Certify Your Tax Status


Filling out a tax certification form is required to open an IB account.  The forms confirm your tax status in relation to the United States.  Information provided by you may lower or exempt the U.S. tax withholding on your account.


This article will help you to:

►Choose the correct certification form                            ►Find your tax treaty benefits

►Fill out and submit your form online                              ►Answer tax certification questions





Which Form Do You Pick?

Tax Treaty Benefits

Management of account activity differs for each account type.  IB is a U.S. broker and must follow U.S. guidelines.  3 simple questions help you choose the right form

Some countries have a tax treaty with the U.S.  Find out if you benefit from a lower tax-withholding rate. Tax Treaty Benefit Info

Filling Out The Form

Tax Certification – FAQ’s

The certification form is direct.  Supply basic account information on the true owner of the assets or entity.  Select  W-9 Instructions or W-8 Instructions for help. Seek professional advice for tax questions.  These common questions and answers may help you make an informed decision.  Tax Certification - Frequently Asked Questions




Disclaimer:  IB does not provide tax advice. These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax advisor or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.



How and When to Use a Direct Rollover


This information is for general educational purposes only.  Individuals should consult with their financial adviser or legal counsel to determine how rollover regulations affect their unique situations.

Generally, an investor changing jobs or leaving the workforce may utilize either a Direct Rollover election to continue their retirement savings outside of their employer-sponsored retirement plan.   Assets distributed directly to your IRA from the retirement plan may qualify as a Direct Rollover.

What is a Direct Rollover?

The Direct Rollover is a tax-free distribution to you of cash or other assets from one retirement plan that you contribute to another retirement plan, including an IRA.  The contribution to the IRA is called a rollover contribution.  The Direct Rollover method transfers the assets directly from the retirement plan (and not to the IRA owner) into the investor's IRA, avoiding the 20% mandatory IRS withholding.  This option to transfer retirement assets has no age limitations.

Eligible retirement plans include:

  • Employer's qualified pension, profit -sharing, or stock bonus plan
  • Annuity plan
  • Tax sheltered annuity plan (section 403(b) plan)
  • Governmental deferred compensation plan (section 457 plan)

Who do you contact first? 

Contact your retirement plan administrator or the human resources office for eligibility and requirements.  The plan administrator is required to provide a reasonable direct method of asset transfer.   Completion of an IRA Rollover Form provided by the administrator may be required, in some cases.  In other cases, the plan accepts an IRA Rollover Form supplied by your IRA's broker.  Therefore, it is important to check with the plan administrator.

Initiating your Direct Rollover through IB 

For those transfers that require a broker-supplied IRA Rollover Form, Interactive Brokers provides a convenient IRA Rollover Form.  Interactive Brokers will forward the request to the plan administrator or broker for processing.  Funds may be transferred by either wire transfer or check directly to Interactive Brokers.

Before accepting an IRA rollover transaction into an IRA, we require that you review your eligibility for the rollover and certify your understanding of the rollover rules and conditions.  The IRA Rollover Form includes the Rollover Form and an IRA Rollover Certification Form.

The Fund Transfers page within the Account Management lets you notify IB of an IRA Rollover deposit of funds into your account.  Select the Funding tab in the header link and choose Deposit Funds in the Transaction list.   In the Method list, select Direct Rollover.  Complete, sign, and return both forms to the Interactive Brokers address on the form.

Contact Customer Service with any additional questions.



In compliance with Treasury Department Circular 230, unless stated to the contrary, any information contained in this article was not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer.

