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Instructions for Completing Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms for Royalty Payments

Completing W-9 tax forms for Domestic Residents

If you are a U.S. citizen residing anywhere, or an individual resident in the United States and have been issued a U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), Social Security Number (SSN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN), please complete IRS Form W-9, using your ITIN, SSN, or EIN and your legal address. Return the completed form, with your signature affixed, to your acquiring editor at the Press.

Completing W-8BEN Tax Forms for Overseas Royalty Payments

If you are not a U.S. citizen, United States tax law requires that 30 percent be withheld of any regular payment made to individuals who reside elsewhere. Exceptions may be granted, however, for individuals who reside in countries that have tax treaties with the United States and who submit a completed W-8BEN tax form. If your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. and you provide us with a completed W-8BEN tax form, you will be taxed according to the requirements of that treaty. If there is no treaty, 30 percent of your U.S earnings will be withheld.

In order to streamline the processing of your tax information, please download IRS Form W8-BEN. In Part I of the form fill in your full name, street address (and, if different, full mailing address), and country you live in (items 1-4). If you have a U.S. ITIN or SSN, please complete item 5; if not, complete item 6 instead with the personal tax number issued you by your country of residence. Complete this part of the form by filling in your date of birth (item 8).

In Part II, write in your country of residence (item 9). In item 10, the "Article" is the relevant section from the U.S. tax treaty with your country (see table below--e.g., the Article for Australia is 12.2). In the space following, enter the corresponding withholding rate (5% for Australia). The table below shows treaty information only for selected countries. The IRS website has a comprehensive archive here: If you are unable to find the relevant article numbers and withholding rates, leave these items blank; we'll complete them for you.

Be sure to sign and date the form in Part III. Then mail the completed form to your acquiring editor at the Press.

Additional instructions about the form may be found here:


Country Treaty Article Treaty Section Tax Rate
Australia 12 2 5%
Canada 12 3 0%
France 12 2 5%
Germany 12 1 0%
Ireland 12 1 0%
Israel 14 1(b) 10%
Netherlands 13 1 0%
South Africa 12 1 0%
Spain 12 2(a) 5%
United Kingdom 12 1 0%

Special note on Certification of Foreign-Source Income forms: CFSI forms are for honoraria and certain other one-time payments only. They may not be used to claim royalties. Please do not send us a CFSI form if you are an overseas author or editor submitting tax information in order to receive royalties.


1. Why must I submit a W-8BEN to Penn Press, and what does a completed W-8BEN contain?

The University of Pennsylvania, in accordance with U.S. tax law, will not allow us to process royalties or other regular payments to overseas individuals until we have obtained a signed, completed W-8BEN. Please fill out the form following the instructions in the section above. If you choose not to submit the form, we will not be permitted to issue you royalty checks.

2. What is a Taxpayer Identification Number?

A Taxpayer Identification Number is a nine-digit number that is used by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to process taxes on individuals earning income from U.S. sources. There are two kinds: the Social Security Number (SSN) issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents by the Social Security Administration and the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued by the IRS to persons who are ineligible for a SSN.

3. I may already have an ITIN or SSN. How can I verify this?

If you have ever been a permanent resident of the United States, have ever been granted a permit to work in the United States, or have ever received royalties from a U.S. publisher, you may already have an ITIN or SSN. If you are unsure, you can check with the U.S. institutions--such as universities or publishers--from whom you have received income in the past. These institutions should have your tax information on file.

5. What are the treaty country and treaty article number?

The treaty country is your current country of residence. To find the treaty article number, you will need to consult the income tax treaty between the United States and your country of residence. A complete list of tax treaties is available on the IRS website: Check the treaty's table of contents for the section that deals with royalties. The article number for that section is the treaty article number. If your country of residence is not listed, most likely your country has no tax treaty with the United States.

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