Tax identifier numbers: what if client requests it?
Thread poster: Eliza Hall

Eliza Hall
United States
Local time: 13:22
Member (2018)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 9

How have my fellow US-based translators handled such requests? I know that it's normal for European and some other foreign clients to request "tax identifier" numbers (such as the SIRET number in France) as part of the payment process. However, American freelancers do not have such numbers unless they run their business as a legally incorporated LLC or corporation, and most of us don't do that.



[Edited at 2019-04-09 17:31 GMT]


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Proof of non-residency Apr 9

What they really need is some sort of proof that you aren't resident in their country and liable for taxes there. They just need to cover their own rears in the event of a tax audit. So, anything you can give them to show that you're a good citizen paying taxes elsewhere will be helpful. You'll probably find they'll relax the requirement if you tell them it's impossible to divulge your SSN.

Eliza Hall
 

Laura Kingdon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:22
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
Say you don't have one Apr 10

I've always just told them I don't have one, and it hasn't ever been a problem. I do have a Canadian tax number I can give if they need it, but they have never wanted it.

 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:22
German to English
EIN Apr 10

You can obtain an EIN from the IRS without being an LLC and without having any employees. Many freelancers in the U.S. do that. It doesn't cost anything and replaces your SSN for your business. The EIN is a recognized TIN.

You can find details here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/ap
... See more
You can obtain an EIN from the IRS without being an LLC and without having any employees. Many freelancers in the U.S. do that. It doesn't cost anything and replaces your SSN for your business. The EIN is a recognized TIN.

You can find details here: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online
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Nikki Scott-Despaigne
 


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Tax identifier numbers: what if client requests it?

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