I'm an Indian citizen residing in India. I made some money doing online tutoring in a site called Student of Fortune. But if I have to withdraw the funds, I need to submit a W8BEN form. The form asks for "U.S Taxpayer Identification number (SSN or ITIN)". Since I'm not a US citizen, the only one applicable to me is the ITIN. But is this necessary for me?

I referred the IRS website, and it says, "IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN." How do I know if I'm required to file a U.S tax return?

1 Answer 1


According to the instructions to the form - yes, you do need an ITIN.

Line 6. ....

If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get one, you must get an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get an ITIN.

  • Can you have a look at this page:- proz.com/forum/business_issues/… The situation mentioned there is similar to mine, yet the conclusion they arrive at is that ITIN is not needed. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 3:22
  • @JobinIdiculla I think they're quoting an IRS response to someone specific. I have no idea what your situation is and I'm not a tax adviser, so I cannot categorically say anything other than what I can find in the form instructions. Note that that opinion based on this sentence: "you will not have to enter a U.S. Federal TIN on Line 6, because this is not U.S. sourced income and the Form W-8BEN is not required to be filed. ". In your case the payer does require you to file this form. You should inquire with the payer if it is indeed required in your case. If it is - you should fill line 6.
    – littleadv
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 5:13

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