I am getting most of my information from this page: http://www.kahnlitwin.com/blogs/tax-blog/form-1099-requirements-for-foreign-workers

I pay both US citizens and non-US citizens as independent contractors. For the US citizens, I gather that normally I would need to send out 1099-MISC forms, but since I make all payments via PayPal such reporting is not required, because should it be necessary PayPal will submit 1099-K forms.

Given that all payments are made through PayPal, do I still need W-8BEN forms from people who are non-US citizens and are located outside of the US? Or is this also negated via paying people electronically?

Assuming I am required to collect W-8BEN forms from my non-US payees, how do I know which of my payees I should require to give me such forms? Do I need to demand proof-of-US-citizenship from all of my payees and then require W-8BEN forms from any who cannot (or choose not to) prove that they have US citizenship?

If at all possible, I would like to avoid learning things like social security numbers.

1 Answer 1


I answered it here, but that wasn't an exactly the same question - so I'll answer again:

You don't care whom PayPal is paying what. You are paying PayPal, which is a corporation so you're exempt from sending 1099 to it.

  • Thank you for answering! My question is about the W-8BEN though. Does the same logic apply? (i.e. I am paying PayPal, PayPal is a US corporation, so I don't need to get W-8BEN forms from the people who ultimately will receive the money)
    – Mala
    Apr 16, 2016 at 20:49
  • @Mala you're not paying people who ultimately receive the money. You're paying Paypal
    – littleadv
    Apr 16, 2016 at 21:57

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