independent contractor taxes

When it comes to non-U.S. freelancer and independent contractor taxes, there's a 30% tax for freelancers who aren't U.S. Residents who are employed by some companies conducting business on U.S. soil. The form for these cases is either W-8BEN or W-8BEN-E, instead of an independent contractor's regular W-9. It's called:

Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting

If you are going through your business or service's startup phase you have one year grace period during which you don't need to file any taxes. When that year is over, though, you must start carrying books and filing taxes. You can always do this (if you have accounting skills) or hire an accountant to do it for you.

What I understood on first contact with these two tax laws is the following:

W-8BEN: for individuals, non-resident U.S. aliens.

W-8BEN-E: for entities (companies) foreign to the U.S.


In-depth Articles about Independent Contractor Taxes

I found these informative articles on the subject of independent contractor taxes:

What Exactly Is A W-8BEN-E Form, and How Does It Impact Businesses?

Technical article on Tipalti about W-8BEN-E forms. It closes with a view on W8 automation.


Filling out the W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E tax form (for nonresident aliens)

A more novice-friendly on In this article on Medium, they say that they work with Tipalti. I'm not paid to endorse any of these two platforms, but I think it was worthy of mentioning this coincidence.



Official, from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Tax for Freelancers: Takeaway

The personal takeaway, don't fret too much about independent contractor taxes, even if you register in a freelancer telework platform that requires it, look how simplified it is in a freelancer platform, they asked me just for the information in the picture:

MW TaxForm W 8BEN data censored

DISCLAIMER: This article doesn't aim at providing any kind of legal advice. It's just a record from my research that I decided to share with others.

© Martin Wensley 2018-2022 —(Non-U.S.) Freelancer Taxes and Independent Contractor Taxes