The W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E are U.S. tax forms for non-U.S. Persons. We and the IRS use them to determine whether you live in the U.S. and what taxes, if any, we need to collect from your earnings on Upwork. You must have this form on file before you can withdraw earnings from Upwork.
Without these forms as proof that you are a non-U.S. Person, Upwork will be required to withhold up to 30% of your future earnings on Upwork and send that withholding tax to the IRS. As long as a new W-8BEN/W-8BEN-E form is filled out completely and validly, we are not required to withhold U.S. income tax.
To complete the W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E, you’ll need to complete three cards in the Tax Information section of your settings.
1. Tax residence: ensure you have a tax address on file
Whether you are completing your W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E as an individual tax filer or as an entity, you need to ensure that you have a tax address on file first. You can enter or update your tax address by going to Settings > Tax Information > Tax Residence.
2. Taxpayer identification: start Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E as an individual, corporation, or partnership
- Go to Settings › Tax Information › Taxpayer identification
- Confirm that you are a non-U.S. taxpayer
- Enter your legal name
- Select your federal tax classification from the drop-down box
- Enter your date of birth and country of citizenship if you are filing as an individual, or your country of incorporation if you are filing as a corporation or partnership
3. Tax identification number: finish and certify Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E as an individual, corporation, or partnership
- Go to Settings > Tax Information > Tax identification number
- Provide your Tax identification number. This is the number you use for reporting taxes in your country and may be referred to by a different name, such as a PAN number in India, for example. Some countries may also use a National ID number.
- Read the Tax Certification and Confirmation of Unchanged Status, which includes reviewing the information you have provided, shown in the text box. Per U.S. tax law, you must let Upwork know if anything has changed on your W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E since you started working on Upwork
- Electronically sign with your legal name (the date will always default to the date you sign)
- Check the confirmation box at the bottom of the page
- Additionally, please sign the affidavit confirming your status has not changed, with your legal name, and again, the date will also auto default to today’s date
Once you complete and submit your information in the Taxpayer identification and Tax identification number sections, you’ll see “Completed” in the capsule beside each section’s title. If you haven’t done so yet, the capsule will say “Not completed”.
For any other tax classification, please provide Upwork with your Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E — you will not be able to fill out the form on Upwork
Please fill out a complete W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E form along with signature, and send it to the Upwork tax team if you are:
- An entity type other than individual, corporation, or partnership (for a full list, please look at the types provided on the IRS form W-8BEN-E), or;
- An individual or corporation claiming treaty benefits;
For users that fall into these categories, you will have the option to select that you are an “other entity type or claiming treaty benefits”. This option will provide further instructions with more information about these forms and how to submit the signed and completed form to Upwork.
If you cannot complete the certification on the W-8BEN, contact Upwork Support by choosing the Get Support button at the bottom of any Help page.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Form W-8BEN is completed by non-U.S. individuals
- Form W-8BEN-E is a more detailed version of the W-8BEN that is required for non-U.S. entities (i.e. corporations and partnerships)
- Form W-9 is completed by U.S. Persons
These forms document taxpayer information that the IRS requires us to collect for people and businesses receiving payments through our platform.
All non-U.S. individual taxpayers who receive payments on Upwork must complete the W-8BEN form to verify that they are not a U.S. Person, and are performing services outside of the United States.
- Please make sure you fill out your Tax residence card along with filing a W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E, under Settings › Tax Information > Tax residence
- If you completed a W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E prior to December 2022, you will need to complete a new Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E
If you are representing an entity, you must complete a Form W-8BEN-E instead of the W-8BEN.
Without this form as proof that you are based outside the U.S., we’ll be required to withhold up to 30% of your future earnings on Upwork and send them to the IRS. As long as a W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E form is correctly filled out and valid, we are not required to withhold at this rate.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government’s national tax collection and enforcement agency.
This is the number that your country uses for collecting your tax information and may have a different name, such as PAN in India, for example. Some countries may use a National ID number. You may be able to find information about your country’s TIN here. If you have questions about your number, you will need to consult a tax advisor in your country or contact your local tax authority.
Address alone does not confirm that you’re not a U.S. Person. For example, U.S. citizens living abroad are still subject to U.S. income tax (and must provide us a Form W-9).
Without the Form W-8BEN, U.S. tax law requires us to withhold up to 30% of your future earnings on Upwork and send the withholdings to the IRS. The W-8BEN confirms that you are not a U.S. taxpayer and not subject to U.S. tax on your earnings.
If you have not completed or updated your Form W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E yet, we urge you to complete a new form as soon as possible.
You will not be able to withdraw your earnings from Upwork until you complete the form. Also, if you do not complete the required form, we will be required to withhold up to 30% of your future earnings on Upwork and send them to the IRS. We will not be able to provide refunds on the withheld funds submitted to the IRS, even if the forms are later completed.
Any entity other than an individual is required to complete Form W-8BEN-E. You can fill out the W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E on Upwork if you are an individual or corporation — other entities will need to submit a completed form to Upwork. For instructions and information on how to complete a W-8BEN-E, please see the IRS website for the full form and instructions (link).
No, we send the taxes we withhold from you to the IRS and cannot provide a refund once they are withheld and submitted.
We only use the form to confirm that you are not a U.S. Person and that we are not required to withhold taxes from your earnings for the IRS. This includes providing this information to the IRS if they request it.
We do not have the completed form set up for viewing on Upwork, but we hope to have this available soon.
When your client pays you on Upwork, they actually pay Upwork Escrow Inc., which is our licensed escrow subsidiary. Upwork Escrow Inc. acts as a “third-party settlement organization” under Internal Revenue Code Section 6050W. This means we (not your client) are required to report the payments we remit to you to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
For the W-8BEN and Tax Identification sections, you’ll see “Completed” in the capsule beside the section’s title once you’ve completed and submitted your information. If you haven’t done so yet, the capsule will say “Not completed”.