U.S. Tax I.D. Numbers for Canadians Watch Video

Allan Madan, CPA, CA
 Jan 13, 2017

Are you curious about applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number? Read More…


The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.

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Comments 98

  1. How long would it take for me to obtain a ITIN and what do I require as a Canadian? What is the cost for processing and do you complete these applications. This matter is time sensitive. Your prompt response is appreciated.

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      The cost to obtain an ITIN is $150 plus taxes and disbursements. Generally speaking, the IRS will only approve an ITIN application (W7) if it’s attached to a US return (e.g. 1040-NR). Can you provide more details on your situation?

  2. Hi

    We are Canadians residents and have recently purchased a winter home in the US. We are trying to put a mortgage on the property and our US bank has told us we need a ITIN before they will release funds. Will the IRS give us a number in this event and is so what do I have to file?

    Mike Seifert

  3. To file income in the US, would an SSN number work? Used to be employed in the US a few years ago and have a SSN number, could that be used instead of getting an ITIN number. I presume the SSN never expires and can be used at any time for IRS to identify an individual for tax purposes?

  4. I receive distributions from a company I have shares with in the U.S. and my taxes are done by an accountant in the U.S. He has told me that my wife should get an ITIN number to increase my tax refund. If she applies for her ITIN number will my tax return work for her when we submit her W-7?

  5. Hi Allan,
    We bought a vacant lot in Florida and have now sold it (closing May 31, 2017) and we are subject to FIRPTA. We want to get back this withholding amount. We didn’t earn any income in the US and we actually sold the vacant lot for less than what we bought it for. Can you advise on the steps my wife and I would need to take. I know we both need ITINs and you mentioned in your video that the best way to get an ITIN is at the same time as filing your US Tax Return. But couldn’t we send in our W7’s with our Passports now and then file our US Tax Return for 2017 in early 2018? And if this is acceptable what address do we send the W7’s and Passports to in the US? Sorry for so many questions. Please advise

    1. Hi, Andrew. If you are selling a property and require an ITIN because of the withholding taxes to be deducted from the sales proceeds, then you can file form W7 (application for an ITIN) with the IRS BEFORE you file your US tax return. On Form W7, write “Exception 4” next to box “h” and attach forms 8288 and 8288-A along with the sales agreement.

  6. We are planning to sell our home in Florida which we bought in March 2014. You mentioned in an earlier post that the IRS will not approve the W7 application without an attached 1040NR. I’m anticipating a gain of around $40K US from the sale of our house but don’t want to pay the $25K withholding tax. How can we get an ITIN to reduce or avoid the withholding tax?

    1. Hi Tom, the tax can be reduced from 15% of the selling price to the estimated taxes owing on the gain and recapture of depreciation (if any) by filing form 8288-B with the IRS. A copy of this form must also be provided to the title company. In addition, form W7 (application for an ITIN) can be filed with the IRS without a US Tax Return, because one of the exceptions is met – i.e. form 8288-B is requires an ITIN be available.

  7. Hi,

    I have a foreign passport, Canadian PR card and Ontario photo ID(no drivers license yet). Are these documents sufficient to apply for an ITIN? Thank you.

  8. Hello. I have obtained a TN Visa and employment in the US. I am maintaining my residence in Canada. I need some consultation. I have made application for a SS# but after discovering info here on your website I suspect my new employer may have been wrong to direct me to get an SS# and instead I should obtain a TIN# from the US as a Canadian.

  9. Good Morning Allan,
    Great information here – thank you. I do work for a company in Toronto whereas all my invoices are sent to the USA for process and are paid in Canadian funds via cheque (mailed to us). I am currently filling out an application for Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) with this company regarding payment direct to our bank here in Canada. The application shows a spot where to add an ITIN. Is this something I need when all the invoiced work is done here in Canada (none in USA)?

    Thank you Kindly — Bob

  10. Hello I am wondering if it is the fw7 I require to fill out, my husband currently is on a TN visa working in the states and he was told I need a temp SSN for tax purposes.
    Thank you

  11. Hello,
    I recently visted Vegas and won some money on the slots. They witheld 30% of funds. Besides the W7 and the 1042-S, is there anything else I will require?

  12. Hi Allan

    I am a Canadian and trade stocks/options on RBC. However, I want to trade in US on-line trading accounts for advanced option strategies. The application forms who require a government issued ID. I have no US income other than those generated by stocks & dividends which are withheld at the moment a trade is activated . I have never submitted a US tax form.

    What to do and can you help?

