IRS Form 8802 Made Easy: U.S. Residency Certification

Form 8802 US Residency


To benefit from tax treaties between the United States and other foreign countries where you live or conduct business, fill out Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification. Claiming tax treaty benefits can significantly reduce your year-end tax bill.

Some countries require proof of residency from the person requesting the benefits under these treaties. A Tax Residency Certificate (TRC), also called IRS Form 6166, Certification of U.S. Tax Residency, is the official document that serves as evidence. You can obtain this certification by filing Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification.

Key Takeaways

  •  Submit IRS Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification, to obtain Certification of U.S. Tax Residency (IRS Form 6166). This enables U.S. residents to benefit from US and foreign countries’ tax treaties.
  • Filing IRS Form 8802 to take advantage of income tax treaty benefits can result in significant taxpayer savings.
  • A taxpayer must meet one of the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a Tax Residency Certificate: they must have filed a federal income tax return during the tax year for which the certificate is requested; if the year is a certification year, they must have filed a tax return for the most recent year for which a return was due; or they must be exempt from IRS requirements to file a federal tax return because other documentation will be used for the tax period for which the certificate is issued.

Who May Apply For a Tax Residency Certificate?

Verify your eligibility to apply for a Tax Residency Certificate before moving forward with the instructions for Form 8802. In general, an individual or entity is considered a U.S. resident if they are required to pay U.S. taxes. If any of the following conditions are met for the year for which the certification is being requested, then you are eligible to apply for a Tax Residency Certificate using Form 8802.

  • You filed the appropriate income tax return during the tax year for which you are requesting the certificate.
  • You filed the most recent applicable return for a certification year with no return due.
  • You are exempt from filing an income tax return for the tax period on which the certification is based; alternative documentation is provided.

You are ineligible to submit an IRS Form 8802 application for a Tax Residency Certificate if any of the following occur:

  • You failed to file a federal income tax return for the tax period for which you are requesting the certificate.
  • You filed a tax return as a non-resident.
  • You are a dual resident who has determined that you are not a U.S. resident but a treaty country resident according to the tie-breaker provision in an applicable treaty.
  • You have no U.S. partners, beneficiaries, or owners; you are a fiscally transparent entity formed in the United States.
  • The organization that is seeking certification is a non-U.S.-organized exempt entity.
  • The request for certification comes from a trust that is part of an employee benefit plan in its first year of operation. Additionally, someone other than a certified custodian bank is in charge of managing the trust.

Instructions on How to Complete Form 8802

Looking for the IRS Form 8802 instructions? To apply for a Tax Residency Certificate, read this step-by-step guide or watch this how-to video

  • Line 1: Enter the applicant’s name and U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Provide the name and TIN of the applicant as they appear in their final US tax return for the applicable tax period or periods for which the certificate is being requested.
  • Line 2: Input the applicant’s address.
  • Line 3a: Fill in the applicant’s mailing address, where Form 6166 should be sent.
  • Line 3b: Enter the third-party appointee’s information. This person ought to be someone who can talk with the Internal Revenue Service if any problems arise while processing Form 8802.
  • Line 4: Check the appropriate boxes corresponding to entity classification for companies and residency status for individuals.
  • Line 5: Indicate by checking the appropriate boxes if the applicant had to file a U.S. tax form for the tax period or periods associated with the certification. Attach any additional explanations as necessary.
  • Line 6: Only complete this step if you check the “NO” box on Line 5. Check applicable boxes regarding whether the applicant’s parent, parent organization, or owner was required to file a U.S. tax form. 
  • Line 7: Fill out the calendar year for which you are requesting the certification. Typically, the certification period is one year. However, you can request certifications for the current year and any previous years.
  • Line 8. Provide the tax period(s) for the certification in the space provided. If the certification is for a tax period for which returns are not yet due, enter the date of the most recent return you were required to file.
  • Line 9: Check the appropriate boxes indicating your reason for obtaining a certification. 
  • Line 10: Complete the perjury statements in accordance with Table 2 of Form 8802.
  • Complete Form 8802 by signing and dating it.
  • File your completed application with the IRS, or contact Cleer’s professional accountants if you have further questions.

For additional information on Form 8802, visit the IRS website

When and Where Do I File Form 8802? 

At least forty-five days before the date you need to submit IRS Form 6166, you must send in Form 8802 along with the full payment for the user fee of $185.

You can pay the Form 8802 fee by check, money order, or electronic transfer. If you intend to pay electronically, please visit the website and go to the electronic payment page. Enter “IRS Certs” in the search bar on Click “Continue” when you get to the “IRS Certs” topic. Be sure to follow the prompts on the screen and enter the necessary information as required.

You will be given a confirmation number once your electronic payment has been submitted. On the first page of Form 8802, enter the confirmation number. Then, send Form 8802 with the required attachments to:

  • Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Philadelphia, PA 19255-0625

  • Or, if mailed using a private delivery service:

Internal Revenue Service

2970 Market Street

BLN# 3-E08.123

Philadelphia, PA 19104-5016 

Why Should You File Form 8802? 

Form 8802 is a crucial tax document for people and businesses receiving foreign income. A Tax Residency Certificate can lessen your overall tax burden and avoid double taxation.

Can Cleer Help Me File Form 8802?

If you have any questions about filing Form 8802 or how to apply for U.S. residency certification, the tax experts at Cleer Tax can help you throughout the filing process. Contact us today at to learn more.


Author Bio
Henry Shin
Henry loves to roll his sleeves up and dive into complex tax matters. As an IRS Enrolled Agent, Henry represents clients in front of the IRS, but what he really prefers is solving client issues BEFORE they become issues with the IRS! Henry tackles a lot of complex tax forms like Forms 5472 and 5471 for clients worldwide. Henry is also working towards his CPA certification in Texas where he lives.
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