W-8 Form


DEFINITION of 'W-8 Form'

An IRS form that grants a foreigner an exemption from certain U.S. information return reporting and backup withholding regulations.

There are many variations of the W-8 form, such as the W-8BEN and W-8ECI.


One of the main purposes of this document is to show brokers and mutual fund companies that the foreign investor is not subject to the typical taxation practice where tax is withheld from investment income (e.g. dividends and coupon payments). If adequate documentation is not supplied with a W-8 form, the foreign investor will be subject to the normal rates of backup withholding.

  1. W-2 Form

    The W-2 form reports an employee's annual wages and the amount ...
  2. W-4 Form

    A form completed by an employee to indicate his or her tax situation ...
  3. Withholding

    The portion of an employee's wages that is not included in his ...
  4. Internal Revenue Service - IRS

    A United States government agency that is responsible for the ...
  5. Nonresident Alien

    A non-U.S. citizen who doesn't pass the green card test or the ...
  6. Withholding Tax

    1. Income tax withheld from employees' wages and paid directly ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Tax Tips For The Individual Investor

    We give you seven guidelines to help you keep more of your money in your pocket.
  2. Taxes

    Surviving The IRS Audit

    Keeping thorough records and knowing the penalties make this experience easier than you'd expect.
  3. Financial Advisors

    5 Things All Financial Advisors Should Know About ETFs

    Discover five things all financial advisors should know about ETFs, including when ETFs may be a better choice for your clients than mutual funds.
  4. Investing

    Time to Bring Active Back into a Portfolio?

    While stocks have rallied since the economic recovery in 2009, many active portfolio managers have struggled to deliver investor returns in excess.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Democratization of the Hedge Fund Industry

    The coveted compensations of hedge fund managers are protected by barriers of entry to the industry, but one recent startup is working to break those barriers.
  6. Retirement

    Two Heads Are Better Than One With Your Finances

    We discuss the advantages of seeking professional help when it comes to managing our retirement account.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    American Funds' Top Funds for Retirement

    Planning for retirement in this economic and investment environment is far from easy. American Funds might offer an answer.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Buying Vanguard Mutual Funds Vs. ETFs

    Learn about the differences between Vanguard's mutual fund and ETF products, and discover which may be more appropriate for investors.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETFs Vs. Mutual Funds: Choosing For Your Retirement

    Learn about the difference between using mutual funds versus ETFs for retirement, including which investment strategies and goals are best served by each.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 8 Most Popular Vanguard Funds for a 401(k)

    Learn about some of the mutual funds in Vanguard's lineup that are popular among 401(k) investors, and find out why you should consider them.
  1. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does OptionsHouse have mutual funds?

    OptionsHouse has access to some mutual funds, but it depends on the fund in which the investor is looking to buy shares. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Should mutual funds be subject to more regulation?

    Mutual funds, when compared to other types of pooled investments such as hedge funds, have very strict regulations. In fact, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When are mutual fund orders executed?

    Whether buying or selling shares of a fund, mutual fund trades are executed once per day after the market close at 4 p.m. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  5. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
Trading Center