tax id number for ebay

How to Get an ITIN Number to Sell on eBay

The attraction of eBay is that anyone can set up an e-commerce store and start selling in no time. No coding experience is required to setup an online store on eBay. The a la carte selling platform has lured a large number of small business owners. There are countless business owners who have amassed great wealth by selling through the online platform.

US residents are required to provide social security number (SSN) to eBay. Non-US residents are required to obtain individual tax number (ITIN). The ITIN number is also required for US eBay store sellers who reside in the US, but are not eligible for SSN due to being illegal immigrants or other reasons. The tax number is used by the IRS to certify the tax status and address of the seller.

Below, we will provide detailed information on how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay.  In addition, we will also inform about the procedure that is required to submit form W-8BEN to eBay.

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

Note: The information provided in this article is applicable for individual sellers. Foreign companies that sell through US eBay store need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and submit form W-8BEN-E to eBay. Also, keep in mind that getting an ITIN number doesn’t make you eligible for working in the US. The number is used solely for tax identification purposes.

Why It’s Important to Know How to Get ITIN Number to Sell on eBay

Obtaining an ITIN number is important for individuals whose sales volume and revenue meet IRS requirements. However, in some cases, eBay can request an ITIN number even if you do not meet the criteria. This is the case if the online company predicts that your sales and revenues will meet the threshold in the current fiscal year.

Knowing how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay is important to avoid any inconvenience. The tax number is obtained by making an application with the IRS. Applying for ITIN does not involve any fees. It’s totally free.

An ITIN number consist of 9-digits. The number starts with 9 (9XX-XX-XXXX). Every number is unique that is used to identify an individual. This number can be used by resident aliens or illegal immigrants who need to file tax returns. For such individuals, the ITIN number will provide many other benefits including:

  • Obtaining a refund from IRS if required,
  • Open a bank account
  • Apply for a mortgage loan
  • Claim dependents supported in the US, Canada, or Mexico

Who Needs to Apply for ITIN Number?

ITIN number is required for anyone who wants to report to IRS for taxation purposes. This includes non-US residents as well as US residents who are not eligible for SSN. Those individuals who possess a valid SSN are not required to apply for an ITIN to sell on eBay. You can use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant tool to know whether you should apply for an ITIN. Some of the individuals who may be required to apply for an ITIN include:

  • A resident alien who needs to file a tax return (a resident alien is a person who illegally resides in the US).
  • A non-resident person who needs to register for a tax number
  • Dependents including parents, spouse, and children of the resident alien
  • Foreign investors who want to invest in the US retail market
  • Real estate agents who assist non-residents in investing in local properties

What Documents are Required to Obtain ITIN Number

An important thing you should remember regarding how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay is the documents that should be submitted to IRS when applying for a tax number. Anyone who wants to apply for an ITIN must submit Form W-7, Application for ITIN. The form must be filled, printed and sent to the IRS by mail. However, if you are applying through phone, you may not need to send this form. Later we will talk about the exact procedures regarding how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay.

At this point, you must know about the supporting documents that must be sent with the form. Some of the documents that you may be required to send to the IRS along with the application include the following:

  • Passport
  • US federal income tax return, if applicable
  • Any two of the following documents (at least one document must have a photo):
    • US or foreign Driving license
    • US or foreign national identification card
    • Foreign voter registration card
    • US or foreign military ID card

The Process of Obtaining ITIN Explained

The process that relates to how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay is fairly straight forward. You can apply for the tax number through IRS authorized acceptance agents, mail, or phone. Keep in mind that whichever method you choose, you need to answer the same questions that are included in the IRS Form W-7.

The IRS Form W-7 contains eight checkboxes. The checkboxes pertain to the reason why you are applying for ITIN number. You should mark the boxes that apply to your case. Also, you should enter personal information such as your name, gender, birth information, mailing address, nationality, and foreign tax ID (if any). You should also mention the documents that you have attached with the application form.

Remember that your application will be rejected if you enter incorrect information in the form. It’s therefore important that you read the instructions carefully and correctly fill the form. Make sure that you correctly spell your name in the form. Also, instead of leaving any section blank, you should write Not Applicable (NA).

Now that you know how to fill Form W-7, let’s take a look at each of the three processes regarding how to get ITIN number to sell on eBay.

How to Get ITIN Number to Sell on eBay: By Acceptance Agent

Acceptance agents have passed quality standards established by IRS. They are authorized to review and certify documents of the applicant. You can find a list of authorized acceptance agents on the IRS website. You must present a filled and printed IRS Form W-7 along with original documents to the acceptance agent. The agent will review the original documents and then hand them back to you.

Once the original documents are verified, the agent will attach copies of the original documents with the application. The agent will also submit a certificate of accuracy mentioning that the original documents have been personally verified by the agent. The documents will be sent to IRS after which you will receive an ITIN number within a few days by mail. The foremost benefit of applying through an agent is that you don’t have to wait weeks to get back your original documents that are sent to the IRS by mail.

