On May 31, 2012, the IRS released drafts of new Forms W-8BEN. A foreign person uses Form W-8 to certify their withholding status and eligibility for treaty benefits. The IRS updated the form to reflect changes required by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
There are two separate draft forms. Form W-8BEN is for foreign individuals. Form W-8BEN-E is for foreign entities. The IRS has not yet released drafts of the instructions for these forms. The forms allow the payor to collect the information necessary to comply with Chapter 3 (the nonresident alien withholding rules) and the new Chapter 4 rules on foreign entities added by FATCA.