    Thank you


  13. Hi Allan,

    Amazing informations on your site! I have a question related to ITIN, w7 form and dividends. I am a canadian and I bought recently some US listed ETFs holding US corporations. I will hopefully receive dividends from a US source this or next year.

    I some of those ETFs in my and RRSP, in my TFSA, and I was planning to buy some more shares using my cash account from TD. I was wondering if I could benefit having an ITIN for any of those three accounts? From what I understood, the US dividends in my RRSP won’t be taxed by the IRS, the ones in my TFSA will be taxes and lost and the I might need that ITIN to receive a return for the ones in my cash account, since they will be taxed too? Finally, I was wondering if I will be alerted in any way when/if I am taxed by the IRS on those dividends (by our gov, by my accountant, on my online broker monthly receipt), unless I do the math myself and realized I have been taxed!… Thank you so much!

    Kind regards,


    1. Hi Dolce, it appears that you are a resident of Canada and a non-resident of the US. In this case, the IRS cannot tax the funds held in your RRSP or TFSA. However, withholding taxes will apply on dividend payments on US stock held by your TFSA, RRSP or non-registered accounts. The tax cannot exceed 15% pursuant to the Canada-US tax treaty. There should not be any tax on capital gains according to the treaty.

      You should complete form W8-BEN and provide to your bank / financial institution to take advantage of treaty benefits as described above.

  14. Hi, I’m currently a Canadian resident and earning some money from online resale business that sells to the USA customers. I’m trying to obtain the ITIN as a Canadian. If i fill the form W-7, would you guys be able to provide service to apply for the ITIN? A friend and I are both interested in paying for the service.

    1. Hi, the only way an ITIN can be obtained is by attaching form W7 (ITIN application) with your first US tax filing (1040-NR) and submitting both to the IRS. The ITIN application cannot be processed separately.

  15. Hi there,
    I have a question. I have a canadian company pased in Montreal. I want to sell in US market for like 2 weeks or 1 month. To be able to sell in this market ad collect tax in NY, the organizer asked me for a Tax Identification Number.

    Does anyone have a solution?

    Thanks a lot

  16. Hi Allan,
    I am Canadian and bought in Florida. I am thinking of selling my current Florida property and buying a more expensive Florida property. The sale price of my existing property will be USD$200,000 and my original cost was USD$130,000 with USD gain approx $70,000 . The new property I will purchase is USD$300,000. My 2 questions: 1. Because I’m immediately purchasing another USA home with the proceeds of my first USA home, can I get any tax relief? 2 We also spent $10,000 in repairs. Are repairs and closing costs deductible?

    Thank you.

    1. H Lindy, in the US, you can defer capital gains tax on the sale of a US property by purchasing another property within a specified time period. This is called a 1031 exchange. However, as a Canadian, you are taxed on your worldwide income, and in Canada a 1031 exchange is not available. As a result, you will pay capital gains taxes in Canada on the sale of your US property even if you enter into a 1031 exchange in the US. Therefore, I do not recommend that Canadians complete 1031 exchanges.

      Repairs and closing costs are tax deductible.

  17. Generally speaking, the IRS will only approve an ITIN application (W7) if it’s attached to a US return (e.g. 1040-NR)… How can I file for taxes when i cant make money in the states as a Canadian without a tax number? If I dont have a tax number, I cant make money in the states. if I cant make money in the states, I cant file taxes….seems like a vicious circle to me. Plz advise

    1. Hi Michael, it is a vicious cycle. Agreed. There are certain exceptions where an ITIN can be issued without a US tax return. These are listed on the instructions to form W7.

  18. Hello Sir,
    I work for a company with HQ in the US and part of my compensation package is stock of said company. Can I/Should I/am I illegible to apply for an ITIN? An ITIN would make it easier to apply for credit in the US (e.g. a credit card with my U.S. bank).

    I’d be happy to contract your services for such application.

    1. Hi Eddie, it depends on whether you will receive a W2 slip or other US slip from the US company reporting the stock option benefit that is taxable to you. If you do, then you should apply for a US ITIN.

      Note: An ITIN will not help you build your US credit.

  19. For gambling winnings all you need is the w7 and 1040nr am I correct? As I am in St. Catharines is there anyone you may suggest I contact to file these papers for me? Thank you.

  20. Hello, I applied for a foregin ITIN and after 7 weeks it came back denied. it stated it was not filled out properly and did not include the original documentation.

    I paid an international cpa, provided all my personal information and a certified copy of my passporr that I got from the Government passport office.

    Could you please provide some guidance as I have a deadline to meet (aa my mom recently passed).

