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I'm currently living in the US and therefore not eligible for the exemption, so I've never filled in a W-8. But, thanks to the crash in the oil price 6 months ago, I'll be home in two months and will have to complete one then.

I think the form works similar to declaring "tax file nos." in OZ, i.e., the bank/broker doesn't withhold the maximum tax rate from interest/dividends.

Reading the form, I interpret that any dividends you get from US companies will still be subject to withholding tax of 30% (if you fill the W-8 form in). Otherwise, they'll be subject to an extra 20%.

Hope this helps,...Brett
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