I have a payment request to pay an individual that does not have a social security number, because they are not a US citizen or a resident alien. Is there anything that we can request so that we can have something on file for this individual?


The IRS requires either a valid social security number or a valid Individual Taxpayer Identification Number on file if you make payments to foreign individuals.

First, the individual must make sure he or she is not eligible to receive a Social Security Number. The eligibility requirements for non-citizens obtaining a social security card can be found here.

If the individual cannot obtain a Social Security Number, he or she needs to obtain an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). To obtain an ITIN, the individual must complete a Form W-7. A copy of W-7 can be found here.

The process for obtaining an ITIN from the IRS takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

Once the individual has an ITIN, then he or she can use that information to complete and submit a Form W-8BEN, which will provide your organization and the IRS with all the necessary information to report payments.

Form W8-BEN can be found here.

The instructions for Form W8-BEN can be found here.

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