Reader Alert: IRS Issues Notice of W-8 Phishing Scam

The IRS is alerting international taxpayers and non-resident aliens in the U.S. to a criminal tax scam that seeks to obtain personal information from individuals through a phony version of the Form W-8BEN, Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting.  The IRS warns: “The Form W-8BEN is a legitimate U.S. tax exemption document, however, it can only be submitted through a withholding agent. In the past, fraudsters have targeted non-residents of the U.S. using the form as a lure to get personal details such as passport numbers and PIN codes. The legitimate IRS Form W-8BEN does not ask for any of that information. The phony letter or fax also refers to a Form W9095, which does not exist. Furthermore, the IRS doesn’t require a recertification of foreign status.” Read the full report here.