USA W-8BEN late filing - help needed


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Hi,

I am a non-citizen and used to live in the USA and have been a non-resident for more than 3 years now. I have not had to file taxes since 2012 because I don't pass the substantial presence test in the USA. It has come to my notice that I need to file a form called W-8BEN. I have a couple of checking accounts accruing minimal interest (< 25 USD/year). I spoke to bank personnel and they said it is fine to file W-8BEN at this time..I wonder if there are any tax/legal implications for doing this at this time, given that there has been a delay.

Thanks
 
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smallbushelp

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IRS Form W-8BEN is given to a withholding agent or payer - like a bank - if they request it. It is not filed with the IRS. There should be no legal issues for providing it now instead of some time ago but there could be tax implications because the form is used to determine if you are subject to income tax withholding or not. If you're not subject to withholding and they have been withholding, you could be due some money back.

You can review the instructions for the form at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw8ben.pdf if you need additional information.
 

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