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Common IRS Forms for Foreign Investors in the US

Confused Tax Forms

Confused as to whether you should complete a W-8ECI or W-8BEN?

Should your booking agent issue you with Form 1042-S or 1099?

What forms do you need for a refund of withholding on your rental income?

Check out the Foreign Investor Income Withholding Forms below for answers…

Form W-8BEN is the Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding.  If you receive certain types of income, such as interest, dividends, royalties, rents that are NOT effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business then you may receive Form W-8BEN  from your withholding agent (eg bank or lender).

Generally, a Form W-8BEN will remain in effect for purposes of establishing foreign status for a period starting on the date the form is signed and ending on the last day of the third succeeding calendar year, unless a change in circumstances makes any information on the form incorrect.  For example, a Form W-8BEN signed on September 30th 2015 remains valid through December 31st 2018.



Form W-8BEN-E is the Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities) form.

This form is used by foreign entities to document their status for purposes of chapter 3 and chapter 4, as well as other code provisions.



Form W-8ECI is the Certificate of Foreign Person’s Claim for Exemption from Withholding on Income Effectively Connected with the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States

If you receive effectively connected income from sources in the United States, you must provide Form W-8ECI to establish that you are not a U.S. person, claim that you are the beneficial owner of the income for which Form W-8ECI is being provided and claim that the income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States.

You should complete and sign form W-8ECI (one per owner) and give to your management company or booking agent to hold on file. We suggest that you keep copies of the completed and signed forms for your records.



Form 1042-S is the Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding form

This form is used to report the amount of income received on your behalf by your booking agent or management company. The form is prepared by the management company or withholding agent, submitted to the IRS and copied to the rental property homeowner. You should receive your copy of Form 1042-S by March 15th every year and include it with your annual compilation of information to your accountant.

FORM 1042-S


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