Shot 2014-11-14 at 1.58.18 PM

Part II – Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits

  1. The country where you (the account holder) live and pay taxes.
  2. This field is only filled out if applicable. If not applicable leave blank.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.15.04 PM

Part III – Certification

Signature and the date the form was signed.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 2.16.18 PM


Curious as to how to open a brokerage account? Check it out here.

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