For a foreign organization, you must obtain a form W-8EXP from the non-profit to certify its status as a non-profit entity and claim reduced or no withholding. See IRS Instructions for Form W-8EXP, which says:
“Payments to a foreign tax-exempt organization of certain types of U.S. source income are also generally exempt from tax and exempt from withholding. Gross investment income of a foreign private foundation, however, is subject to withholding under section 1443(b) at a rate of 4%. Effectively connected income or gain from a partnership conducting a trade or business in the United States may be subject to withholding under section 1446.”
“To establish eligibility for exemption from 30% tax and withholding for chapter 3 purposes under sections 892, 895, 501(c), or 115(2), a foreign government, international organization, foreign central bank of issue, foreign tax-exempt organization, foreign private foundation, or government of a U.S. possession must provide a Form W-8EXP to a withholding agent or payer with all necessary documentation.
The withholding agent or payer of the income may rely on a properly completed Form W-8EXP to treat the payment, credit, or allocation associated with the Form W-8EXP as being made to a foreign government, international organization, foreign central bank of issue, foreign tax-exempt organization, foreign private foundation, or government of a U.S. possession exempt from withholding at the 30% rate (or, where appropriate, subject to withholding at a 4% rate).”
That being said, tax consultants Cokala say that the entity should attach an IRS exemption letter to its W-8EXP or obtain an opinion of legal counsel on the entity’s claim of exemption under 501(c).
This question was answered by COKALA Tax Information Reporting Solutions, LLC, a 3rd party, independent advisory services firm offering experienced and practical help for tax regulatory compliance for Forms W-9, W-8, W-2, 1099, 1098, 5498, 945, 1042, 1042-S, and state reporting. You can learn more about them at www.cokala.com.