So you've landed your first US client and hit the bullseye. Now it's time to deal with all the paperwork before you can get paid!
Why am I being asked to complete a W-8BEN-E?
Form W-8BEN-E is a certificate held on file by the payor of the US income. It is used as proof that they asked the correct questions to identify that your company/entity is not required to have US tax withheld on income received from a US source. This certificate is stored and kept by the payor in case the IRS come calling. If they get it wrong, they are liable for the tax as the IRS can't come after you as a non resident entity.
Why is the W-8BEN-E form so long!?
The form was introduced as part of FATCA legislation. What is FATCA you may ask! It's the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that was originally created to identify US persons holding non US accounts. Why then, does my company have to fill this in? The primary purpose of the form is to actually identify US persons within a foreign entity. The only way this was achievable was to create what is a long winded way of identifying them. As they can't assume, they will ask! and they will ask everyone doing business with a US client.
So unfortunately, if you have a US client, more than likely you will need to fill in this form.
Am I eligible for treaty relief?
This will be determined once we talk to you. In most cases yes. E.g. if you work remotely for the client or do not have a physical presence in the US. This can be created by having an office, sales person or even by using a local distribution center.
Can you help in completing this form?
Yes, we assist clients regularly with this process. Once we understand what you do, how you do it and where you do it, we'll advise if we can assist with the W-8BEN-E form completion from the UK.
All work is completed via email and a secure portal. No need to see us in person. We offer a fixed fee service for this.
Do I need an EIN (Employer Identification Number)?
Possibly, but not in all cases. In most cases as long as you enter your foreign TIN (especially if claiming a treaty benefit), that should suffice. However it all depends on the payor of the income and whether their internal processes and procedures require one.
If you have any questions in relation to the process or want to find out more, please call or email us now:
Telephone: 0208 144632