Payments made to an international vendor from within the United States generally require IRS backup withholding at the rate of 30%, with some exceptions. This international vendor must provide a W-8 form (certificate of foreign status), like the W-9 for U.S.-Resident businesses/sole proprietors.
Central is required to establish the tax status of international entities with which it conducts business within and outside the United States. The IRS W-8 form submitted by an international business indicates whether taxes need to be withheld when payments are processed, or there exists a tax treaty that either exempts withholding or allows for a reduced rate of withholding.
If the international vendor is performing a service in the US and is a non-US citizen/resident, then we will require an IRS W-8 form to be completed by the vendor. Please note, unlike the W-8 form, the IRS W-9 form is reserved for verifying the tax filing status of US citizen/resident-owned businesses only, not international entities.
- A non-US citizen/resident sole proprietor (person) will need to complete and return the IRS W-8BEN form.
- An international corporation or partnership with no permanent US base of residency will need to complete and return the IRS W-8BEN-E form.
Once the W-8 form is completed, it can be uploaded to our secure ShareFile site.
Tax Treaties: If the vendor is from a country with no treaty benefits, or the activity is not covered by the treaty, payment to the vendor is subject to 30% tax withholding. The W-8 form will advise the university as to whether 1) a tax treaty between the US and the business's country of residence exempts tax withholding, 2) a tax treaty exists that allows for a discounted rate of withholding, or 3) no tax treaty exists and therefore we are required to withhold 30% from the invoice.
The information specific to each country and pertaining to applicable tax treaty benefits either at a discounted or exempt rate of withholding can be found on the IRS Publication 901, US Tax Treaty page. Normally If there is no tax treaty, we are responsible for withholding 30% of the total invoice amount up front and forwarding this amount to the IRS with the appropriate reports.
ITIN requirement: The W-8 form requires a Tax ID be inputted. If the vendor does not currently have a US-issued SSN or FEIN, they will need to apply for an ITIN from the IRS. The ITIN is used solely for tax reporting purposes and for claiming tax treaty benefits and is not affiliated with the Social Security Administration. To apply for an ITIN, the vendor needs to submit IRS Form W-7 to the IRS and allow up to 4-6 weeks to receive the ITIN. Once the ITIN is received, then the W-8 form can be completed and sent to us with the disbursement form or requisition if applicable.
If the total invoice amount is no more than $5,000 and the activity is for services, then the department can submit a disbursement form to email@example.com and cc Julie deFalco (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition to the disbursement form, you would need to attach the invoice as well with the amounts in USD.
Upon completion of the service, a check will be sent to the vendor in USD for the total amount minus any IRS withholding.