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News & Tips from an ITIN Acceptance Agent

ITIN for a beneficiary of a US Estate or Trust

Just Breve - ITIN for a beneficiary of a US Estate or Trust
Just Breve - ITIN for a beneficiary of a US Estate or Trust

Where a US person has passed away and the beneficiary is a non resident of the US (and not a US person for tax purposes), the attorneys, estate executor, tax accountant or other estate party is responsible for ensuring the correct estate and trust paperwork is submitted to the IRS for any non resident beneficiaries. This includes ensuring each non resident beneficiary has a US tax identification number (ITIN) in place BEFORE funds are distributed AND so that the correct tax forms can be issued to them (with appropriate tax withholding if applicable).

An ITIN is an individual tax identification number issued by the IRS, primarily for tax filing purposes BUT also for exceptions to tax filing. Receiving a distribution from a US estate or US trust, if one of those reasons.

I am the beneficiary of a US estate and need an ITIN, how long does it take?

Pre Covid the timescales for processing were 7 to 11 weeks for non US based applicants. Post Covid, this is a lot longer, due to delays at the IRS. You are looking at 4 months minimum PLUS 4 to 6 weeks + for the paperwork to arrive.

How does my US attorney or US representative get involved or assist?

All applicants are required to attach a letter from the person responsible for ensuring the correct tax forms are submitted and appropriate US tax withholding (withholding agent) is made (if any). This is normally the lawyers or accountants involved in the disbursements from the estate or trust.

All letters have to include specific wording which Just Breve provides to all clients.

What US tax forms are issued and what do I do with them?

Where a US estate or trust is involved, you would normally receive a document called a K-1 which is issued after the estate files Form 1041. Details can be found on the IRS website.

You may also receive a Form 1042-S showing distributions from a pension/retirement account or dividends for example.

Both forms are used to file a 1040NR tax return, BUT you only need to file if the correct tax was NOT held or if filing for a US TAX REFUND.

Can Just Breve assist in me obtaining an ITIN?

Yes we assist clients regularly with beneficiary claims for an ITIN. This includes being the beneficiary of:

- a US trust

- a US estate

- a US pension

- a US retirement account (including State Retirement accounts)

- a brokerage account,

- and claims from the Unclaimed Property Divisions* of various States

*where money has been transferred to the State after a set period or dormancy of an account or assets sold and the cash remains with the State until claimed - e.g. if they could not locate the beneficiary of the deceased.

We assist clients in the United Kingdom (face to face or via video call) and in Europe and other countries (remotely via video call). Any video call applicants are required to send there original identity documents prior to the video call for certification purposes. These are returned by courier after the call.

If you have further questions, Just Breve is happy to assist:

Tel: 0208 1444632

Just Breve is a Certified Acceptance Agent for the IRS, based in London, United Kingdom (office near Heathrow airport) - we assist clients with obtaining an ITIN. We are able to certify your identity documents so you do not need to mail the originals to the IRS.


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