IRS releases updated Form W-8BEN-E and instructions

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May 02, 2016

Overview

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on April 16, 2016 released updated final versions of Form W-8BEN-E, Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities), and Instructions for Form W-8BEN-E. Non-US entities use Form W-8BEN-E to make several certifications relevant to US withholding tax and information reporting, such as whether they are foreign persons, whether they are beneficial owners of income received, whether they are entitled to a reduced rate of withholding under an income tax treaty, and their Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) status.

Withholding agents may continue to accept the prior version of Form W-8BEN-E (dated February 2014) for six months after the April 2016 revision date on the updated version, but may not accept the prior version once use of the updated version becomes mandatory at the end of October 2016.

The updated Form W-8BEN-E and instructions bring significant changes to how a provider of the form must complete the form. Withholding agents and others that collect the form from account holders and payees and rely on it for withholding tax and information reporting purposes must modify their processes and data management functions in reaction to changes now that Form W-8BEN-E is finalized.

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