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. Nonresident Alien

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

    1. Income tax withheld from employees' wages and paid directly ...
  5. Withholding

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

    A United States government agency that is responsible for the ...
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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Mutual Funds for Retirement

    Discover the top Vanguard target-date retirement funds with target dates in 2020, 2030 and 2050, and learn about the characteristics of these funds.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Best 3 Vanguard Funds that Track the Top 500 Companies

    Discover the three Vanguard funds tracking the S&P 500 Index, and learn about the characteristics and historical statistics of these funds.
  9. Investing

    What Is a REIT and Does It Belong in My Portfolio?

    Real estate investment trusts offer a unique way for investors to own a real estate portfolio without the risks of owning single properties.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 3 Best Vanguard Mutual Funds for Your Roth IRA

    Learn about Vanguard funds that are good choices for a Roth IRA. Read about how Vanguard funds make it easy for investors to diversify their portfolios.
  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. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center