Technical FAQs - TWS


Where can I see the TWS system requirements?
Minimum and recommended systems requirements for supported operating systems are listed here. To ensure that you have an adequate Internet connection and enough system resources to run TWS, we recommend that you first open a Trial Account and test the platform.
What are the connectivity requirements to run TWS?
The list of servers that need to be reachable from your machine for operating the TWS are available in the section "DESKTOP TWS" of KB2816.
Can I perform a connectivity test before running the TWS?
It is possible to verify if your computer can reach the needed servers following the instructions on KB2807.
Do I need to install Java before installing or running the TWS?
You do not need to download or install Java manually. The Java Runtime Environment used by TWS is deployed automatically to your machine during the TWS installation.
How do I install the TWS?
The installer packages and related instructions can be found on the Installation Instructions page.
In which cases I should use the OFFLINE version of the TWS?
If you have a slower Internet connection or a restrictive firewall / security system, you may use the OFFLINE version of TWS. This version already packages all the needed core application files in the installer and does not need to download any additional component during the installation. Moreover, this version will not perform automatic platform updates during the start-up phase. Please notice that a working Internet connection and network access to our servers is still required in order to run the OFFLINE TWS, as described in the section "DESKTOP TWS" of KB2816.
What is a BETA release, and how can I use it?
The beta release is a pre-production version of an upcoming release that allows you to actively trade while you test new features. You must deliberately elect to use the beta when you log in and should be aware that you do so at your own risk. Since the beta is under construction until production release, we welcome your input on its performance. The beta will be promoted to production after it has been tested both in-house and externally over a specified time period.
How will I know when a new TWS version has been released?
The TWS update wizard will automatically check for TWS updates each time you log in to the platform. 
Note: The OFFLINE version of TWS will not perform the automatic update. Should you want to update the OFFLINE TWS platform, you need to download and run again the TWS OFFLINE installer.
How do I know what changes are in a new TWS release?
The login page includes links to both the beta and production release notes. These notes briefly describe new features and problems that have been fixed.
Where can I find more information and guidance about the TWS?
Instant help resources include the TWS Webinars, TWS Release Notes, TWS User's Guide, and the Online Tutorials. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, you can contact our Client Services.
How do I reinstall the TWS?
First, remove the TWS software from your machine using your operating system uninstall facility (usually present within the System Settings or within the Control Panel). You can then download and install the TWS again following the instructions on the TWS Software page.
Why are my credentials rejected during login?
You will receive this message for one of the following reasons:
  • you are not entering the proper username (check to be sure the Caps Lock key is not on)
  • your account has not been set up yet
  • you have entered your password incorrectly more than 10 times
Can I have multiple TWS instances running simultaneously with the same username?
A username can only have one session running at a given time. If your username starts an additional trading session, the system will ask you to disconnect the previous one. In order to run multiple trading sessions, you would need to create additional usernames as described in KB1004.
Can I copy the TWS layout of a given user to another one?
Yes. The procedure is described in KB2320.
On my Mac machine I cannot launch two instances of the TWS. Is there anything I can do?
This is a limitation of the MacOS system but two workarounds are available and detailed in KB2637.
When I install the TWS, the installer tells me that it cannot write a file. What should I do?
This is usually due to wrong / missing file system permissions of your user not having the rights to install software. You may try to SHIFT + right click on the TWS installer and select Run as Administrator. If this does not help, we suggest you contact your IT support or your local PC support and have them install the TWS for you.
When I install the TWS, I receive the error "The signature of the file is corrupt or invalid"
This is usually due to the Microsoft signature validation system and can be solved following the instructions on KB2635.
When I try to install the TWS on my Mac machine, I receive the error "TWS installer is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image." How can I fix this?
This is usually due to the installer package not being digitally signed by Apple. In order to bypass this check, go to your Mac OS System Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon on the top left corner of Screen and on System Preferences. Click then on "Security and Privacy". Make sure you are in the tab: General and set radio button for "Allow apps downloaded from" to "Anywhere". Launch again the TWS installation. It should now complete fine. Once you have installed the TWS, please go back to the Security and Privacy system preferences and set back the radio button on "Mac App Store and identified developers" since letting it to "Anywhere" represents a security risk.
When I start the TWS I receive the error message "Download Settings from server failed". What can I do?
This is most probably due to the setup of your network. The troubleshooting procedure is described KB3146.
When the TWS starts up I receive the error "Update failed, Retry? Cancel?" How can I fix this?
This may happen if your firewall / security system limits or blocks access to the IBKR update servers. Please consider the TWS connectivity requirements described in the section "DESKTOP TWS" of KB2816.
When I start the TWS I receive the error message "Ddedll.dll file missing or out of date". How can I overcome this?
This error is shown when you try to enable the DDE API access on a 64-bit TWS instance. The steps for the resolutions are indicated in KB2155.
When I start the TWS I receive the error message "Could not create the Java Virtual Machine". What can I do?
This error may be displayed upon TWS startup if you set the memory allocation for the TWS to a value higher than the available RAM of your system or if you set it higher than 2048 Mb on a 32-bit Operating System. To overcome the error, you would need to decrease the memory allocation to a lower value, as explained in this KB2170 procedure.
Can I use the TWS on a network where the IPv6 protocol has priority over the IPv4?
Yes, you just need to open the C:\Jts\tws.vmoptions file and, below the line ###Keep on update, add the following line:
Once done, save and close the file and start again the TWS.
My TWS platform freezes or crashes often. What can I do to improve the situation?
Normally the TWS needs to allocate and use around 1GB of free memory (RAM) on your machine. If your TWS layout is complex or includes many tools, charts, windows, the standard memory allocation may not be sufficient. This may cause the TWS to freeze or crash. The situation can be improved by assigning more system memory to the TWS, as explained in KB2170.
When I launch the TWS installer on my Mac machine, I receive a warning message. What should I do?
Please check https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491 for possible scenarios and related instructions.
I want to use the TWS from a corporate machine but, upon login, I receive reconnection attempts messages and the platform seems unable to connect to the IBKR servers. How can I solve this?

Corporate environment have usually restrictive firewall rules that may limit or block access to external resources. In order to run the TWS in such environments, you would need to contact your IT / Networking department and have them consider the TWS connectivity requirements described in the section "DESKTOP TWS" of KB2816.

I use the TWS on multiple computer and I would like to have the same platform layout on all of them. Is it possible?
The TWS settings of a given user can be synchronized across multiple computer. The steps to enable this function are described in KB2282.
Who do I contact in case I experience technical issues with TWS?
IBKR has two distinct departments that handle specific types of TWS questions. The Client Services deals with everything involving trading, accounts, funding and executions while the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can help you with connectivity and platform issues.
Should you require immediate help, please call directly our Client Services. We recommend you to:
  • call while you are experiencing the problem
  • have your computer turned on and ready for the troubleshooting
  • have your account information at hand
If your case does not require immediate attention, we advise you to open a Chat with us, ask iBot or submit your inquiry via Message Center ticket. Should you not have access to your Client Portal, you can use the Contact IBKR facility.
In any case, please be ready to provide:
  • your username or account number
  • a detailed explanation of the problem
  • the time-frame during which the problem has occurred or occurs.
  • any pattern you have noticed (e.g. the issue surfaced after the last update, the issue surfaces only when market is closed...)
  • your operating system and browser (when applicable)


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