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Form Requirements for International Payees

It can be confusing to understand the necessary paperwork required when paying an international vendor.  There are several different forms that are used for tax purposes, depending on the circumstances, to ensure compliance with federal tax requirements.  All forms are available on the Finance site by selecting Resources on the top navigation bar, then selecting Forms from the drop down menu.  Each form includes detailed instructions on when to use the form and how to complete the form.  Below is information on when to use each form and examples to help guide you in determining which form should be used, based on the payment being made.

  • W-8BEN – Use this form when payment is being made to a foreign individual or an individual is claiming a tax treaty.
    • Example: A non-U.S. citizen (individual) is receiving a payment for acting as a standardized patient for a student lab.
    • Example: A non-U.S. citizen individual enters a film festival and wins a prize during the competition.
    • Example: A non-U.S. citizen individual is receiving a royalty payment.
  • W-8BEN(E) – Use this form when payment is being made to an international business.
    • Example: A non-U.S. company provides software and support to a campus department.
    • Example: A non-U.S. company is receiving a royalty payment.
  • Foreign Source Affidavit – Use this form for payees that are not U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens of the U.S. who will perform services outside the United States.  The payment will be considered foreign source if the Non U.S. person or company provides the entirety of the service outside the U.S.
    • The Foreign source affidavit replaces the use of the W-8BEN.
      • Example: An individual completing editorial services for a department from their home in Canada.
      • Example: Renting of hotel and conference space in Malaysia.
      • Example: An individual providing tour guide services for a University led group in Ireland.
      • Example: An individual providing transportation services for a University led group in a foreign country.
  • Honorarium or Travel Reimbursement Affidavit – Use this form for any international visitor that will visit an OHIO campus and receive an honorarium and/or travel reimbursement.
    • If the visitor will be receiving a travel reimbursement, in accordance with the accountable plan rules (see Policy 41.121), ONLY the Travel Reimbursement Affidavit is needed, no W-8BEN is required.
      • Example: A non-U.S. citizen visits campus for an event and will be reimbursed airfare, hotel and per diem only, then the Affidavit is the only form required.
    • If the visitor is receiving an Honorarium Payment the Affidavit must be used along with a completed W-8BEN.  Why the two forms?  The W-8BEN is used to determine if any tax treaties are applicable to the honorarium payment.  The Affidavit form ensures that the payment can be made to the individual (based on the visa type marked on the Affidavit).
      • Example: A non-U.S. citizen visits campus for an event, and will be reimbursed their travel costs. In this case ONLY a Travel Reimbursement Affidavit will be used.
      • Example: A non-U.S. citizen will be visiting campus to act as a guest speaker for a lecture in a department and the department will pay a $500 honorarium and reimburse travel costs.  In this case the Honorarium or Travel Reimbursement Affidavit AND the W-8BEN will be used.
    • The individual receiving the payment must complete a record in Glacier to elect any applicable tax treaty benefits BEFORE payment can be made.  An email from support@online-tax.net will be sent to the individual with access information to Glacier.  The individual has 10 days to complete Glacier or the maximum tax will be withheld.  Travel payments and Foreign Sourced payments do not require a Glacier record to be complete. 

Questions?  Contact Robert Payne, Tax Manager, at payner1@ohio.edu or 597-1721.