IRS Releases Draft of Form W-8BEN with FATCA Changes

by Angela Offerman

Blog-Form W-8BEN

The IRS released modified versions of draft Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding, for individuals and entities. The draft Form, now divided into W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E, is a pre-release, but as expected, it indicates changes to come for foreign financial institutions and withholding agents.

The new form reveals a foreign financial institution employment identification number (FFI-EIN) and a FATCA ID for participating FFIs and deemed-compliant FFIs. In order to protect taxpayer confidentiality, the IRS decided to issue entities the two different numbers to serve different roles. The FFI-EIN will be used for filing purposes and the FATCA ID will be used for public verification purposes. A foreign tax identifying number will now also be required on Form W-8BEN.

According to KPMG, informal conversations with the IRS officials indicate future instructions will clarify how a beneficial owner is to complete the foreign tax identification number line as a resident jurisdiction that does not routinely use tax identification numbers and address a withholding agent’s due diligence concerning this line.

Draft forms W-8IMY are expected to be released by the end of the month.

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