I am a participant on an online website, where you enter into contests where you suggest names for businesses, and if you win, you get paid.

I am based in India. I have just won my first contest, and for withdrawing my balance, the website (being a US company) is asking me to fill out the W8-BEN form.

Now, I'm not sure if I need to fill out point 10, which deals with Special rates and conditions, where the beneficiary claims rebate using some Article number from the US-India double taxation avoidance treaty. Do I need to fill this? Should I fill in Article 15 (Independent Personal Services) of the US-India Tax Treaty and claim 0% withholding?

Or is filling in point 9 (which specifies that I'm a resident of India which has a treaty with the US) enough?

If I do not fill out point 10, will any taxes be deducted?

Any help would be appreciated.

  • Have you referred to the instructions? I think your question is covered. Apr 11, 2016 at 2:05
  • Converted to an answer for future reference. Apr 12, 2016 at 17:33

3 Answers 3


According to the Form W-8BEN instructions for Part II, Line 10:

Line 10. Line 10 must be used only if you are claiming treaty benefits that require that you meet conditions not covered by the representations you make on line 9 and Part III. For example, persons claiming treaty benefits on royalties must complete this line if the treaty contains different withholding rates for different types of royalties.

In tax treaties, some of the benefits apply to every resident of a foreign country. Other benefits only apply to certain groups of people. Line 10 is where you affirm that you meet whatever special conditions are necessary in the treaty to obtain the benefit.

If you are claiming that Article 15 of the U.S.-India Tax Treaty, you could use Line 10 to do this.

It is important to remember that this form goes to the company paying you; it does not actually get sent to the IRS. Therefore, you can ask the company themselves if filling out Line 9 only will result in them withholding nothing, or if they would need you to fill out Line 10.


For filling out the W8-BEN form, please refer to the instructions in the document named:

Instructions for Form W-8BEN

Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting


Now, I'm not sure if I need to fill out point 10, which deals with Special rates and conditions,

My understanding is that 0% isn't a "special" rate and hence Line 10 can be left blank. The explanatory document gives examples of special rates like 15% being applicable to royalties, etc.

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