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?
Udemy has begun to proactively email published instructors to submit their tax forms via our secure form submission site (taxforms.udemy.com). If you haven’t yet received the link to submit your tax forms, you can expect this in the coming weeks.
If you’re a new instructor who hasn’t yet published a course, no action is currently required, but you may be contacted to submit your tax documentation in the coming weeks.
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?
Udemy will soon begin withholding the appropriate amount from each student transaction/course sale for tax reporting purposes. For Udemy course sales, IRS withholding is required for transactions where U.S. students purchase courses from non-U.S. instructors. If we have your tax form on file, your withholding rate for these purchases will depend on the details of your submission, including whether your country has negotiated a tax treaty with the U.S. For instructors in the U.S. who supply a valid W-9 and are not subject to backup withholding, the rate of IRS withholding is 0%. If we don’t have your tax form on file, we will be required to apply the maximum withholding rate for all sales, regardless of country of citizenship. For more info on withholding click here.
Should I expect a 1099 in return for the form I submit?
As Udemy implements withholding, we’ll ensure that you receive a year-end summary of any amounts we’ve withheld from your total payouts. Once we’ve fully implemented our new withholding tax system, we’ll issue you a Form 1099 (for U.S. instructors) or Form 1042-S (for non-U.S. instructors) for each tax year after that.
I previously submitted my tax forms to Udemy. Do I need to complete this new process?
There are some requirements concerning the recency of the tax information you provide. We may be are 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).
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.