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Form 6166 - Certification of U.S. Tax Residency

Information on Completing the Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification

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. The IRS provides this residency certification on Form 6166, a letter of U.S. residency certification.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) procedure for requesting a certificate of residency (Form 6166) from the Philadelphia Accounts Management Center is the submission of Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification (PDF). Use of the Form 8802 is mandatory.

Form 6166 is a letter printed on U.S. Department of Treasury stationery certifying that the individuals or entities listed are residents of the United States for purposes of the income tax laws of the United States. You may use this form to claim income tax treaty benefits and certain other tax benefits in foreign countries. Please refer to the instructions for Form 8802.

Some additional information will also be required in order to obtain certification under the new procedures. This information is generally set forth in the Instructions to Form 8802.

User Fee

A user fee will be charged to process all Forms 8802 received with a postmark date on or after November 1, 2006.

Requests for current year certification

Form 8802 applications requesting certification for the current year require a signature under penalties of perjury. By signing, applicants are attesting to their current residency status. 

On occasion, applicants have submitted additional information pursuant to Line 11 of the Form 8802 on a “standalone” basis, instead of attaching this information to a signed Form 8802. In this situation, the applicant must sign the standalone submission under penalties of perjury, applying the rules in the Form 8802 instructions with respect to who must sign.

When the prior year return has not been filed and isn’t yet required, the penalty of perjury statement must address the applicant’s residency status in the prior year, i.e. Taxpayer Name, (TIN) was a U.S. resident for 2008 and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.”

NOTE: This statement is required of all taxpayers in this situation. In some instances, the taxpayer will not have been a resident for the prior year and therefore will only attest to residency status in the current year.

Various statements are required under penalty of perjury when a Form 8802 is for the current year. Refer to the Instructions for Form 8802.

Third Party Appointee's Information

A taxpayer may appoint a third party to submit Form 8802 on his behalf. In this situation the taxpayer may have to provide additional forms to the IRS which authorizes the IRS to deal with the third party appointee. Refer to the Instructions for Form 8802.

Special documentation requirements for particular types of entities

Please refer to the Instructions for Form 8802 on the documentation requirements pertaining to the following types of entities:

  • Individual
  • Partnerships and LLC(s) treated as partnerships for federal tax purposes
  • Trust
  • Estate
  • Corporate Subsidiaries
  • Employee Benefit Plan/Trust
  • Exempt Organization
  • Disregarded entities
  • Nominee Applicant
  • Federal, State or Local government agencies

Who is Authorized to Sign Form 8802

Form 8802 will not be considered complete and valid if the application is not signed and dated by an individual who has the authority to sign Form 8802. Please refer to the Instructions for Form 8802 for a list of the persons authorized to sign Form 8802.

Form 6166 – Value Added Tax

Form 6166 may also be used as a proof of U.S. tax residency status for purposes of obtaining an exemption from a VAT imposed by a foreign country. In connection with a VAT request the United States can certify only to certain matters in relation to your U.S. federal income tax status and not that you meet any other requirements for a VAT exemption in a foreign country.

Form 6166 – Income Tax

Please refer to the line-by-line instructions for Form 8802 to learn about the residency certifications related to applications by individuals and other types of entities.

What to do if certification is denied

In instances where double taxation has occurred, or is expected to occur, in a treaty jurisdiction and the taxpayer believes that he/she/it is a resident of the United States for treaty purposes, requests for relief may be submitted to the competent authority.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page contains one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 14-Nov-2014