How to T&L:  Documentation & Acclimation Guide #2

How to T&L: Documentation & Acclimation Guide #2

What is the 8802/6166 Tax Form?

If you haven’t had a chance to see the first guide of this series about the apostille and background check process, check it out here. The next guide in this series is arguably one of the more difficult, lengthy,  and annoying tasks… The 8802/6166 United States tax “exemption” form. For those of you from the United States, you will have to apply for this certificate in addition to the other requirements. Acquiring this certificate could either be a breeze, or a nightmare.

¿What is it?

First let’s go into what this form even means. The 8802 is the application form that you must fill out and send to the IRS in order to receive the 6166, AKA, the Certification of US tax Residency. This certificate tells the Spanish government that you are a resident of the US and you will be paying tax in the US regardless of your time in Spain. This certificate is more commonly known by tax experts as a way to get “tax treaty benefits”. In other words, there exists a mutual agreement between certain countries that, by law, a US citizen will be either taxed at a reduced rate, or exempt completely, from paying taxes in the treaty country, which, in this case is Spain. Thus, proving the importance of this form!

Step-by-step How-to

  • First, you will need to go to this IRS website to download the form. Then, it is highly recommended that you download the instructions as well.
  • The next step will be to pay 85$ for the certificate. You have two options, check/money order or pay electronically. Depending on the method you choose, you’ll have to mail your documents to the appropriate address which you can find here.Tax Form

 Here’s a breakdown of the trickier information you’ll need to put.

1 – You’ll write your full name and your tax #, usually your SSN. If you paid electronically, you’ll need to write that number in the box where it asks for the confirmation #.

2 & 3 – Where you lived for the year being requested for and below it where you want it to be sent.

4 – Your immigration status, most people will tick “individual” and “US citizen”.

5 – Tick the tax form you filed in the year you’re certificate will be based on.

7 – The school years you will be attending the university. Ex.2017-2018

8-  may seem a bit confusing, but if you have a look at the instructions there are 4 different examples that tell you how to put the date correctly. (Page 11 of the instructions, line 8)This is the year the certificate will be based on.

9. Tick “Income Tax”

10. The penalty of Perjury statement is the one you have to pay attention to. If you filed your taxes in the US with a US employer the year this form will be based on, you’ll need to write this:

“[Insert name of individual and TIN] is a U.S. resident and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.”

The perjury statement is the one that you should pay very close attention to if you’ve lived abroad the year that you’re basing the form off of.

If you filed a 2555 or 1116 tax form because you were living in Spain then you’ll need to write this:

 “This certification is given under penalties of perjury and to the best of my knowledge and belief, the statements are true, correct, and complete.

[Insert name of individual and TIN] was a U.S. resident within the meaning of Article 22(1)(iii) of the U.S.-Spain treaty (including, in some cases, physical presence in the United States) immediately before entering Spain. The assignment began on [date] and ends on [date]. Article 22 of the U.S.-Spain treaty provides a 5 year exemption from income tax.”

If you lived in a different country you’ll need to search for the country here and search for the article that best suits you.


**It’s very important that you also write a statement below your perjury statement explaining your situation and telling the IRS that you’re a resident of the US even though you lived in …).

11.Number of Certifications requested: Since the school year occupies two years you’ll need to put “2” in the box marked Spain in column D.

What to do if you get denied

Don’t panic! After having gotten denied myself, I became a somewhat expert on getting ahold of the IRS. The most common reason the form can be denied is if you either:

  1. Filled out the information incorrectly/made a mistake.
  2. Lived outside the US and they want more information.

Directly from the IRS website: “Generally, an applicant who files Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, with his tax return is not eligible for Form 6166, U.S. residency certification, without providing additional information.”

You’ll need to call this number +1-(267)-941-1000  and ask to speak to a manager, or supervisor, who is in charge of approvals and denials of the 6166 certificate of residency. Many of the call center associates don’t really know what to do and will opt to connect you to a supervisor anyway.  The IRS personnel will then give you their name, fax #, and all the information necessary to be sent for review. You will most likely need a new penalty of perjury statement explaining your situation with the ticket number the manager of whom you were trying to get it to. It might take a few weeks and you will need to be persistent, but you will get it.

Remember, you’ll have 30 days to contact them after the denial letter is received (60 if outside the US) so it’s best not to procrastinate.

Useful links:

Basic information on the form:

Tax treaty info:


Natasha Isabel Koller
Natasha is from Tampa Bay, Florida. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Music. She left the US in 2014 and has traveled all over the world, only stopping to teach in places such as Chile and South Korea. She is currently a student of Instituto Franklin in the Masters of International Education. You can visit her website here:


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    Worst case scenario, what would happen if you get denied, appeal, and then they still determine that you were not a resident? Would it be impossible to get the residency card, or would it simply be impossible to get a tax exemption? I’m a little worried because I spent pretty much all of the fiscal year in Korea, although I did file my taxes as a resident of the U.S. with a 1040 and a 2555. The Spanish embassy here in Korea only requires my Korean tax form, so I guess this form is not for the visa but instead the TIE?

    • Natasha Koller

      I was technically a resident in Korea for 2 years and I was still able to get this form, as did many others in the program. As long as you speak with someone at the IRS (if it’s denied) and explain that you were never a PERMANENT resident of Korea and you file your taxes in the US, you should be fine. In the letter they requested after my denial I simply stated that I am a US citizen and my primary residence is in the US (even though I haven’t lived there in 5 years it’s still my permanent home).
      This will not affect your TIE, this is something the University requires and you’ll want it in order to save you from future tax headaches haha.
      Hope this helps!

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    Thank you for this helpful post! I am writing for some clarification on Line 2 and inquiry on the stipend (financial aid) received from Universidad de Alcalá. On line 2, it states to enter the address of residency for which the certification is requested. I am requesting certification for 2018-2019. I will be residing in Spain for this time; however, I do not have an address yet in Spain. In another blog, the writer advised writing a permanent address for the United States in line 2 (For example: parents address). My concern is that my parents address would be considered a c/o which the IRA does not accept. Needless to say, I am confused as to which address should be written in line 2.

    In regards to the stipend (financial aid) provided by Universidad de Alcalá, is the stipend taxed by the US government? As students, do we receive a tax form for the stipend?

    • Natasha Koller

      Since they are asking for the address in which the tax resideny form will be based off of, you would need to use your permanent address back in the US. If the IRS denies it for some reason they will send you a letter with the reason why and you can go from there if there’s a problem with your parents address.
      As for the stipend this form is to keep us from being taxed. There are no tax forms from Spain and you’ll get no refund from the US if you decide to pay tuition.
      Hope that helps!

  • Avatar

    For line 10 “[Insert name of individual and TIN] is a U.S. resident and will continue to be throughout the current tax year.”

    What does TIN stand for?

    Thank you! This post is incredibly helpful.


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