Recently, I’ve had a handful of clients send me e-mails that include this request from foreign businesses that they will be working with:

As we have previously informed you, you will be receiving  honorarium for your lectures. To pay you the full amount, we will be needing you  to give us certificates of residence the IRS will issue.  This document will be  necessary to avoid double taxation.  It may take more than a month to obtain  this document, so we would like you to make your application as soon as  possible. 

After doing some research, we  determined that the taxpayer is being asked to obtain a Form 6166, Certificate  of Residency, from the IRS.  In order to get the IRS to prepare a Form  6166, you need to complete and submit a Form 8802.

Here is information provided by the  IRS about the Certificate of Residency:

Form 6166 – Certification of U.S. Tax Residency

Information on Completing the Form  8802, Application for United States Residency Certification

Many U.S.  treaty partners require the IRS to certify that the person claiming treaty  benefits is a resident of the United States for federal tax purposes. The IRS  provides this residency certification on Form 6166, a letter of U.S. residency  certification.

The Internal  Revenue Service (IRS) procedure for requesting a certificate of residency (Form  6166) from the Philadelphia Accounts Management Center is the submission ofForm 8802, Application for  United States Residency Certification (PDF). Use of the Form 8802 is  mandatory.

Form 6166 is a  letter printed on U.S. Department of Treasury stationery certifying that the  individuals or entities listed are residents of the United States for purposes  of the income tax laws of the United States. You may use this form to claim  income tax treaty benefits and certain other tax benefits in foreign countries.  Please refer to the instructions for Form 8802.

Some additional  information will also be required in order to obtain certification under the new  procedures. This information is generally set forth in the Instructions to Form 8802  (PDF). As the IRS gains experience with processing applications using Form 8802,  it may update the Form and Instructions accordingly.

User Fee

A user fee will  be charged to process all Forms 8802 received with a postmark date on or after  November 1, 2006.

Since it appears that many foreign  business are now looking for you to provide them with a Form 6166, and it takes  at least a month to obtain this form, make sure to submit the Form 8802 with the  IRS as soon as you know that you’ll be heading abroad to earn some income.  If you need help  completing this form, please let us know.

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