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.
What is IRS Withholding?
Withholding tax is a type of tax on income derived from certain types of sales. Withholding is distinct from sales tax, which is paid by the consumer on purchase of an item (like a course). Sales tax is charged to students at the point of sale. Withholding is calculated at the time of payout.
As a U.S.-based company, Udemy has to follow guidance from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to determine if tax should be withheld from instructors’ monthly payments.
What will my withholding rate be?
Generally, IRS withholding only applies to course purchases made by students from the U.S. Your rate of withholding will depend on a number of factors, most importantly your country of tax citizenship. We can’t tell you exactly what rate of withholding will apply to your Udemy earnings until your form is submitted and approved, but when we do begin automatically withholding, you’ll be able to see the rate in your revenue report.
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.
What happens if I don’t submit a tax form?
Udemy is giving all instructors time to fill out the necessary forms. If we don’t have an instructors’ your tax information on file, we’ll pause your next payout and remind you again to submit.
If at that point we still don’t have your tax information, we’ll be required to default to the highest potential level of withholding on your revenue and we’ll resume sending payouts (no longer holding them), so that we can minimize your risk of noncompliance.
This might mean that we withhold more from your payouts than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) actually requires. Depending on your circumstances, there may be avenues for instructors to recoup funds that were withheld in excess of your legal obligation.
Udemy will send reminders throughout this process, but completing the form submission now is the best way to avoid any late complications.
Udemy has partnered with Comply Exchange to help instructors navigate the form submission process more easily and securely share their tax documentation.
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 instructors navigate the form submission page. For individual tax advice, please consult a tax professional.
Where can I find my Udemy User ID?
You’ll be asked to enter your Udemy User ID in the “Basic Details” section in the first page of the form submission process. This Udemy User ID is required as a unique numerical identifier when submitting your tax information.
You can find your Udemy User ID in the invitation email you received when you were asked to submit your tax forms to Udemy.
If you are not able to locate your Udemy User ID, please contact our Support team at this link, and they can help make sure that you have the right information for your account.
How can I save my progress in the form submission process?
After you have selected the tax form type and you have begun to enter information to populate the form, you’ll see the option Save and Exit.
After Clicking Save and Exit you’ll be prompted to create login credentials for taxforms.udemy.com. You should use the email address associated with your Udemy account. You will also be required to enter the 6 digit (alphanumeric) confirmation code which is automatically emailed after you completed Step I.
Finalizing your form submission with your confirmation code
In the final step of the form submission process you’ll be asked to provide an electronic signature as a final certification. A confirmation code is required in this final step, which is automatically emailed to the address you entered in Step I.
I can’t find my confirmation code in my email. What should I do?
A six digit, alphanumeric confirmation code is required to certify your form submission. If you cannot locate the confirmation code in your email inbox, consider these troubleshooting steps:
- Confirm that you are checking the email address you entered in Step I of the form submission process
- Search for an email sent from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check your spam and junk email folder for the message
- From the final certification page at taxforms.udemy.com, click “Resend confirmation code” and in the pop-up browser message, confirm that the correct email address is receiving the email. Wait up to 5 minutes for delivery of the email.
- If the above steps fail, please contact our Support team at this link, from the email address associated with your Udemy account for additional help.
How will I know my submission has been approved?
When you’ve completed the final step in the tax portal, you should see a confirmation screen indicating your form was successfully submitted. From this page, you will also have the opportunity to view and download a copy of the tax form that you generated. Each submission will be reviewed upon receipt. If there is an issue with your tax form, we’ll notify you via email.
The VAT (Value Added Tax) and GST (Goods & Services Tax) is a form of consumption tax on goods and services. The Japanese Consumption Tax in Japan is a type of VAT. VAT / GST rates and regulations vary across geographies.
Udemy currently handles VAT / GST for all purchases made on the website by students as applicable based on local tax rules. In countries where VAT / GST applies, Udemy displays course prices as “tax-inclusive” and Students in these countries will see the tax-inclusive price as a single total, just as they would for other goods and services sold in their countries. Students will receive an email receipt which breaks down the course price excluding tax and VAT / GST separately.
VAT / GST on Mobile
Apple and Google, who run the App Store and Google Play stores, respectively, handle all purchases on the mobile platform and will handle VAT / GST.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our support team.