How to Get ITIN Number to Sell on eBay: By Mail

The second method to apply for ITIN is through mail. You need to submit Form W-7 along with original documents to the IRS. Notarized copies of the documents are not accepted by the tax authority. The original documents will be sent back to you within 60 days of processing of the application. You need to mail the filled Form-W7 and the original documents to the IRS address mentioned below.

  • Internal Revenue Service

Austin Service Center

ITIN Operation

Austin, TX 78714-9342

P.O. Box 149342

The IRS will review and process your application for ITIN. In case, you have provided the correct information, you will be sent an email notifying that your application has been accepted. You will be sent a letter containing the ITIN number about six weeks of submitting the application. You should contact IRS if you do not receive any letter within this period. The IRS hotline is 1-800-829-1040. You can call anytime between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

After you have submitted the application, it will be reviewed and processed by the IRS. If you are found eligible for the tax number, you will be notified through the mail. The notification letter containing the ITIN number will be sent within six weeks of applying. If you do not receive the notification letter within this period, you should call the IRS hotline 1-800-829-1040. The hotline is open on weekdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

How to Get ITIN Number to Sell on eBay: By Taxpayer Assistance Center

The third way you can apply for an ITIN number is by applying through a Taxpayer Assistance Center. The IRS Centers are located in different cities the US. You must call the IRS Assistance Center closest to you and schedule an appointment. You must present the application along with the required documents. The agent at the Assistance Center will verify your documents and validate the application. After verification, your documents will be sent to Austin, Texas for further processing.

What you Should Do After Receiving Your ITIN

You should inform eBay once you have received your ITIN number from IRS. You should download, fill, and email form W-8BEN to inform eBay about your tax information. The form must be filled by non-US residents to claim exemption from taxes. This form is not required for individuals who reside in the US.

When filling the form, make sure that you enter accurate information. There should be no misspellings or factual errors in the document. You should take your time and enter accurate information in the form. Any errors including wrong tax number or misspellings can result in rejection of your application. That’s why that you need to make sure that the form is free of any error before submitting.

You should enter your ITIN number that you have received in the form. Also, attach a scanned copy of the tax certificate received from the IRS. You need to mention the reason for which you should be exempted from withholding taxes. In some cases, you may need to cite the tax treaty such as NAFTA as the reason to get exemptions.

How Long Will it Take to Validate the Tax Exemption Application?

Generally, the information regarding ITIN takes between two to three weeks. In some cases, the process takes even longer. eBay will look at the information to ensure that it conforms to IRS records. You will be notified by email when the tax information has been validated. In the case of any discrepancies, you will be sent an email asking for clarification. You should respond to the email within a month of receiving the email from eBay. Your account may be suspended if you don’t respond to the email within the prescribed time. This will prevent you from selling anything on the ecommerce platform.

Once you have provided clarification regarding any issue, the IRS will again review your application. In case everything is in order, you will be given a green light to continue to sell products on eBay.

In case you want to update information in the IRS account, you should contact IRS by calling the hotline. You will be told how you can update tax information with the IRS. After you receive an updated tax certificate from IRS, you should send the same to eBay. This is necessary to ensure that eBay has up to date and accurate tax records in its system.

Conclusion

Taxation rules in the US are confusing for most people. Non-residents particularly face problems in deciphering the requirements to obtain taxation information. The information contained in this article will make it easier for you to apply for an ITIN to sell goods on eBay. Once you know the correct procedure, you will not face any difficulty when applying for an ITIN number.

Make sure that you enter accurate information when applying for ITIN number. Your application will be rejected if you enter incorrect information or submit fake documents. Submitting forged documents is considered a crime in the US that can result in a penalty. If you submit forged documents, you will not be able to apply for an ITIN number again. Also, US residents who submit fake documents will be required to pay anywhere between $250 to $2,000 for each forged document.

One important thing you should note regarding ITINs is that they will expire if not used in the past three years. In case you close the eBay account, the ITIN will expire if you do not use it for three years. Also, if you had received an ITIN before 2013, you should make another application to renew your tax number. You should contact the IRS hotline to find out how to renew the tax number. In most cases, you will have to follow the same steps mentioned in this article to renew the it. Without an ITIN number, individuals whose sales exceed the IRS threshold mentioned in this article won’t be able to receive proceeds from the sale.

On an ending note, you should never divulge the tax information to anyone other than trusted agencies. Avoid mentioning the tax number to anyone through the phone. The reason is that criminals can use the information to carry out identity theft. When entering ITIN number in a website, make sure that it is secure. You can verify that the website is secure by looking at the lock icon next to the website address in Chrome and Firefox. The lock icon is displayed in the status bar in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Avoid entering your tax number on any website with an open lock sign, which indicates that the website is not secure.

The information contained in this article will assist in obtaining an ITIN number to sell on eBay. However, you should not consider the information as a substitute for getting professional advice. Consider getting the help of an accountant who specializes in taxation laws related to the US. This might be a little expensive but it is worth it as it will save you hassles in the future. Also, it will ensure that you obtain the ITIN number quickly and continue selling on eBay. The cost paid for the services of the accountant will be worth it in the end due to fewer hassles involved in applying for a tax number.

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

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