Steps to fill out form 8802 for an S-Corp

At Inversoft, I’ve been working on getting our tax exemption for various European countries. This process requires a valid 8802 be submitted to the IRS. In return, the IRS will ship you out a shiny new form 6616 that you can snail mail across the Atlantic to the country of your choice. Yes, feel the sarcasm. This process is unbelievably dated, horrific, slow, lame, tree-killing, etc.

After talking to a number of accountants, some knowledgable and many not, I finally have the form filled out correctly and I’m about to drop it in the mail. Since this process is SOOOO painful, I figured I would give other S-Corp owners a heads up to hopefully save their sanity and a bunch of time.

Here’s exactly how to fill out form 8802:

  1. Put your full legal company name at the top under Applicant Name
  2. Put your S-Corp’s FEIN under Applicant’s U.S. taxpayer identification number
  3. Leave Line 1 blank
  4. Put in your company address on Line 2. I put in the exact same address on my S-Corp’s tax return since we haven’t moved this year. I don’t know if this is required, but might as well error on the safe side.
  5. Put in your company address on Line 3a
  6. Put in your name (that is you the shareholder/CEO) in Line 3b
  7. Checkmark Line 4f since you are an S-Corp
  8. Checkmark 1120s under the Yes. heading of Line 5
  9. Leave Line 6 blank
  10. Write 2018 on Line 7
  11. Put the last year and month you filed a tax return for on Line 8. This is the fiscal year end. So, in my case, the last year and month (fiscal year end) I filed was December 2017, so I put in 201712 and it MUST be in this format.
  12. Checkmark Income Tax on Line 9
  13. Write this exact text in two (2) separate lines on Line 10
    <Shareholder name> <Shareholder SSN> is a U.S. resident and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.
    <S-Corp name> <S-Corp FEIN> has filed its required return and the entity classification has not changed since the return was filed.
  14. Sign, date, add your phone number, name and title to the bottom
  15. Put your S-Corp name at to the top of the worksheet with your FEIN
  16. Put the current calendar year on the worksheet (still at the top section)
  17. Line 11 (on the worksheet) pick the country (or countries) you need and ask for 5 forms each
  18. Make sure you put in the correct total on Line 12

That’s all you need for form 8802. However, since you are filling this out for an S-Corp and according to tax law and treaties, S-Corp’s can’t claim exemptions or be identified as a corporation, you need to fill out a form 8821 also. The 8821 form is an authorization made by the shareholder in an S-Corp that is certifying that the form 8802 is correct. This is part of the perjury statement.

Filling out the form 8821 is also a nightmare and the instructions suck, so here are the steps for that form as well:

  1. Put your personal information (since you are the shareholder) on Line 1 (i.e. I put Brian Pontarelli here with my home address) including your SSN and phone number
  2. Leave Line 2 blank
  3. Don’t checkmark the checkbox on Line 3
  4. Write Income on Line 3a
  5. Write 1040 on Line 3b
  6. Write 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 on Line 3c (or whatever years you need)
  7. Write Form 8802 on Line 3d
  8. Leave Line 4 blank
  9. Checkmark Line 5a
  10. Leave Line 6 blank
  11. Sign, date, print your name and put your title as CEO (or whatever it is)

NOTE: I’ve heard that form 8821 might not be necessary if there is only one shareholder and they are filing form 8802. I haven’t confirmed this, but if you are worried about it, just send in a 8821 regardless.

Also, I HIGHLY advise against faxing these forms in. I faxed them in and they were rejected by the IRS because the fax was illegible. Likely, their fax machine sucked or mine did. Regardless, save yourself the headache and mail them in. Or better yet, send them UPS, Fedex or USPS certified.

That should be it. I’m sending mine off next week, so if they aren’t accepted, I’ll update this post with any fixes I made.

29 thoughts on “Steps to fill out form 8802 for an S-Corp

  1. Hello Sir,

    My name is Jan and I have a dilemma.

    My boss gave me a task on filling for his Form 8802 under S Corp. Now my problem is that I don’t think he has shareholders.

    How can I fill out the form 8821 knowing that he doesn’t have any shareholders?

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      1. Thank you Brian for your quick response.

