I'm neither a citizen nor resident of the US, but I currently live in the US and work for a US-based company that sponsored my visa. I'm employed as W-2 and thinking about starting my own course on Udemy, but I'm concerned whether I'm legally allowed to work with Udemy while working for my company at the same time. Technically, that shouldn't be a problem, as I'm not a resident, but I would appreciate clarification. And if I am, then what tax form should I use? W-8ECI seems like an obvious answer, but I'm confused about "income that is, or is deemed to be, effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States" part. My Udemy courses will not be connected to my current employment in any way.
I understand that Udemy is not a tax consulting company, but I think with the number of instructors here, somebody must have faced the same question before.
Thank you in advance.
Hi @AlekseyUsov ,
Before someone jumps in, the form you need to choose will depend on where you live, whether you’re an individual or entity, and other specifics. 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.
Hi @MariaG ,
"the form you need to choose will depend on where you live"
As I mentioned in my 1st message, I live in the US.
"whether you’re an individual or entity"
Again, as mentioned in my 1st message, I was referring to "my own course", which means an individual.
"Udemy is unable to provide tax advice"
Yes, I'm aware of that. And this is exactly what I mentioned at the end of my opening message.
"we recommend that you consult with a tax advisor to ensure you’re using the right form and entering information correctly. "
Yes, I've read FAQ, but it doesn't answer my question, so I decided to ask for somebody's personal experience. I'll appreciate it if this thread stays here for now in case someone turns up.
I agree with Maria here -- you shouldn't trust a forum for your taxes. Doing it wrong could cost you money and headaches, and if you get audited, that's even more money and headaches. I know it's frustrating to pay an accountant, but I think that's the best thing to do.
That said, in general, your tax reporting depends on your country of tax residency and the tax treaty between that country and the US. So if you're not a resident of the US, you should find an accountant from your country of residency, who is knowledgeable about US tax treaty. I wish you success!
Thank you, that is the most informative answer so far. I'm aware of tax laws in my country of citizenship, so as long as I'm not a resident of the US, I'm not taxable under its jurisdiction, is that correct? This is my last question.
Udemy is a US company, and they are paying you. So you are taxable to the US even if you are neither a citizen nor a resident of the US.
Fortunately, though, US has tax treaties with most other countries. So it's likely (hopefully!) that you don't actually owe any taxes to the US. However, you still need to report your Udemy income to the IRS, otherwise if you get audited, they might suspect that you are trying to evade paying taxes (tiny risk, but not one I'd take).
I'm happy to tell you that much information. The question is which form to fill in and what to write in those forms. That's the information you need to get from a professional in your country. Don't trust me or any other random stranger on the internet to tell you that. An accountant who is knowledgeable about US tax treaties can fill in the form in 10 minutes. It's not a lot of work, just really non-intuitive 😛