  21. Hello,

    I applied for a foregin ITIN and after 7 weeks it came back denied. it stated it was not filled out properly and did not include the original documentation.

    I paid an international cpa, provided all my personal information and a certified copy of my passporr that I got from the Government passport office.

    Could you please provide some guidance as I have a deadline to meet (aa my mom recently passed).

  22. My husband and I (both Canadians) purchased a US property for $299,000 four years ago. We are now selling it for $349,000 and have made some improvements, for which we have kept receipts. Is the W7 form the only form that we need to submit to get a tax ID number so that we can reduce withholding tax? Additionally, a few months ago, we bought another US property for $390,000. Does that at all affect the withholding tax? And do we need to submit any additional forms for this?

    1. Hi Esther,

      Attach a certified copy of your passport to form W7. You must give a valid reason for applying for an ITIN. As such, select box “h” other, and write this next to it, “Exception 4, sale of US real estate by non-resident alien & form 8288-A”.

      The withholding tax will be 15% on the sales proceeds. It can be reduced by completing form 8288-B.

  23. We are two Canadians that just started an LLC (out of AZ). We are an online business and going to be drop shipping out of California. We are going to need an accountant and some advice. HELP! ForbiddenVibes.com.

    1. Canadian residents should not do business in the US via a US LLC, because they will be double taxed. The reason is that the IRS classifies LLCs as flow-through entities, whereas the CRA treats them as foreign corporations.

      Therefore, I suggest that you do business in the US through a US C-corporation or through a US Limited Partnership. I can help setup either one, and I can help with ongoing US and Canadian tax compliance.

  24. My daughter (Canadian citizen living in Canada) is writing a Christmas podcast for a company in NYC. She will do all work from Canada – never entering the US. They are suggesting she needs an ITIN number. Total amount of her contract will be $5,000. Does she need one? Will she even be able to get one? Thank you for you assistance!

    1. Hi Susan,
      If she is being paid by a US company, then she needs to provide the company with a US ITIN and form W8-BEN. Otherwise, the US company will deduct a 30% withholding tax from payments made to her. She will also need to file a US 1040-NR Return along with form 8833 to claim an exemption from US income taxes. She is exempt from US income taxes on her US earnings, because she does not have a fixed place of business in the US.

      I can help you with filing an ITIN application and 1040-NR return with the IRS.

  25. Help! my husband has to file taxes for 2018 and submit them to USCIS as a part of my green card application. we got married Nov,2018 and on his taxes he put married. we thought his taxes submitted properly but there was a error because it needs my Individual Taxpayer Identification Number I’m not working here.(USA) and don’t have any visa as of yet. the taxes were rejected because of that . what can we do?

    1. Your husband should file his US return separately from you, since you are non-resident alien. Therefore, his status will be “married filing separately”. In any event, your husband cannot claim an exemption for you (non-resident alien spouse of a US citizen) for the 2018 and later tax years, so there’s no point in applying for an ITIN for you. However, if you want, your husband can file an election with his 1040 Return to file jointly with you; in this case, your worldwide income will be subject to US taxation, and you will need to apply for an ITIN. With his 1040 Return, he should include form W7 (ITIN Application) and a certified copy of your passport.

    1. Hi May,
      Form W7 is used by non-resident aliens of the US to apply for a US Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Form SS4 should be used to apply for a US EIN for your Canadian corporation.

  26. Hi Madan,
    My husband and I have been married since 2015. I am a resident alien in US , have a SSN and been filing taxes separately since my huband who is a canadian citizen, works for a canadian company and lives in Canada doesnot have a US income. I have typically have had very less refund and been told it is because i chose to file separately.I have 2 questions
    1) Am i eligible for filing jointly with him and is ITIN required
    2) How can i apply for his ITIN

    1. Hi Amrita,
      You can file an election to file jointly with your husband in the US (i.e. 1040, married filing jointly). While you both will get a higher standard deduction by filing jointly with the IRS, your husband’s income will also be included on the 1040 joint return. This means that his Canadian income will be taxable in the US. While he can claim a foreign tax credit on the 1040 return for the Canadian taxes paid, you both will be pushed into a higher tax bracket. The increase in taxes as a result of being pushed into a higher tax bracket could be more than the tax savings realized by getting a higher standard deduction by filing jointly.

  27. Hello,

    If I purchase a house in the US and then either rent it out or put it on airbnb would that qualify me to apply for a SSN instead of an ITIN? My full-time job will still be in Canada.


