W-8BEN guide for Dummies?

So, I ike to read and write but hate mathematics and accounting hence I have procrastinated in completing the tax forms.  I just tried reading one of the information sheets and now I feel like my head is about to explode. 

I have avoided filling in the forms for so long.

Now I want to push myself to do it.

But the language and ideas are so foreign to me - it

feels like I am reading a foreign language, I am just not

making any head way with the information sheet nor the 

application form.  I can't make heads or tails of the instructions.

They seem quite complicated. So my question to the great writers on this site.

Is there a  W-8BEN guide for Dummies?


What does individual mean?  is that a registered owner of a publishing business?

Why won't one of you write a very simple instruction manual for those of us who don't truly get the meta-language for tax forms.

People like me don't want to break laws so is there an easy way to break down the language of taxes for simpletons?

Anyone know how to explain away the W-8BEN form?


I would love to know what other people have experienced with these tax forms.





  • US tax forms and instructions are far more complicated than they need to be. A web search for "easy W-8BEN instructions" might help you out.


    The form is looking for your particulars. Part I asks for name, address, country of citizenship and either your US or foreign tax ID#. If you dont' have a tax ID #, I think you need to appy for an EIN # (and yes, that's another form).


    I don't know if Part II applies, you may be able to leave it blank, but verify that. 


    Part III is your signature.


    What does individual mean?  is that a registered owner of a publishing business?


    Individual generally means a single person. In the US, a business owner acquires a separate tax ID number for their company.    



  • I read this article when I was filling mine out. It's specifically directed at writers in a similar situation - and worked for me as a Canadian. 

  • potetjppotetjp Professor

    I am French, filled it three years ago, and don't remember anything difficult to understand in it.

  • Thank you ever so much.

    Apologies for delayed response.

    Much obliged.

  • Thank you. I will.
  • I am a bit slow...Getting old.

    maybe you are just smarter. 

    But, I am reading the above suggested document;

    getting there!


    Have a great writing week all!


    Thanks again!


    Smiley Happy



  • Got this!

    Thanks for pushing me in the right direction...
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