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FAQ

What is the usage of W-8 BEN-E?
Sure, I can address tax issues here. First, all these forms are the end product of a highly complex US tax law.The US Treasury holds the company (“agent”) making the payments responsible for withholding tax under Sections 1441 (non US persons) and Section 1442 (foreign corporations. Treasury requires a 30% withholding unless the payee provides appropriate documentation (called a certificate) for not withholding as noted in Treasury Regulation Section 1.1441-1(b)(1). So, the company represents the responsible party, here. If the company does not withhold, and they do not have the appropriate documentation or support for not withholding (called a withholding certificate) and the the payee owes tax, Treasury holds the company responsible for paying the tax (Treasury Regulation Section 1.1441-7(b)(1)).However, a non US person working physically from a non US location has foreign source income (Section 862(a)(3)). And, the US does not tax the non US person on such income. So, Treasury does not consider foreign source payments as withholdable payments (Treasury Regulation Section 1.1473-1(a)(1)).So, Treasury does not require the company making the payment to have the payee complete a withholding certificate. However, the company may use the documentation as means for making sure they are dealing with a non US person actually working physically from a non US location. In today’s digital world, the company may be uncertain where the person resides. So some companies may have a policy for obtaining documentation for all payees.So, the W-8 BEN provides the payor with the certification for not withholding as attested by the payee’s signature ‡ the payee has foreign source income not subject to withholding as noted in Treasury Regulation Section 1.1441-(b)(4)(v).A foreign company uses the W8-BEN-E and a non US individual uses the W8-BEN. Each form has its own peculiarities.I have completed the above analysis based on the fact situation. If the facts change, the tax results may change. www.rst.tax
Do I need to obtain a W-9 from an international (non-US) based company if I am making over $600 in payments to them over the course of a year?
No you do not….and they will probably laugh at you like they laughed at me because W-9s and such documentation reflect U.S. employment and tax laws, and the foreign company you are working for is unlikely to feel compelled to be bound to U.S. laws and its documentation requirements. As it is relevant to this discussion I will mention that I have had foreign earned income for 20 of the past 24 years, none of which was documented with a W-9, or anything else U.S. tax-like from the foreign employer for that matter.You may have to declare you made the income depending on your citizenship and U.S. Residence status. However here is the complication: A tax preparer who cannot verify your sources of income may not accept your personal declaration of income. In essence, you might have to prove you made this money through honest foreign employment. Why would someone “fake” that they made foreign money? Lots and lots of reasons, but that’s not your question (smile). If you cannot prove you made the money lawfully, and you cannot convince your tax accountant of this, you might not be able to get your income included in your tax return.What’s the problem? Try making $250,000 a year, take all of the IRS foreign income credit exclusions ( $175,000 worth) and then have a U.S. bank say you can’t qualify for a U.S. mortgage because your tax returns do not show sufficient income. Gasp!FYI - after 7 years of being an expat with significant foreign earned income and no U.S. accountant willing to do my returns for a reasonable price (under $3K), I decided to learn all the regulations myself. Its been enormously helpful since I did (where helpful means, paying federal taxes in the single digits because of the massive number of allowances) and the options for structuring one’s foreign compensation such that many of the added costs are treated as tax-free.Good luck.Peter, a 20+ years, 59 country former expat.
How do you appeal if you were erroneously reported as a US person and as a result became flagged by FATCA as a US person?
As long as you've been flagged by a Foreign Financial Institution and this organization approaches you with questions or a W-8/W-8-BEN/W-8-BEN-E/W-9 form to fill out, you can previdence of the correct situation regarding U.S. income taxation.
Where are the 2021 Top Writers located?
Someone added me to the Wiki before I added my answer! How nice :)Anyways, I live about 3 blocks from the UT Austin campus (Alex Suchman and I were neighbors until he decided to move away D:). I love living in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas! Alex has already mentioned some amazing parts of the city and has left it upon me to introduce y'all to some of the food in Austin.Before I get into that... Here's Bill Gates, President Powers, and Dr. Moore (the previous department chair) at the ribbon cutting ceremony for our new building! Yay!Anyways, on to food!Kimchi Fries from the Chi'lantro BBQ food truck! Food trucks are a huge thing in Austin; I absolutely love them!What are all of these people waiting for?Some of the best burgers ever!!!I don't even like burgers. But I love Hopdoddy's!That line isn't even long; there are people who will wait hours for Franklin's BBQ; they often run out before noon!Yum yum yum!There's also Rudy's BBQ, which is a chain:I love their creamed corn!What about doughnuts? Do people like doughnuts? What about dessert doughnuts or doughnuts topped with fried chicken (or other toppings) or doughnut burgers??These are from Gordough's!We also have lovely Asian options, like Ramen Tatsu-ya:And East Side King's:Who doesn't love wings? Plucker's Wing Bar is close to campus and has awesome wings and sides:And, they have amazing fried pickles (trust me, we did a fried pickle taste test)Not to mention, great drinks!Speaking of close to campus... these Tiff's Treats boxes with signature ribbons are recognized by any Longhorn!We have a cookie delivery place! Seriously, who doesn't love warm, fresh from the oven cookies? Tiff's Treats was even started by UT students!Polkadots Cupcakes is another business started by UT alums that's close to campus too, and they have lovely cupcakes and cookies! We catered cupcakes from them for Google's 15th birthday celebration and they were wonderful! I also love going there for a quick bite (or a cupcake date!)Looking for fine dining? Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui is in Austin!Some lovely dishes from Uchiko:The fried milk dessert is one of my favorite things on the menu!Perla's also has lovely oysters, seafood, and brunch.They also have this amazing butterscotch pot de creme with sea salt and tweel. Yum!!These are just a couple of places; there are TONS more than I could ever dream of listing. Come visit Austin!![All images taken from various sources via Google Images]
What is the difference between IRS W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E forms?
Sure, I can address tax issues here. You would use the W-8 Ben for an individual situation. And, you would use the W-8 Ben E for a company situation.Though, the actual completion of the form center on how the US international tax provision taxes the foreign person or company on the income. So, we first apply the tax law based on the fact situation at hand. So, the form completion centers on tax law and treaty law.Then, and if the person or company home country has a specific tax treaty with the US, we would then apply the exact treaty provision for mitigating (reducing) the withholding required.Here, we need to understand how treaties work and apply the most recent treaty or possibly and updated protocol or competent authority position between the US and the home country when we complete the treaty section of the W8-Ben or Ben-E. The above represents the procedure I have used when dealing with this situation. As with all events dealing with the US tax law completing this form correctly and fully provides for the best outcome allowed by tax law and treaty law.I have completed the above based on the fact situation. If the income type or facts change above, the tax results may change for sure. www.rst.tax
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