  28. My son has dual Canadian/US citizenship and has to file his US tax return for the first time. Does he qualify for a US SSN? Or would he file for a ITIN when he files his taxes? The only documents he has that shows his US citizenship is a Consular Report of Birth Abroad and a NEXUS card for border crossing that states his US citizenship. Thanks so much for any advice you can give on this matter!

    1. Hi Sherri,
      Yes, he qualifies for a US SSN because he is a US citizen. He should not apply for a US ITIN. He should contact the Social Security Administration for instructions on how to apply for his SIN.

  29. My Mom in Canada was receiving royalties from Texas oil wells she had shared ownership. She had an ITIN and each year the US companies sent her a tax document- taxes were withheld at source and she never had to file a US return. In Canada, she would declare the amounts on the Canadian return but never had to file a seperate return of any sort. She said she was being “double-taxed” but that was fine for her because she said getting money back was extremely complex and this way was easiest. She has passed away and left her shared ownership to me. I am in process of getting everything changed over. How do I apply for ITIN and what has to be done on my part tax- wise? Thank you

    1. Hi Derek,
      You should not be double taxed. Claim a foreign tax credit on your Canadian tax return for the American taxes deducted. If withholding taxes are being deducted at source, and you want to reduce the rate of withholding, then complete form W8-BEN and provide this form to the American payer. I do not see the need to file a US tax return.

  30. I am filing my first US tax return and I don’t have a ITIN yet, so I will attach a W-7 and necessary documentation to my 1040-NR. However, I owe tax to the IRS this year. How can I make a payment? The IRS payment website and form 1040-V (to be submitted with a cheque) both require me to input my ITIN which I don’t have yet. Must I wait until I receive the ITIN to make a payment, and will this mean I will be charged interest?

    1. Hi Alfred,
      Wait until you receive your ITIN to make payment. If you mail a cheque for the amount owing without an ITIN, then the cheque could be misplaced. You may owe some interest.

  31. Hi, I would like to ask if I can apply for an ITIN for my wife so I can include her and my kids as part of dependents as my employers are requiring me to have ITIN or a SSN for them to be eligible. I have a TN visa and my wife has a TD visa. Can you help us please. I started working in the USA march 2019 and I don’t want to wait till the next tax returns before applying for ITIN. thanks

    1. Hi Ruel,
      The ITIN Applications for your children and spouse will only be approved if they are included with your US tax filing along with certified copies of their passports.

  32. Hey there, I see in previous comments that they say the us will only process a ITIN number if it is attached to a us tax return? Is that correct? I need a ITIN in order to be able to open US accounts and be able to work, so I will not have a tax return as I’m applying for the ITIN, I will only have a tax return for 2019 when I file early 2020

    1. Hi Sindy,
      Yes, that is correct. Attach your ITIN application (form W7) along with a certified copy of your passport to your first US tax filing, which will be due by April 15, 2020, for the 2019 tax year.

  33. Hi Allan, thanks for another great video!
    By the way, does a corporation require ITIN as well or it’s just for a person ? In the W-8BEN-E form (required to be filled by non-US based corporations), they require to fill the “Foreign TIN”. Is it the same as ITIN?

  34. Hi folks
    My wife and I are Canadian snow birds who stay in Florida 5 months. We are selling and about close a vacant lot here.
    We realize we need and ITIN and will need to file U.S. income tax. We return to Welland, ontario, for Christmas.
    Can you please outline your charges for these services.

    Cheers Jim

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your comment. I can help you with the following in respect of the sale of your vacant lot in Florida:

    2. ITIN Application -$150 / person
    3. US 1040-NR Return – $225 / person
    4. Canadian T1 Personal Tax Return (including foreign tax credit) – $300 / person
    5. Disbursements and taxes are extra. All prices are in Canadian dollars.
    6. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  35. Hello! I’m looking to get my real estate license in Florida, and the schools seem to all require me to have a SSN. What are the requirements to get a SSN as a Canadian? I’m wondering if an ITIN would suffice? I’d like to keep my business in Canada and visit Miami PT to show properties and invest in real estate as well.

    1. Hi Samantha,

      Generally speaking, to apply for an SSN you will require a work visa or US Green Card. I suggest that you apply for an ITIN instead. Please let me know if you need my assistance.

  36. How can you get a US return if you are not a US citizen? I have an address i can use will that be good enough

  37. Hi Allan,
    Once I have filled out my W-7 form, to whom do I send it and what are the next steps in the process to getting an ITIN?

