Line 1. Enter your name. If you are filing for a disregarded entity with a single owner who is a foreign person, this form should be completed and signed by the foreign single owner. If the account to which a payment is made or credited is in the name of the disregarded entity, the foreign single owner should inform the withholding agent of this fact. This may be done by including the name and account number of the disregarded entity on line 8 (reference number) of Part I of the form.
If you own the income or account jointly with one or more other persons, the income or account will be treated by the withholding agent as owned by a foreign person if Forms W-8ECI are provided by all of the owners. If the withholding agent receives a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, from any of the joint owners, the payment must be treated as made to a U.S. person.
Line 2. If you are filing for a corporation, enter the country of incorporation. If you are filing for another type of entity, enter the country under whose laws the entity is created, organized, or governed. If you are an individual, write “N/A” (for “not applicable”).
Line 3. Check the box that applies. By checking a box, you are representing that you qualify for this classification. You must check the one box that represents your classification (for example, corporation, partnership, etc.) under U.S. tax principles. If you are filing for a disregarded entity, you must check the “Disregarded entity” box (not the box that describes the status of your single owner).
Line 4. Your permanent residence address is the address in the country where you claim to be a resident for that country's income tax. Do not show the address of a financial institution, a post office box, or an address used solely for mailing purposes. If you are an individual who does not have a tax residence in any country, your permanent residence is where you normally reside. If you are not an individual and you do not have a tax residence in any country, the permanent residence address is where you maintain your principal office.
Line 6. You must provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number (TIN) for this form to be valid. A U.S. TIN is a social security number (SSN), employer identification number (EIN), or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Check the appropriate box for the type of U.S. TIN you are providing. If you are an individual, you are generally required to enter your SSN. To apply for an SSN, get Form SS-5 from a Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Fill in Form SS-5 and return it to the SSA. If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get one, you must get an ITIN. To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get an ITIN. If you are not an individual (for example, a foreign estate or trust), or you are an individual who is an employer or who is engaged in a U.S. trade or business as a sole proprietor, use Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to obtain an EIN. If you are a disregarded entity, enter the U.S. TIN of your foreign single owner.
Line 7. If your country of residence for tax purposes has issued you a tax identifying number, enter it here. For example, if you are a resident of Canada, enter your Social Insurance Number.
Line 8. This line may be used by the filer of Form W-8ECI or by the withholding agent to whom it is provided to include any referencing information that is useful to the withholding agent in carrying out its obligations. A beneficial owner may use line 8 to include the name and number of the account for which he or she is providing the form. A foreign single owner of a disregarded entity may use line 8 to inform the withholding agent that the account to which a payment is made or credited is in the name of the disregarded entity (see instructions for line 1 on page 3).
Line 9. You must specify the items of income that are effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. You will generally have to provide Form W-8BEN, Form W-8EXP, or Form W-8IMY for those items from U.S. sources that are not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. See Form W-8BEN, W-8EXP, or W-8IMY, and its instructions, for more details. If you are providing this form to a partnership because you are a partner and have made an election under section 871(d) or section 882(d), attach a copy of the election to the form. If you have not made the election, but intend to do so effective for the current tax year, attach a statement to the form indicating your intent. See Regulations section 1.871-10(d)(3).
Signature. Form W-8ECI must be signed and dated by the beneficial owner of the income, or, if the beneficial owner is not an individual, by an authorized representative or officer of the beneficial owner. If Form W-8ECI is completed by an agent acting under a duly authorized power of attorney, the form must be accompanied by the power of attorney in proper form or a copy thereof specifically authorizing the agent to represent the principal in making, executing, and presenting the form. Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, may be used for this purpose. The agent, as well as the beneficial owner, may incur liability for the penalties provided for an erroneous, false, or fraudulent form.
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