I am currently in the process of opening an account with Interactive Brokers which involves a request to complete a W8-BEN form.
1. Why does IB require everyone to fill out the form? I understand that the purpose of the form is for claiming a reduced rate of tax withholding on US income under the US-Australia double taxation treaty...
What if you will not be trading US securities at all?
2. Section 6 of the form asks for a SSN or ITIN. Did most of you apply for an ITIN? Is the process long/difficult?
3. I am not a US resident/citizen, but I have an SSN from when I was in the States on a J-1 exchange visa previously... any ideas if this would be valid for section 6 of the form?
Thanks for your help