Sales tax requirements for international sellers

While international sellers may not have employees in the US or a US Federal corporate income tax requirement, sales tax registration is a common requirement for international sellers making sales to US-based customers. 

There are a few requirements for non-US sellers that most states adhere to, including:

  • An Employer Identification Number
  • A US Bank Account
  • A tax ID number for an officer/tax-responsible party

Employer Identification Number Requirement

What is an EIN?

An EIN is an employer identification number, a unique nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses operating in the United States. It does not necessarily mean you are employing people in the US or have an office or permanent establishment in the US.

Why do I need an EIN if I have no employees in the US?

An international seller may not be employing people in the US or have any US Federal income tax obligations; however, an EIN is a requirement in all US states to register for sales tax. Having employees in the US is not a requirement to get an EIN. Effectively, and EIN is a tax ID number for the corporation (or other entity).

How do I get an EIN?

Usually, an EIN can be obtained quickly with a single phone call to the IRS, you can also apply by fax or mail which will take a bit longer.

Before contacting the IRS you should have the Form SST-4 information prepared and ready to share on the phone. The phone number is (267) 941-1099 between 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. EST Monday - Friday.

See the I.R.S. website for additional information.

US Bank Account Requirement

Most US states only accept sales tax payments using Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers from a US bank. Accordingly, Anrok requires that all sellers have a US bank account in their Settings to register for sales tax.

Officer Tax ID Number Requirement

To register in many US states, an officer or tax-responsible party must be listed, and provide either a Social Security Number (SSN) or International Tax Identification Number (ITIN). In a few states, a passport number may be used instead; however, it is best practice to proceed with acquiring an ITIN to avoid delays in registrations. Anrok cannot file for an ITIN on a company's behalf.

Instructions to obtain an ITIN can be found on the IRS website.


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