Tax Forms – TIN – Taxpayer Identification Number


Questions have come up on on tax forms and obtaining a U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN if you live outside of the U.S. but working with a U.S. based company. I have moved the comments to here.

38 Replies to “Tax Forms – TIN – Taxpayer Identification Number”

  1. Ah, see this is where it gets confusing. The UK do indeed have a tax treaty with the US, as do many other countries. We already have music with a number of American libraries who aren’t bothered about W8BENs and TINs. But as I understand it, treaty or not you still need to get a TIN, and some US libraries are more meticulous about this. Audiosocket, for example have accepted our music but will not be able to host and sell our music without withholding mass amounts of tax until we submit a W8BIN complete with a TIN – they said as much, and so have a few other libraries.

  2. Some countries have tax treaties where you don’t need to have an itin, because you are exempt from paying tax in America. Otherwise you end up paying tax in America & in your country aswell. No libraries that I work with have requested an itin & none asked for a w8ben form either, even when I asked about it. I’ve had to fill out a w8ben form for music supervisors before, but there’s a part on there that says if your country has a tax treaty with the USA, you may be exempt from having to obtain an itin.

  3. This is a little off-topic, so I apologise in advance! I need advice on Taxpayer Identification Numbers for UK residents – it certainly impacts on whether or not we can sign certain contracts, and I’m sure there are some UK composers here who have successfully acquired one.

    This topic seems to be shrouded in mystery and confusion! Not even the MU or their accountants could give us anything approaching a coherent answer on the process. We’re a composition partnership and our catalogue is now with a vast number of libraries, many of which are based in the USA. We have also been accepted by some fairly exclusive US libraries who we will not be able to do business with until we have submitted our W8BEN form, which requires us getting a Taxpayer Identification Number or TIN. It’s downright puzzling that as many US libraries don’t require a W8BEN as do.

    Any of you UK composers out there who have completed this process, we’d really appreciate some info on the following:

    1. Do we have to take our completed W-7 forms to the US Embassy in person? I’ve read and heard conflicting information about this: some say the form has to be notorised with the applicant present and others say you can simply post the form along with all supporting documents (including passports). I’m always nervous about sending my passport anywhere – special delivery is reliable enough but I’ve had the Home Office “mislay” my passport before, and I’d prefer not to have a repeat of that saga.

    2. If we do have to go to the embassy in person, does it have to be in London or can we get it done at the Edinburgh Embassy? Edinburgh would definitely be our preference but the website is not at all clear as to whether they deal with tax issues there.

    Any advice on completing this tedious but necessary process would be very much appreciated!

    1. We acquired a Taxpayer Identification Number without too much fuss.. The forms are pretty confusing and as you say, there doesn’t seem to be very much info online about how to sort it out.

      To answer your first qustion: I don’t know if it’s possible to do it by post but we did it in person – just went down to the Embassy one day (you don’t need an appointment) and after a bit of waiting around, we got everything signed and sent off within a few minutes. I’d say, if you are able to do it in person, then do so as it really won’t take long and you’ll know for certain that everything has been signed and filled out correctly.

      As for your 2nd question – we did ours at the London embassy, and as far as I can tell that’s the only one with an IRS office.. Your best bet is to give the London IRS office a call (the number can be found here: ) and ask them if it’s possible to do this up in Edinburgh.

      Good luck!

      Oh, one more thing – we were told we’d have to wait up to 3 months for a response, but we actually recieved the TIN confirmation much sooner than that.

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