Understanding and Completing the W-8BEN-E Form

Everything you need to know about the W-8BEN-E form.

Introduction: The W-8BEN-E form is a crucial tax document required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for foreign entities conducting business in the United States. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the W-8BEN-E form and step-by-step instructions on how to complete it accurately.

What is the W-8BEN-E Form? The W-8BEN-E form, also known as the Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities), is used by foreign entities to certify their status for tax purposes. It helps determine whether the entity is subject to U.S. withholding tax on income from U.S. sources.

Purpose of the W-8BEN-E Form: The primary purpose of the W-8BEN-E form is to establish the foreign entity's eligibility for reduced withholding tax rates or exemption from withholding altogether. By completing this form, foreign entities declare their status as beneficial owners or intermediaries and provide relevant information to the IRS for tax reporting purposes.

What is the visual appearance or layout of Form W-8BEN?

Here is a link to the official form from the IRS.

How to Fill Out the W-8BEN-E Form: Follow these step-by-step instructions to accurately complete the W-8BEN-E form:

Part I. Identification of Beneficial Owner.

Step 1. Confirm that you are not precluded from using Form W-8BEN-E:

Review the situations listed at the top of the Form under the header “Do NOT use this form if.” If any of these situations apply to you, please use the form indicated, instead of Form W-8BEN-E

Step 2: Identify the “Beneficial Owner” of the Account in Part I

1. Name of Beneficial Owner: Enter the full name of the legal entity that is the “Beneficial Owner" (as shown in the formation document).

2. Country of organization: Enter the name of the country in which the legal entity was created.

3. Disregarded Entity: If you are a “disregarded entity” but are NOT a financial institution, leave line 3 blank.

4. Entity Classification

The most common option selected in this scenario is Corporation. If none of the other categories accurately describe your organization, opt for Corporation (if the company is solely owned by you) or Partnership (if ownership involves collaboration with multiple individuals).

5. FATCA Status

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act status determines which part of the form you should fill in after. For the majority of privately owned businesses, the Active NFFE (Active Non-Financial Foreign Entity) is the most common choice. So if you do not see any of the other categories as something describing better your organization, choose Active NFFE.

6. Permanent Residence Address: Enter the Permanent Residence Address of the legal entity. Include the street name or rural route, the apartment or suite number, and the country name.

The permanent residence address of the entity refers to the address located in the country where the entity asserts its residency for the purpose of that country's income tax regulations. If the entity does not have a tax residence in any country, the permanent residence address is determined by the location of its principal office.

7. Mailing Address: Enter your mailing address if different from the Permanent Residence Address. 

8. U.S. TIN: If you have a U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN), enter it on this line. 

9a. GIIN:  A legal entity is not required to have a GIIN unless it is a reporting ‘‘Financial Institution,’’ a trustee of a trustee documented trust, a direct reporting NFFE, or a sponsored direct reporting NFFE.

9b. Foreign TIN: For a deposit account opened at the U.S. office of a bank, you MUST provide the foreign taxpayer identification number issued to you by the country in which you are a tax resident. If you don't have a US taxpayer ID, you need to provide the local tax identification number of your company. This is the number your local tax authorities use to identify your business.

10. Reference numbers: If the entity filing Form W-8BEN-E is the single owner of a “disregarded entity,” use line 10 to identify the disregard.

 

Part II. Disregarded Entity or Branch Receiving Payment. 

You may bypass this step. It applies only to a disregarded entity or branch that is an FFI located in a country other than the country identified on line 2.

 

Part III. Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits

In this part you just need to cross 2 checkboxes and fill in the name of the country where your company is registered:

  • 14a – check the box and fill in the Country
  • 14b – check the box only

Part XXV – Active NFFE

In this part of the form you simply need to check one box:

  • 39 – check the box only

If you have chosen another FATCA status in Step 5, please proceed to the corresponding part.

Part XXX – Certification

The last step is your signature in handwriting, your first and last name, and the date on which you have signed the form. Also, please check the Certification box under the Signature.

If you need further assistance, please head to the official guide provided by IRS

 

Upload the W-8BEN-E form on the platform

To ensure that all necessary documents are stored on the platform, we advise you to upload the W-8BEN-E form on the Remofirst platform. To do so, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Access the Personal documents Section

  • Log in to your account on the platform.
  • Navigate to the Personal documents section. 

Step 2: Locate the Add document Button

  • Once you're in the Personal documents section, click on the Add document button.
  • Select the W-8BEN-E form file from your local storage or device and adjust the document name if needed. Once selected, click on the "Create" button to upload the form to the platform. 
  • File will be added to your list of documents