Avoid double taxation of 30% – which form?

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  • #43356 Reply

    Hi All,
    Asking for help with finding the correct tax form to submit to a publisher/library in Italy that I (a U.S. composer) have an album with.

    When they send a notice for payment of royalties, they also include this info:

    “Please send also the Tax certificate valid for 2023 to avoid the double taxation of 30%, otherwise please confirm us that you accept the deduction.”

    I’ve tried to research this at the IRS website and I just seem to go in circles. If anyone knows the form, I would appreciate knowing what it is. I’d be happy to paypal you some $ for a cup of coffee in return. 8)

    #43358 Reply
    Art Munson

    The tax form you need to submit to the Italian publisher/library is the W-8BEN form. This form is a certificate of foreign status that allows you to claim a reduced rate of withholding on your Italian royalties. The W-8BEN form is available on the IRS website.

    To complete the W-8BEN form, you will need to provide your name, address, taxpayer identification number (TIN), and country of residence. You will also need to check the box that indicates that you are a resident of the United States and that you are not subject to Italian taxation on your Italian royalties.

    Once you have completed the W-8BEN form, you should send it to the Italian publisher/library. You can also send the form to the IRS, but this is not required.

    Here are the steps on how to submit the W-8BEN form to avoid double taxation of 30%:

    Go to the IRS website and download the W-8BEN form.
    Complete the form and sign it.
    Send the form to the Italian publisher/library.
    Keep a copy of the form for your records.

    #43360 Reply

    Art! Thank you so much for the help. I hope someone else reading this can also benefit if they are in this situation.

    #43362 Reply
    Art Munson

    @Atmos_Analog You are welcome.

    #43391 Reply

    i may be wrong but this W8BEN form is for foreign artists who have deal in the US and they complete it to submit to the IRS. I don’t think it works the other way.

    for you as a US citizen you have to complete a form called 8802 and send that into the the IRS who will then send you a letter called Form 6166. it is a certificate of US residency which waives the double taxation. You send an original copy of that form to the Italian publisher. so always order more than one copy so in case the fed ex is lost. they normally do not accept a PDF copy. You also need to see if the Italian PRO requires their own form to be completed along with the form 6166. ask your publisher. the link to the forms with the irs are here.


    you need to submit this asap for this year. and then in january every year thereafter unless italy only requires this form every couple years (germany only requires every 3 years and some other countries don’t require at all).

    beware during non-pandemic years, it takes the IRS 1 to 2 months to process. during the pandemic or government shutdown it can take 6 months.

    #43392 Reply
    Art Munson

    @dannyboy. Thanks for the update.

    #43406 Reply

    I thought I saw something was off when the 8-BEN form stated “Do not fill this out if you are a US Citizen.”

    Thank you for the information!

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