At USTaxAid and USTaxAid Services, we provide tax strategies, implementation and reporting for US citizens, US businesses and US investments. Sometimes that means we’re helping our US clients navigate the international tax waters so they stay in compliance with US tax law. And sometimes it means we help foreign investors and business owners understand US law so they stay in compliance with their US businesses.
I received a question from an international member of USTaxAid.
“I want to provide IT support to US and Canada customers in my online business. I am an Indian with no plans to visit US. Please guide how to start a business and how to obtain bank account and get merchant services without involving anyone local.”
The US taxes US income. That means even though you live in another country, the US will consider this subject to US taxation.
You’re also going to need a social security number (SSN), or, if you don’t have one, an individual tax identification number (ITIN). If you don’t have either, you will be subject to a mandatory 30% withholding on your gross income. The best bet is to get a business structure established right away so you can get the ITIN. Your choices will be limited to either an LLC, partnership or a C Corporation. As a foreign national, you can’t have an S Corp. It would take a personal consultation to figure out which one will be the best.
US banking laws have made it pretty much impossible to open a bank account unless you show up in person at the bank. Just plan to make a visit to the US to get that done.
As far as a merchant account, once you have the other pieces in place (SSN or ITIN), right business structure and a bank account, you can start shopping around. The easiest will probably be Pay Pal.
Give us a call and we can help you take these first steps. You can reach my husband, Richard at 888-592-4769 and he can get you started.