        I have other questions:

        1. Let say he is the only shareholder. Is he going to be one who will fill out the Form 8821 too?

        2. On “Line 11 (on the worksheet) pick the country (or countries) you need and ask for 5 forms each” we only need it for our client in India. Is it okay to request up to 5 forms and the fee will be the same, $85 for the overall cost of the application?

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      2. Here are answers:

        #1 – His information should be on form 8821 also. That form is for the shareholder.

        #2 – You can order as many copies as you like for the $85 fee. At least, that’s what the instructions imply. I would assume they would reject it if you asked for like 10,000 copies.

        😉

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      3. Hi Brian,

        On the Form 8802.

        Your Number 10 instruction for Line 7 says:

        Write this exact text in two (2) separate lines on Line 7
        is a U.S. resident and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.
        has filed its required return and the entity classification has not changed since the return was filed.

        —-

        In the form 8802 that I have, Line 7 says:

        Calendar year(s) for which certification is requested.
        Note. If certification is for the current calendar year or a year for which a tax return is not yet required to be filed, a penalties
        of perjury statement from Table 2 of the instructions must be entered on line 10 or attached to Form 8802 (see instructions).

        So I guess I should put the year that I am requesting the certification which is this year, 2018. And not the one that you instructed? Please enlighten me. Thank you so much!

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      4. Oops. Thanks for finding that issue. I updated the post to have the correct information for Line 7 and Line 10 (the perjury statement). Let me know if those items don’t make sense or don’t line up with your form correctly.

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  2. Hi Brian,

    Thank you for being responsive. I really do appreciate your big help!

    My last questions are ff:

    1. What’s the status of your application now? Did you already receive the Form 6616?
    2. If so, may I know the timeline of the application from lodging up to receiving the Form 6616?
    3. How did you pay the user? ePay or check?
    4. How did you send the documents? Snail mail or fax?
    5. Aside from sending the Form 8802 & 8821 for the S-Corp (Single Shareholder), what are the other attachments did you include?

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    1. Hi Jan,

      #1 – I faxed my forms in the first time and they were rejected. Don’t fax them in, mail them in or use Fedex or something. I’m still waiting on the second round.
      #2 – It takes a long time. 8 weeks or so.
      #3 – I paid online and put the online payment number on the forms.
      #4 – Fax, but definitely use snail mail.
      #5 – I didn’t include any other attachments.

      Like

  3. Hi Brian,

    I thought that would be my last questions.

    I have some more clarifications.

    1. On the Form 8802 – your instruction in # 10 says: Put the current calendar year on the worksheet (still at the top section). Now, I don’t see any field on the top section to put the current calendar year and I assume I should put 2018? I downloaded the form from IRS site so I bet it’s up to date.

    2. On the Form 8821 – your instruction in # 6 says: Write 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 on Line 3c (or whatever years you need). Does this mean we have to the year 2018 since we need the Form 6616 for this year?

    Thank you in advance!

    Like

    1. #1 – My step #10 says to put “2018” on line 7. Your line 7 should say something like “Calendar year(s) for which certification is requested.”.

      #2 – The section is just to request authorization from the main shareholder (i.e. me) to allow the company to ask for form 6616s using form 8802. Basically, this means that you don’t have to keep filling out form 8821 each year since you granted authorization for future years.

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  4. Hi,

    Thanks so much for posting this incredibly helpful guide and (hopefully) saving my sanity!

    The fee just went up (on 12/1/2018) to $185 for “non-individuals” — is an s-corp a non-idividual or not? (ack! there goes my sanity!!!)

    Two more questions, my wife is also a shareholder (49%) in my s-corp. Do we need to file an 8821 for her also? And, does she need to be listed anywhere on the 8802?

    Thanks again! — If you’re ever in Portland, OR I’ll buy you a beer!

    -Donald

    Like

    1. I’m not sure on the S-Corp being an individual. I think you can probably look that up in the IRS code or ask your accountant. My guess is that an S-Corp is an individual since it is a pass-through entity.

      If you have multiple shareholders, I think only the shareholder that is specified on the 8802 needs a 8821. Again, I’d have to check with an accountant to be certain though.

