What is a w8-ben-e form instructions

W-8 forms

What is a W-8 form and why do I have to fill it out?

The International Revenue Service (“IRS”), the US federal tax authority, requires Zazzle's W-8 BEN forms to be completed by all international payees in order to confirm residency status outside the US and claim beneficial ownership of income. Under US tax law, Zazzle cannot process payments to foreign residents without a completed and accepted W-8BEN form. W-8 forms are used to determine the appropriate tax withholding rate to be applied to payments made to non-US designers and associates / partners. Once your W-8 form has been approved, Zazzle can begin paying you your earnings. Either with the standard offsetting rate of 30% retention or with a low tax rate if you live in one of the applicable countries (you can find more details on this below). There is a lot of information made available by the IRS through W-8 forms which you can find on the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw8ben/ch01.html


The information on W-8 forms can be confusing at times as designers and associates / partners from different countries may fill out different information on W-8 forms. Zazzle is unable to provide tax advice - we encourage you to contact a tax professional. However, there is some general information that we have found so far regarding the W-8 forms and how to process them, based on the situations we see frequently.

Execution of W-8 forms

In 2014 the IRS published different versions of the W-8 form for different tax situations. All these versions of the W-8 forms can be found on the IRS website: https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html;jsessionid=XX-O2sg-ix4OTXpHWK+OGA__?value=W -8 & criteria = formNumber & submitSearch = Find

In Zazzle’s experience, the most frequently used W-8 forms are the W8-Ben forms for private individuals and the W-8BEN-E forms for legal entities such as companies and cooperations. Other W-8 tax forms are for more specialized types of business entity. Please read the descriptions and information on each form carefully in order to choose the form that best fits your personal tax situation.

What information do I have to fill in? (Based on the W-8 BEN form for private individuals)

** Please note that you are using the full official name and address information that is also registered for you with your government agency. Please also make sure that you have entered the same information in your payment settings in your Zazzle account, as Zazzle uses this information for verification purposes and also compares the information on your W-8 form with it.

There are two levels of completed forms that Zazzle can accept:

Basic level: At this first and basic level, provided the following information is provided, Zazzle can begin processing your payments at the standard 30% backing rate from the IRS:

- Your full legal name (in the order: first name last name) as given by your government.

- Your nationality

- Your full, legal and permanent address, including zip code (and your full postal address, if applicable)

- Your date of birth (note the formatting on the form)

- Your signature (real signature or certified electronic signature)

- The date of signature (note the formatting on the form)

- Your name in block letters under your signature

As mentioned earlier, the information on the W-8 form must match the information in the payment settings of your Zazzle account and the information provided by your government agency.

Second level:The second level of a completed form that Zazzle can accept is described in the following paragraph.

I live in a country that has a tax treaty with the United States. What information do I have to fill out in order to benefit from this tax benefit? (Based on the W8-BEN form for private individuals)

Some countries have tax treaties with the United States that allow a tax rate that is lower than the withholding tax rate for types of income such as royalties and commissions. You can find an up-to-date list of these countries and their tax treaties here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/united-states-income-tax-treaties-a-to-z

Residents of countries that currently have a tax treaty with the United States have the option to apply for a lower tax rate than the standard 30% under their treaty. To do this, the following information must be filled in:

- All of the above information for the basic level

- All fields of the “Claiming Tax Treaty Benefits” part of the form

Either or both of the following:

- Your “Individual Tax Identification Number” (ITIN) from the IRS. (U.S. tax authority tax identification number)


For more relevant information on ITIN: (https://forum.zazzle.com/news/action_required_international_designer_payment)

- Your foreign tax identification number issued by your country of residence

When filling out the W-8 form, it's helpful to note that the form generally relates to the type of income you receive from Zazzle, i.e. your commissions. Much of the information you need is contained in the US agreement with your country of residence (see link above), but some countries require a more detailed description of the nature of Zazzle's income than others. It will be helpful to refer to the definitions in the tax treaty article that best describes the type of income you will receive from Zazzle.

The following tax tables also help you look up the corresponding tax rate that applies under the tax treaty between your country of residence and the USA: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/tax-treaty-tables

Where do I submit my W-8 form?

Please submit your form using one of the following methods:

  • Email: [email protected] - This email must be sent from the email address associated with your Zazzle account
  • Fax: 1-650-362-2199 - Please enter your Associate ID, which must also be given in Part 1, Section 7 of the W8 form (see below)
  • Postal address: Zazzle Inc., 811 Sandhill Road, Reno, NV 89521, USA - Please include your Associate ID, which must also be included in Part 1, Section 7 of the W8 form (see below)

To get your Associate ID, log into your Zazzle account and click the link:

https://www.zazzle.de/my/associate/associate (For Zazzle.com)

https://www.zazzle.at/my/associate/associate (For Zazzle.at)

https://www.zazzle.ch/my/associate/associate (For Zazzle.ch)

What if I submit a W-8 Lower Tax Rate Form under a tax treaty but the 30% retention rate has been applied to previous payments?

If this is your situation, it will indicate that you have already submitted a W-8 form that Zazzle has processed that has not been properly completed to allow us to offset you for the benefits of the tax treaty and so we must follow up IRS legislation using 30% standard tax deduction rate until we receive a revised form from you. If the only affected payout was within the last 30 days of submitting your W-8 form, a correctly completed W-8 BEN form will be sufficient to receive a refund for the difference between the standard 30% withholding tax rate and the appropriate tax rate as per the respective agreements. The refund will then be applied to your next Zazzle payout.

If you have received withdrawals (to which the standard withholding tax rate was applied) that were paid more than 30 days ago, please see here for details on how to submit an updated W-8 BEN form and affidavit, to get a refund: https://forum.zazzle.com/news/refunds_for_international_designers_of

Please note that we must have received the correctly completed W-8 form by March 1 at 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) in order to receive a refund for payments made in the previous calendar year. Any form received after 12:00 PM on March 1st or later can only receive a refund that reflects the difference between the two tax rates for the current calendar year.

Do I have to do anything else after my matching W-8 form has been processed?

There are cases where we need a new W-8 form from you. Please send us an updated form if:

- Change information on your W-8 form (change of name, change of address, etc.)

- The IRS released a new version of the W-8 form.

- The validity of your current W-8 form has expired. A W-8 form is valid for 3 years from the signature date.

- If the IRS publishes new regulations that affect your payouts.

I am a US citizen and live overseas. What should I do?

Please indicate in the payment settings of your Zazzle account that you are a US citizen and fill in the necessary information. In addition, we need a W-9 form (https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html;jsessionid=tqfXlHZyzBDZir9CZC+qSA__?value=w9&criteria=formNumber&submitSearch=Find) and submit this as well as the W -8 form to us by e-mail, fax or post.

What if i need more information?

Should you require further information, please feel free to e-mail us your questions to the following e-mail address: [email protected]

As previously described, Zazzle cannot provide tax advice, so we recommend that you seek out a tax advisor who can professionally assess your tax situation and help you fill out this form.