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Visitor II

Form 6166: Am I a Taxpayer?

I just finished up the last year of my undergraduate degree, living off my scholarships and working only in my department as a tutor a couple of hours a week. I didn't make nearly enough to have to file taxes this year. 

I got an internship teaching in a foreign country that has a tax treaty with the U.S., but unless I present a United States Residency Certificate, 24% of my income will be withheld.  I've read Form 8802 as well as the instruction page, but I still don't know if I am eligible because I didn't file last year. 

Any advice would be appreciated! I'm afraid to fill out the application and wait 6 weeks, only to find out I've been denied. If there is any information I've left out, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you!

4 Comments
Catalyst V

Form 6166: Am I a Taxpayer?

What is it that makes you think a residency certificate request from the U.S. would be denied? Are you not a U.S. Citizen maybe? I'm just not comprehending why you're even asking the question, is all. But I can tell you this. If you don't submit the form 8802 requesting the U.S. residency certificate, I can guarantee you 100% it won't be denied and you'll have 24% of your foreign income withheld by the foreign tax authority. (One can't deny that which has never been submitted for approval in the first place.)

Visitor II

Form 6166: Am I a Taxpayer?

I am a resident of the U.S.

The reason I asked this question is because I found the terminology on the form to be a bit confusing. Although it seems pretty straightforward, I didn't want to assume I understood it if I would, in reality, be denied on a technicality. I wanted to be sure because I mistakenly thought I was applying for a certificate to say to the foreign tax authority that "yes, I am a citizen of the U.S. who pays federal taxes" if I had no proof (because I didn't file this year). 

For example, on the instruction form: 

"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.

Based on your reply, it seems I had over-complicated the situation and that the criteria they are looking for pertains to the individual's citizenship status, rather than whether or not they filed/paid X amount in federal taxes for the year they are requesting the certificate. Is that correct?

Thank you for your reply. 



Catalyst V

Form 6166: Am I a Taxpayer?

I think you were just overcomplicating it. Proof of residency has nothing to do with you being a tax paying citizen. Either you are a U.S. resident or you are not. There are a fair number of U.S. residents/citizens who do not pay taxes. For example, if a citizen is retired and their only source of income is social security, they don't even file a tax return. Another example is a disabled veteran declared 100% disabled. If their disability pay is their only source of income, they too are not required to file a tax return.

Now I just perused over the instructions, and I don't see anything indicating you have to prove you pay U.S. Taxes. What I see only says you have to prove you are a citizen or legal resident of the U.S.

Catalyst V

Form 6166: Am I a Taxpayer?

As an addendum, do note however that with that proof of U.S. residency/citizenship, you will be required to file a tax return with the IRS and report all of your worldwide income from all sources. Weather you get taxes on it or not, depends of course. But reporting it is still required.