January 10, 2018 - Phil Hodgen

My desk has a hole in it from repeated blows received from my forehead

I received an email this morning from a correspondent: an Enrolled Agent working outside the United States.

Hope all is well. My new year was off to a good start until I had to call the IRS today regarding a client matter. They asked me for my SSN or ITIN. Told them I was a nonresident alien and did not have one. They said the new policy to combat identity theft is they cannot talk to me unless I have a SSN or ITIN. The fact that I have a PTIN, a CAF number and an EIN and have been an EA since 1996 did not matter. The issue I was calling about was a simple one i.e. they were missing withholding on a slip, so I suggested that they did not even have to talk to me I could just fax them the slips. They told me that they could not even open the file unless I had a SSN or ITIN. Worst part is I do not think I am even eligible for an ITIN.

What’s a foreign preparer supposed to do?

My forehead is dented from the repeated blows it received when hitting my desk.

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