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  • Elizabeth A. McMorrow

IRS Pushes Out Date to Use New W-8BEN-E

In April 2016, the IRS released a new Form W-8BEN-E. Ordinarily, the old 2014 Form W-8BEN-E would be permitted to be used for six months subsequent to the release of the new form. Thus, the mandatory date to use the April 2016 form would be November 1, 2016.

The IRS issued an update to the IRS Form W-8BEN-E instructions providing that a withholding agent may accept, and may request that a client provide, the February 2014 revision of Form W-8BEN-E until January 1, 2017. The withholding agent may rely on the April 2016 form signed and accepted before January 1, 2017 until its validity expires or there is a change in circumstances.

For a Form W-8BEN-E, the validity period is generally the period starting on the date the form is signed and ending on the last day of the third succeeding calendar year absent a change in circumstances. For example, a Form W-8BEN-E signed on December 1, 2016 remains valid through December 31, 2019. In some circumstances, a Form W-8BEN-E will remain in effect indefinitely until a change of circumstances occurs.

Pursuant to the updated IRS guidance, starting January 1, 2017 forward, only the April 2016 version of Form W-8BEN-E may be accepted.

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