Accepted forms of Payment
The W-8BEN form is for affiliates outside the United States, while the W-9 form is for US citizens.
Rest assured that your information will remain confidential and will only be divulged to related merchants to process payment.
The W-8BEN form (entitled Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) is used in the United States taxation system by foreign individuals to certify their non-American status. The form, issued by the Internal Revenue Service, establishes that one is a foreign, non-resident alien or foreign national performing work outside the United States, in order to claim tax treaty benefits such as a lower amount of tax withholding from dividends paid by U.S. corporations. The W-8BEN form should be given to the withholding agent such as a stock broker, and not the IRS.
W-8 forms can be downloaded from here: FORM W-8BEN
Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, serves two purposes :
It is used to by third parties to file an information return with the IRS on reportable payments made to others. It requests the name, address, and taxpayer identification information of a taxpayer (usually in the form of a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number - either number is considered a Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN as it is commonly called).
The form is never actually sent to the IRS, but is maintained by the person who files the information return for verification purposes. The information on the W-9 and the payment made are usually reported on a Form 1096 or 1099.
The second purpose is to help the payee avoid backup withholding. The payer must collect withholding taxes on certain reportable payments for the IRS. However, if the payee certifies on the W-9 they are not subject to backup withholding they generally receive the full payment due them from the payer. This is similar to the withholding exemptions certifications found on Form W-4 for employees.
W-9 forms can be downloaded from here: FORM W-9