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I live in Canada and have done a contract job with a U.S. company, and they ask me to fill a W8-BEN form to pay me.

I'm asked to note that on the W8-BEN Form either section 5 or section 6 must be completed.

Here's the section 5 and 6: enter image description here

I've read the instructions on IRS, which says:

If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get one, you can 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. To claim certain treaty benefits, you must complete line 5 by submitting an SSN or ITIN, or line 6 by providing a foreign tax identification number (foreign TIN).

A search shows this website suggests using the SIN (social insurance number) from the Canadian government.

My questions is that, is it a safe practice to use my SIN as the foreign TIN to fill in the W8-BEN form?

  • another source: On-Line 6 write in your US tax identification number (such as a Social Security Number, individual taxpayer identification number, or employer identification number) – Jeff Xiao Mar 26 '18 at 19:22
  • i called CRA and their answer is basically, as long as you pay income tax in Canada, we do not care about the tax in the states.. They mention that it is not uncommon for a US company to ask for SIN. I also ask if they recommend me calling the IRS, and they say it is good to double check – Jeff Xiao Mar 26 '18 at 23:35

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