    1. Hi Jaan,

      If you’re applying for a new ITIN, complete Form W-7 as soon as you are ready to file your U.S. Federal income tax return since you must attach the return to your application. However, if you meet one of the exceptions to the tax return filing requirement, submit your completed Form W-7, along with your proof of “identity” and “foreign status” and the required supplemental documents to substantiate your qualification for the exception.

      You can submit all the above documents to the following address :

      Internal Revenue Service ITIN Operations Mail Stop 6090-AUSC 3651 S. Interregional, HWY 35 Austin, TX 78741-0000

  38. Hello,
    I’m a Canadian, living in Canada more than half the year, starting work for a US company. I will be working internationally, outside of the US, on a rotation schedule. They will be paying me in US dollar in a US account. Do I need an ITIN or Foreign tax identifying number?

    1. Hi Erin,

      Will you be working as an employee for a US company, whereby US payroll taxes are deducted from your paychecks? If yes, you need to apply for a US Social Security Number, and not a US ITIN.

  39. Form SS4 should be used to apply for a US EIN for your Canadian corporation.

    I saw this in the comments below
    And I’ve registered a US Corporation which my Canadian Corporation is the parent of. Do I need to get a EIN number for this US Corp or an ITIN number? I have the SS4 but I do not have either of those (ITIN, EIN) to fill into 7b.

    What do you recommend ?

  40. The W7 form says nothing about Canadian identification being accepted.
    The list of acceptable documents includes only American proof of identity.

  41. Hey, I’m an artist and I want to upload my music onto American stores. It’s asking me for my American tax number (I guess that’s so that I can get paid for my plays) can the ITIN help with this? I also want to know if applying for this will cause any complications to my life outside of music. Are there any risks or will it impact my finances in any way? (I’m very new to this so there’s a lot I don’t understand )

    1. Hi Jaspi,

      Yes, you will require a US ITIN in this case. We can apply on your behalf, or you can do it yourself by completing form W7. If you have US source income, then you will need to file a US 1040-NR tax return with the IRS and pay US income tax on your US earnings.

  42. Hello,

    Do you know any thing about a Canadian company getting a TIN number for the sole purpose of selling on Walmart.com from shipping from Canada?

    1. Hi Maria,

      A Canadian company can apply for a US EIN to sell to retailers in the US. Many US retailers are willing to work with Canadian companies. However, some US retailers will only purchase from US suppliers, in which case Canadian companies will need to form a US C-corporation to do business with those US retailers. You should ask Walmart what their policy is.

  43. Does the ITIN apply to US citizens living in Canada who wish to have a US-approved identification number for filing US taxes?

  44. Hi Allan,
    My husband is a Canadian citizen on a TN visa working full time for a US company. He has a SSN that says ‘Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization’ and filed US resident alien taxes last year. He recently got an offer for a remote position (part-time) which entails working as a Canadian contractor for a US company. He intends to keep his day job and do this contract work based out of Canada. They requested he fill out the form W8-BEN which asks for either SSN or ITIN.
    Can/should he use the same SSN he obtained for his primary employment (with the restriction)? Will he be able to obtain an ITIN given that he already has a SSN? What are the tax implications if he is planing to report income from this remote position as Canadian income not US income? Willing to contract your services. Please advise. Thanks

    1. Hi Nia, If your husband has a US SSN, he is not eligible for an ITIN. He can use the SSN he already has. If he is a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes, then he should file a T1 non-resident tax return with the CRA and pay Canadian income tax on his Canadian business income. If he is a tax resident of Canada for tax purposes, he should file a T1 resident tax return and pay tax to the CRA on his global income.

  45. I am a Canadian and I have a question about someone who passed away. He had a itin number however now his spouse wants to cancel it and it is no where to be found. WhT do we need to do.

  46. Canadian Stock Brokerages like TD Canada WebBroker and Interactive Brokers Canada are now asking for a US ITIN (this was not required before this year); does one then have to file a US Tax return for trades executed in Canada?

  47. Hi There,
    My daughter, Canadian Citizen, living in Ontario, has been offered a remote contract position with a US firm based in Pennsylvania.
    All work (Document controller / project scheduler) will be 100% remote. There is no requirement for her to set foot in the US.
    In Canada, she is an employee of my Canadian Corp, and it will be my Canadian Corp that will do the invoice and receive payments from the US firm.
    In this case, is an ITIN or EIN required ? Also, would my Canadian Corp be required to charge and sort of State or Federal sales tax on the services rendered?
    Thanks very much

    1. Hi Tony,

      Your daughter does not require a US ITIN. However, your company should complete form W8-BEN-E and provide it to your US client so that they don’t deduct tax from the payments made.


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