Publisher Income Tax Forms & Information for Sign Up
Why do we need your income tax information?
When you sign up to become a publisher in the Rakuten Affiliate Network, we need to collect information in order to pay you for your commissions earned. Income tax details are part of the information we are required to get from you. Learn more about the sign-up process in our step-by-step guide.
What income tax information is needed?
Rakuten Affiliate Network provides a list of income tax forms (or tax status) in the online registration page to help you choose the appropriate one when you sign up a publisher with our network. Regardless of which country you are based in, you must select one of the forms. All US-based publishers are required to select the W-9 form. Publishers from all other countries can select either a W-9 form (effective January 21, 2015) if they are liable for paying taxes in the United States, or a W-8 form if not. Please consult a tax expert or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you need additional information. You do not need to mail or upload the income tax form to us, however. You only need to enter the requested information in the registration form online.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers you may find helpful:
Which legal entity should I select on the registration form?
- Review this article for more information about legal entities (business types).
Do I need to mail or upload a tax form to Rakuten Affiliate?
- No. During the registration process, we ask you to enter your company name and income tax identification information (social security number or employer identification number in the US) so that you do not have to submit a physical document.
Will I have to pay taxes on my Rakuten Affiliate earnings?
- It is the responsibility of each publisher to understand and follow the appropriate tax laws.
Rakuten Affiliate is required by US tax laws to collect certain tax-related information from our publishers. However, we are not able to provide you with tax advice. You should always consult a tax adviser to help answer specific questions regarding how tax laws apply to you and your business.
Note on Form W-8 for Publishers Outside of the United States
As a Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Network Publisher based outside of the United States, you have the opportunity to partner with and earn income from US advertisers. As such, we are required by the IRS to obtain and maintain documentation to certify your non-US status. If we do not have this certification on file, we are required to apply the applicable withholding tax (currently 30%) when commission payments are made to you on behalf of US advertisers. Backup withholding is not applicable to an entity that is properly documented as not subject to US taxation (that is, you have selected a form W-8 of any kind). Backup withholding is only relevant to a US-taxable entity.
This certification is referred to as your W-8 status. You must have form W-8 selected in your company information, you do not need to fill out or send us a physical form. There are multiple W-8 forms, and for most publishers the W-8BEN is appropriate, as it is the form used primarily by entities and individuals to claim foreign status.
If you need help choosing the appropriate form, please consult a tax expert or the IRS. A brief description of each form is listed below. Please refer to the instruction forms for specific details about each W-8 form.
Publishers should contact a tax, legal, or professional adviser to understand the impact of form W-8 reporting on their business. Information herein does not constitute tax, legal, or other professional advice and must not be used as such.
The following income tax form resources are provided for your information only. You do not need to send us the tax form.
1. W-9: Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification
2. W-8BEN: Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding
3. W-8IMY- Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding
4. W-8ECI- Certificate of Foreign Person’s Claim That Income Is Effectively Connected With the Conduct of a Trade or Business in the United States
5. W-8EXP- Certificate of Foreign Government or Other Foreign Organization for United States Tax Withholding
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