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W-8BEN Form question

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We got married in May 2018 and my wife moved to USA on H4 visa. Currently she is working on H4-EAD (I am on H1B and I140 is approved) . She has her salary account in Chase bank and recently they have sent us Letter asking her to file W8BEN form. 

Bank letter states:

Our records show that you are a nonresident a;lien individual

  If yes:

          -complete all fields on the enclosed IRS form W-8BEN

If NO:

-Visit IRS.gov to download, complete and return appropriate tax form. Foreign entities need IRS FOrm W-8BEN-E, W-8ECI, W-8EXP or W-8IMY

-US citizens, resident alien, or other US personla need IRS form W-9.


She is technically US resident alien for Tax purpose as she meets the substantial presence test (31 days in calander year and 183 days in last 3 years).

Not sure if we still have to fill W-8BEN form and/or what explanation to provide them? 

Our tax consultant is not able to provide help in this situation. Your suggetion/help is greatly appreciated.








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What kind of job your wife doing? As a direct employee on W2 or contractor for a firm on W9. My guess is that you have a firm on her name and billing through that firm. then that could be a possibility of this W8 BEN.

It should not be bank’s but the employer’s responsibility to collect W8BEn or W9. In recent times, banks have been given some authority to report foreigners’  status in terms of income.. heck, even airline gate agents too oversees. So, if you opened bank account when she didn’t have the EAD, that could’ve been a trigger as well. 

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