I have new vendors located in Iceland and China. What form (W-9, W-8, W-8BEN) should they be filling out to be in compliance with the IRS? Vendors are foreign corporations and have no offices or employees in the U.S.


In general, any non-U.S. vendor that is supplying you with services should fill out a Form W8-BEN-E, a new version of the Form W-8 that is specifically for entities as opposed to individuals.
But this is a good time to review whether you need W-8 forms from them, according to Kelli Wooten of Burt, Staples & Maner LLP, which specializes in international corporate tax law. Are you paying them for goods (only) as opposed to services? Are all of the services performed outside the U.S.? If the answer to either of these questions is "yes," then you might not need to obtain W-8s. Payments for merchandise are not reportable or subject to withholding; likewise, payments for services performed only outside the U.S. are not U.S.-source income, so not subject to withholding or reporting.

On TAPN, see:
The Who, What and Why of W-8
Error-Free Payments to Non-U.S. Persons
Guide to Foreign Payments

Also see IRS Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities.

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