      I haven’t been to Portland in a while, but maybe there will be a conference out there next year that I can speak at so we can grab a beer. 🙂

      Like

  5. Hey Brian!

    Thank you so much for doing this. As an S-corp owner, I spent so many hours trying to decipher “Instructions for Form 8802” before coming across your helpful quick guide. Our company is trying to register for a VAT number for Germany through an accountant firm, and they are requesting this form. This is so we can start paying taxes on the products we are selling to there.

    I noticed that you guys submitted this form for “income / tax exemption” but did you have to do this form to obtain a VAT number? or are the two the same thing? Wish they did not make it so hard to give them money haha

    Thanks!

    -Jimmy

    Like

    1. Depending on your situation, you might not need a VAT number and might not need to submit taxes to Germany. Instead, you can apply for a tax exemption from Germany based on a tax treaty between the US and Germany. Since we sell software electronically, we are applying for a tax exemption based on a treaty the US has with Germany.

      You might want to look into that and see what your business needs.

      Like

  6. Thank you for sharing. Your simple to follow instructions should be on the IRS website explaining how to fill out form 8802. Very helpful. However I’m not clear why an S Corp would need to request multiple years of tax return certification? If the purpose of Form 6166 is to establish a residency certification wouldn’t one year be as valid as multiple years? I am starting to work with a company in Mexico who is requesting Form 6166 so they can license art designs from me in the U.S. to print on paper products there.

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  7. Thanks for the great info!
    I ended up calling their help line anyway and got a couple of pieces of additional information:

    – Form 8821 is NOT REQUIRED if there is only one shareholder and that is the person filing. The rep said “You don’t need permission from yourself!”. Instead, a line should be added to section 10 stating: “Name_of_filer_and_owner is the sole shareholder of the corporation.”
    – The current charge for S corps is $185
    – Any number of certifications can be requested for any number of countries for no extra charge. Supposedly this does not increase processing time either.
    – If you can’t get through on the main FAX number, the alternate FAX is: 855-393-8902
    – Current processing time is up to 60 days due to Trump’s government shutdown creating a backlog.

    Like

    1. FYI – I fixed your comments. That is interesting that they told you the 8821 wasn’t needed. I was told that it was. I’ll definitely update my post to include that as an option.

      On the faxing, I would advise AGAINST faxing this in. If the IRS has even a small problem reading the fax, they will reject it. You should instead mail the forms in. It only adds a few days, but guarantees that the IRS can’t reject them because of an illegible fax image.

      Like

  8. Hi Brian,

    Just wanted to offer a generous thank-you + Internet High-Five for breaking down a *hopelessly complicated process* into easy, digestible steps. I’m an S Corp seeking to exempt myself from double taxation and this post has spared me a $500 CPA fee along with untold hours of headaches.

    I take it your forms were accepted okay?

    Like

  9. Brian,

    Thank you so much for this guide. It is extremely helpful. I have a few questions however:

    – If this is my first year of incorporation, would I write “Not required to file” on Line 8?
    – I have submitted Form 2553 (S Corp) a while back but have not yet recieved any confirmation on it. Do you think I could go ahead and submit Form 8802 while selecting ‘f’ on Line 4 while waiting for S Corp status?

    Thanks again

    Like

    1. Hi Chris. Sorry for the delay. I was out of town for the last two weeks.

      I’m not positive on your questions. Since you are a new business, you might have a tough time verifying that you exist until the IRS has proof via a submitted 1120S. Therefore, you might need to actually call the IRS and ask them how to fill this form out while you get the company setup.

      Also, if you haven’t received your confirmation of incorporation, you should definitely call about that since that is key to this whole thing.

      Like

    1. You’ll probably want to mark income tax if you are looking to leverage any of the tax treaties or exemptions. You can also mark multiple boxes I think if you do need to setup a VAT account.

      Like

  10. Hi Brian,

    What if a company was treated as a disregarded entity in 2018 (reported on 1040, Sch. C), and is filing an 8802 in 2019 for an S-corp (changed entity type)? Would individual 8802’s have to be filed along with the 8802 for the S-Corp?

    Like

    1. This is a situation that I’m not well versed on, but I think you need to only fill out the 8802 for the entity that is certifying their residency. In this case, it would be your S-Corp. You would still use the 8821 with your personal information as the asserting party. Hope that helps.

      Like

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