2

Non-US individuals who get payments from a US company have to fill in a W-8BEN form and give the form to the US company and then the US company gives the form to the IRS.

This happens for example for US companies such as oDesk or Udemy which pay non-US persons remotely.

Field nr. 2 in that form requires the "Country of Citizenship". According to the IRS instructions here it's not clear whether you should enter your country of citizenship or your country of residence in case you don't reside in your country of citizenship:

Line 2.

Enter your country of citizenship. If you are a dual citizen, enter the country where you are both a citizen and a resident at the time you complete this form. If you are not a resident in any country in which you have citizenship, enter the country where you were most recently a resident. However, if you are a U. S. citizen, you should not complete this form even if you hold citizenship in another jurisdiction. Instead, provide Form W-9.

This line is not clear to me: "If you are not a resident in any country in which you have citizenship, enter the country where you were most recently a resident."

Is the above "if" statement contingent of the previous "if" statement which states that "If you are a dual citizen, enter the country where you are both a citizen and a resident at the time you complete this form"?

In other words, should you enter in "Country of Citizenship" your residence country only in the case of dual-citizenship or also in the case of simply not being a resident in your country of citizenship?

Whether "if" is contingent or not makes the big difference here, but I am not a native of English to be sure how this is.

1

I suspect that the second "if" is subordinate to the first "if," so it only applies to people with more than one citizenship. I think it should say:

If you are not a resident in any country in which you have citizenship, enter the country of citizenship where you were most recently a resident.

(Added text in italics)

In other words, the sentence helps people with multiple citizenship select a country to enter: if they don't live in one of the countries whose citizenship they hold, they should pick the one they lived in most recently.

The alternative interpretation, that anyone who lives in a country of which they are not a citizen should enter their country of residence, does not make much sense because of that were truly the case then the form should be asking for "country of residence" rather than "country of citizenship."

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.