If you’re overseas and waiting to come to the United States to work, chances are that you’re already aware that you’re going to be subject to American taxes once you’re in the country and actively earning money. Obviously, you’re going to want to ensure that you have everything in order so that you don’t face the type of delay that might interrupt your employment or otherwise complicate your life. While you could wait until you arrive in the United States and apply for your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, why delay? The fact is that you can actually take care of that detail before you ever set foot on American soil.
You don’t have to be a U.S. resident to obtain the number, of course. The IRS has worked to streamline the process to make it as easy as possible for nonresidents as well. That should come as no surprise, since the agency has an interest in making sure that you’re able to pay any taxes you owe them without any serious obstacles impeding that payment process.
You can find IRS personnel to help you with your ITIN filing process overseas. These agency professionals can be found at various American embassies, including consulates in London, Beijing, and Paris. Their primary purpose there is to assist foreign nationals with the filing and processing of the form w7 documents needed to apply for the ITIN.
Naturally, there are other options if you don’t have easy access to embassy personnel in your country. If you go on the IRS website, you can find information about Certified Acceptance Agents who can help to vouch for you with the agency. It is also possible to send the proper documents via the postal system, but you will have to include certified copies of any documents that verify your identity.
Documents such as a national ID card or birth certificate, your foreign voter card, military ID, visa, or medical and school records can all be used to prove you are who you say you are. You could also send certified copies of your passport. To fulfill ITIN requirements, you need to send two of these documents, and one of the two must have a photo of you as well. The only exception is when you use your passport, since that alone is sufficient to meet the agency’s requirements.
By starting early with the application process, you can ensure that everything is ready for you when you finally leave to come to the United States. That way, you can begin work without having to worry about how you’ll get your taxes paid properly. That can help to make your transition period within the U.S. a lot less stressful than it might otherwise be.
The good news is that the IRS has created a simple process for obtaining the needed identification number, and there is plenty of help online and at U.S. embassies. So, even though you could simply take care of the ITIN filing process after you begin working in the States, there’s really no good reason to wait.