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

Adam Rivera
July 26, 2017

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.

Sign up for Email Updates

Stay up to date with the latest tax and compliance updates that may impact your business.


Adam Rivera

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.
Share This Post

North America ShipCompliant
May 25, 2023
Out-of-State Breweries Gain Self Distribution, DtC Rights in Oregon

Under a settlement agreement, breweries located outside of Oregon now have more options for selling into the Beaver State, including direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping and self-distribution to retailers. The settlement arose out of a lawsuit filed by a group of Washington breweries last year challenging Oregon laws that limited beer self-distribution to in-state breweries and DtC […]

EMEA VAT & Fiscal Reporting
May 24, 2023
VAT and Art: What you need to know

Significant inflation increases have impacted most of the world’s economies, with the UK still above 10% in 2023. This increase means a reduction in the purchasing power of consumers. Together with increases in the cost of raw materials, this has created uncertainty regarding growth of entire industrial departments and reduced profit margins for companies. The […]

North America ShipCompliant
May 23, 2023
Top 5 Myths Surrounding Retailer Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping

By Tom Wark, Executive Director, National Association of Wine Retailers Politics breed myths. This has always been the case as politics is, at its most fundamental, a form of storytelling. So it should be no surprise that myths have arisen as various elements of the wine industry have fought against consumers and specialty wine retailer seeking […]

May 23, 2023
IPT: Location of Risk and Territoriality

Much of the discussion on the Location of Risk triggering a country’s entitlement to levy insurance premium tax (IPT) and parafiscal charges focuses on the rules for different types of insurance. European Union (EU) Directive 2009/138/EC (Solvency II) set out these rules. However, a related topic of growing importance in this area concerns territoriality, i.e. […]

Asia Pacific E-Invoicing Compliance
May 23, 2023
Japan: New e-Invoice Retention Requirements

Japan’s new e-invoice retention requirements are part of the country’s latest Electronic Record Retention Law (ERRL) reform. Along with measures such as the Qualified Invoice System (QIS) and the possibility to issue and send invoices electronically via PEPPOL, Japan is implementing different indirect tax control measures, seeking to reduce tax evasion and promote digital transformation. […]