Windows Phone 7 development

I would like to share a quick tutorial how to get ITIN number for tax purposes. I is a bit of PITA (pain in the ass), especially for those who do not have access to a proper tax advisor, that is why I share this.

I am Non U.S.-based Developer developer that makes app for WP7 and I will focus on Zune marketplace, but this tutorial is also helpful for any person that would like to get ITIN.

What is ITIN?

According to wikipedia:

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (or ITIN) is a United States tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, i.e. 9xx-7x-xxxx or 9xx-8x-xxxx. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number.

Basically, we need this number to do small business, open an account, for royalties income etc. There is also Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is also useful for tax issues, but it is meant for sole proprietors, not individuals.

Why do I need it?

To take advantage of the tax treaty your country could have with the U.S. and avoid being subject to an automatic 30% U.S. tax withholding. In other words, to pay less taxes, but this is not mandatory to get paid.

What do I need to get it?

You will have to have:

  1. Filled W-7 form.
  2. Document that proves your ID (must have a foto of you).
  3. Letter confirming that you need an ITIN.

W-7 form how to.

Remember, this may vary depending upon country, gender, purpose.

Ok, so let’s start step-by-step.

Section 1 – Reason you are submistting:
Check A – if you are not the U.S citizen/resident
Check H with “Exception 1(d) – Royalty Income
Treaty Country (Your country goes here) Treaty Article Number (number of the article – you can find it here)

Royalty Income Exception if for WP7 developer as well as for inheritance (passing on property, titles, debts, and obligations upon the death of an individual)

Section 2 – Name:

Fill 1a if you have not changed your name.

Section 3 – Applicant’s Mailing Address:

If you have mailing adress diffrent than your current adress.

Section 4 – Foreign (non-U.S.) address:

Your current business address/home address

Section 5 – Birth Information:

Your birth city. Mind the weird american date notation MM/DD/YYYY (Why months first? no idea :) )

Section 6 - Other Information:
6a – Your country.
6b – Tax number if you have one.
6c – If you have visa enter date, otherwise ignore it
6d – check Passport, because it is the only document that proves you are foregin and proves your ID.
6e – Check No and ignore 6f, 6g if you didn’t have any US tax numbers.

Section 7 – Signature:

Remeber to sign :) (And mind the date!)

Document that proves your ID:

I suggest the passport (the only document that proves you are foregin and proves your ID). Since sending them a passort is a stupid idea (and I think illegal), you need to certificate it. Thera are many ways to do it, like post office, yet to make sure it will not be rejected go to the nearest embassy/consulate and ask for certification. It costs 50$, but kind lady will do it straight away.

Letter confirming that you need an ITIN.

You may need to provide a letter from Microsoft confirming that you need an ITIN. Click here to download the Microsoft letter, which is provided in PDF format and only in English. The following information must be entered in the Microsoft letter for it to be considered valid:

  • Date: The date you print the form in MM/DD/YYYY format.
  • To: The developer’s full name in first name + last name format.

If you have done all put it in a envelope and send to

Mail service

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operations
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

Curier service

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operations
Mail Stop 6090-AUSC
3651 S. Interregional, HWY 35
Austin, TX  78741-0000

Phew!

It took 2 months in my case.  Then send the W-8BEN to MS (it will be validated when you reach the payout threshold – 200$).

Readings

information about W-7

second info with sample

References:

AppHub FAQ

AppHub Froums

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Comments on: "How to get Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if you are not a U.S. citizen" (6)

  1. Hey there Lukas, i made a post about the european taxes and it was closed on the ttp://programmers.stackexchange.com.

    I answer you by saying this:

    Probably the best option lukas, but, since google, would be getting 30% out of my selling app, are the taxes being done with that percentage? Because, in Developer Distribution agreement i have the following sentence: “Developer is responsible for determining if a Product is taxable and the applicable tax rate for the Payment Processor to collect for each taxing jurisdiction where Products are sold. Developer is responsible for remitting taxes to the appropriate taxing authority. ” Here: android.com/us/developer-distribution-agreement.html

  2. Hey,

    Thanks for the article! It’s very helpful to me. Do I have to put my (European) home address under “Foreign (non-U.S.) address” and leave the “Applicant’s mailing address” blank or vice versa?
    I’m applying for the second time already because I forgot to include the Microsoft letter the first time i applied. PITA is the right way to explain this “experience”.

    Thanks for your help, I’ll appreciate it in advance!

    Chris

  3. Omg this is what i have been looking for.Thank you so much

  4. Excellent article. My country, United Arab Emirates is not on the treaty countries list. I’m currently living and working in Dubai, UAE. I’m a Pakistani and Pakistan IS listed. I have Passport and ID cards for both Pakistan and UAE.

    In UAE, you cannot become an Emiraiti. You always remain an expat. So I have to apply as a Pakistani and use my Pakistan address. The link to the Microsoft Letter you gave is not working.

    I’m also wondering why a scanned copy of my passport along with Pakistani ID card copy won’t work. This attestation is a headache. Wish they had an online submitting system for all of this.

    Kindly provide with the working link for the Microsoft Letter to attach with TIN application.

  5. Thank you kindly! This was awesome. I’ve just completed this form ready from when i arrive in New York.

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