W-8BEN Instructions

Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting for Individuals, or known as Form W-8 is a simple tax form used for providing the personal information of a foreign payment recipient and the tax treaty between the United States and the country of citizenship of the recipient. This tax form is needed by tax withholding agents.

It’s a fairly simple tax form that resembles Form W9 but different in many terms as well main focus. In this article, we will provide you with the line-by-line instructions to file Form W-8BEN.

Part 1 – Identification of Beneficial Owner

Line 1. Enter your full name.

Line 2. Enter the country of citizenship.

Line 3. Enter your permanent mailing address or your primary residence in other words.

Line 4. Enter mailing address if it’s different than the address entered on the previous line.

Line 5. Enter your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN). This part might not be required. It’s best to ask the withholding agent about whether or not you need to enter it.

Line 6. Enter foreign tax identifying number. This is mostly your SSN of the country of citizenship.

Line 7. Enter reference number(s).

Line 8. Enter your date of birth in the format of MM-DD-YYYY.

Part 2 – Claim of Tax Treaty Benefits

This is the certification part. You will basically enter the country of residence on Line 9 and the special rates and conditions if applicable on Line 10.

Part 3 – Certification and Signature

Read each of the five bullet points and sign Form W-8BEN.

Filing Form W8-BEN is as easy that. After you’re done, you can then hand it over to the withholding agent or e-mail it. Learn more about W-8BEN and how you can get an electronic copy.


  1. Hello. My nephew is under DACA program.
    He lives in El Paso, TX
    He wants to study a summer course at Ohio
    The college is requesting a form W-8Ben
    How should he complete section II of the form??
    Thank you very much

    1. Hello Isabel,

      This depends on the country your nephew is from and the tax treaty between that country and the US. It’s best to consult a tax professional as the rates vary by country.

  2. My nephew is in India and working remotely for my small US Company (C Corp) as Part time
    – How can I send his salary
    – How do I deduct taxes
    – Does he has to file W-8BEN
    – We asked our tax professional they said this form will be filled by Tax attorney , it is true?

    Please advise I am holding his salary from last 3 months.

    1. Hello Indy,

      1-There are several ways to send his salary and the easiest in our opinion is through wire transfer.

      2-3-He will need to file W-8BEN, and that’s how you deduct taxes.

      4-No, W-8BEN needs to be filed by him.

  3. Dear Sir,
    I had submitted a W-8BEN form. I need to make corrections in address since I changed my residence. Please advice.

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