Submitting tax forms to Udemy
Udemy is based in the United States, which means Udemy instructors have certain tax obligations to the U.S. government. We know it can be confusing to know what tax forms you need to submit as a Udemy instructor, so we’ve partnered with Comply Exchange to make it easier for you to complete the required forms via a secure platform (taxforms.udemy.com).
All instructors must submit their tax forms, regardless of their country of citizenship. Once you begin the submission flow you will see the option to choose whether you are a U.S. or non-U.S. instructor as one of the first selections you make. Depending on what you choose, the platform will guide you through options that are unique to the selection you made as a U.S. or non-U.S. citizen.
Submitting your form is important because it ensures that Udemy will withhold the correct amount for IRS withholding (more info at this link).
Note: Udemy is not able to provide tax help or give any advice about what to include in your tax form submission. This guide is intended to help answer common questions that Udemy instructors might have about their obligation to submit tax documentation.
What do I need to do?
If you haven't submitted a tax form, or you need to submit a new tax form because your tax circumstances have changed, you can do so through our secure form, submission portal (taxforms.udemy.com).
You do not need to submit a tax form until you start making money from your Udemy courses. Once you submit your form, please allow up to one week for your form to be reviewed and your updated status to be reflected in your revenue report.
How do I know which form to submit?
If you’re not sure which form to submit or how to answer a question about your tax status, we recommend that you consult with a tax advisor to ensure you’re using the right form and entering information correctly.
We can offer some basic information about the types of forms you can fill out via our tax platform:
- W-9: used by U.S. individuals and entities to certify their Tax ID number
- W-8BEN: used by non-U.S. individuals to certify that they are a beneficial owner or a financial account-holder, and claim treaty benefits
- W-8BEN-E: used by non-U.S. entities to certify they’re a beneficial owner or a financial account-holder, and claim treaty benefits
We also support the ability to submit certain less-common types of forms manually by contacting our Support team directly:
- W-8ECI: used by non-U.S. individuals or entities to certify they’re a beneficial owner receiving U.S.-sourced income that is effectively connected with U.S. trade or business
- W-8EXP: used by non-U.S. governments or other tax-exempt entities to certify they’re a beneficial owner or a financial account-holder
- W-8IMY: used by non-U.S. entities to certify they’re an intermediary or flow-through entity receiving payments on behalf of another person
Is the process safe?
What happens if I don’t submit a form?
If we don’t have your tax form on file, IRS rules generally require us to apply the maximum withholding rate of 24% for all sales. Once your earnings have been paid out, that tax amount is immediately remitted to the IRS.
For more info on withholding click here.
Should I expect a 1099 in return for the form I submit?
Beginning in early 2021, Udemy will issue an annual Form 1099 (for U.S. instructors) or Form 1042-S (for non-U.S. instructors) to all instructors who have submitted valid tax information.
I previously submitted my tax forms to Udemy. Do I need to complete this process again?
There are some requirements concerning the recency of the tax information you provide. We may be asking you to provide your information again to be absolutely sure we have your most up-to-date tax status. The IRS requires that you submit updated tax information any time your tax status changes (i.e. a change of address or name).
Some forms, like the W-8BEN, must also be resubmitted every few years. If your form is set to expire, you'll be prompted to make a new submission. In any case, if you see a prompt to submit a tax form in your Udemy account, or you receive a notice that a tax form is needed, you must resolve this request by submitting a tax form via taxforms.udemy.com.
Can I just fax/email/mail you a copy of my tax form rather than go through this site?
With tens of thousands of instructors teaching on Udemy today, we need to make sure we’ve got everyone’s tax information stored securely, in one place, in the same format. This means that we’ll be requiring all tax information be submitted through the Comply Exchange platform (taxforms.udemy.com) moving forward.
Where can I find more information on tax forms?
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides instructions in English for its tax forms that our tax form tool supports:
Since Udemy is unable to provide tax advice, we recommend that you consult with a tax advisor to ensure you’re using the right form and entering information correctly.