Tax Form & Instructor Information

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Tax Form & Instructor Information

Hi Udemy team members and instructors,


Is there any problem if I do not complete the tax form?
I have no problem if my account is not working again
Because I didn't earn a bit from the site and I stopped working for two years
I do not want any legal problems or tax prosecution
When I opened an account on udemy, I was in a country that is not prohibited on the site
Currently, I am residing in the State of Sudan, I cannot work in udemy

Please help

12 Replies

You need to fill out the tax form, otherwise Udemy will be required to withhold 30% of your pay each month, and you will have to file with the US government to get it back at the end of the year.


As a non-USA citizen, you simply need to fill out the form and it will generate a W-8BEN form that says, "I am not an American, and I don't live in American. Don't hold back any of my money."


I have the same forms on file for all of my overseas employees from the Phillippines, and it is a requirement for any US company to have that form on file, otherwise we have to hold back 30% of your pay and send it the US government.




Jason Dion
Lead Instructor @ Dion Training Solutions

Hi Jason,

Today I noticed that Udemy is cutting Withholding Tax of my revenue - which is 30% - Which I believe that there is something wrong with this.

According to the form I submitted, I’m not a US citizen and I’m not living in the US.

Please advise.




Hi @Haytham In this case, if you don't have the tax form, the system will apply the maximum withholding rate for all sales. To be able to determine this, I'll recommend you to reach out to 

Hello @ElianaC 

Yes, I have sent an email, hope to get reply soon.

Thanks and have a nice day.


Hello @ElianaC 

I got a reply from Udemy regarding this issue, which has made me more confused.

I appreciate your he lp to explain it to me.


"Hi Haytham,

The US Internal Revenue Service requires that Udemy withhold tax from certain payments to instructors based on their tax status and the location of their students. To be clear, this is an IRS tax that applies to income from US students (not students from other parts of the world).

For non-US instructors who submit a valid form, the default rate is 30% for US student sales. If you calculate the "Withholding amount" from your revenue as a percentage of your total sales, you'll see that your overall percentage withheld is below 30%, since the 30% withholding only applies to your US student sales.

I hope this helps clarify"



Since this applies on US instructor, as a non- US citizen or non-US resident why should I pay such tax?

What I'm sure of is that a non-US instructor can not pay tax to US.





Hi @Haytham Since Udemy is based in the United States. All companies based in the US have to comply with IRS (Internal Revenue Service) regulations, which includes collecting information about your tax status as an instructor.

For non-US instructors, the student's country will affect whether withholding is applied:
- For sales to non-US students, that income won't be subject to any IRS withholding.
- For US student sales, instructors will be subject to withholding tax at an applicable rate based on the information you provide us.



Sorry, you're not really answering the question.


I'm from Canada. I live here. I should not be subject to a 30% withholding tax. Yet, here I am.


Why are you doing this at all?


Furthermore, is this an error that you're working to correct. 


It would be since if you all took the time to address our concerns.


It cant be that hundreds and thousands of instructors have the same problem but we are being treated as if you're simply 'following the taxes laws'. 


I sell on Etsy, Amazon, Ebay and even ios' marketplaces, they all request me to fill out the same forms but we have never been subject to these contrived withholding rules.



Hi Jason. I filled out all the relevant as directed by Udemy. I am not American and I don't live in America. I am a UK citizen, live in UK and pay UK tax. I now see that all my earnings from January 2020 via Udemy are subject to a 30% withholding tax. Do you have any advice as to how I can resolve this issue? Kind regards Nick Stewart

I think the whole thing is hopeless and will stay this way.


I too have written to Udemy but got nothing out of it.


I am not a US citizen and have nothing whatoever to do with the US and I am paying US taxes? 


That's just plain old racketeering and it is simply outrageous.




Hi there. Okay, this is what I've found out. Only US student purchases trigger the withholding tax at 30%. The other thing is this - after 12 months I will be issued a 1042-S Form which is sent to all non US traders. So, I'm led to believe that all the withheld tax will be itemised on this form and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to claim this back. I'm aware that this also happens if you sell e-books via Amazon etc etc. So, I'll wait till I get my form and take it from there. There is no other way. Hope this helps. Nick

Hi there, 


Do i have to fill in something when I get the 1042-S form or if I don't do anything they will automatically keep the 30%? 


My gross income is $5 so I don't really want to go through all the trouble. Do I have to pay the 30% or they will take it?

Hey @Magyaraz.733 , instructors are responsible to report any income received from Udemy just as any other income to your local authorities. If you have any issues filling out this form, you can contact a tax advisor.


Regarding that 30% withholding rate, it's best for you to contact so they can further look into this with the tax team.

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