The Nextform Team
November 26, 2021

Form W-9 for U.S. Expats

Form W-9 for U.S. Expats

If you're a U.S. citizen living abroad, you may have been asked to complete a Form W-9 by a U.S. company or bank. The form may relate to financial accounts or freelance income. In this post, we'll discuss the significance of Form W-9 so you can understand the purpose of the form and determine if it is the correct form for you.

The W-9 is a short form that asks for your name, address, and tax ID number. It certifies that you are a U.S. person which is defined as:

  • An individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien
  • A partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States
  • An estate (other than a foreign estate)
  • A domestic trust

This definition includes individuals who are U.S. citizens, green card holders, individuals who are treated as residents for U.S. tax purposes, and U.S. entities, such as corporations, LLCs, estates and trusts.

Important: If you do not meet the definition of a U.S. person above, you may need to complete a different form, such as form W-8.

Where To Enter a Non-U.S. Country

Form W-9 does not include a space for your country, since it is designed mainly for U.S. residents. If you are living abroad, you should add the country in a way that is clear and easy to understand. On the paper form, or in the PDF form, if there is enough space on line 6 on the form (the space labelled "City, state, and ZIP code"), this is a logical place to add your country. If you are completing your W-9 using an electronic service such as Nextform, you may select your country from a drop-down list.

If you have more than one address and you're unsure about which address to use, you should use the same address that you use to file your U.S. tax return.

Do you collect a lot of W-9s? You may be interested in automating your form request process with the Nextform API. Nextform fits into your onboarding process by providing an API that is easy to integrate. Our turnkey service keeps track of your forms for you so you can focus on running your business.