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Old 11-25-2014
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Default Paypal and SSN number verification

Hi,
I am told that paypal ask for the SSN number more and more often these days even if your account is fully verified with bank,card and phone. What to do if your account is a stealth US account? What is your opinion?

Thanks

Last edited by TGMT²; 11-26-2014 at 02:22 AM. Reason: use standard font..
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Old 11-25-2014
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Default Re: Paypal and SSN number verification

There are two reasons PayPal asks for this. Reason #1 is identity verification. It means they are suspicious of the account. Since there is no way to provide a ⊗⊗⊗⊗ SSN, there is not much you can do here.

Reason #2 is for tax reporting purposes. The IRS (the US government agency that collects taxes) requires that any account that has more than $20,000 in sales and also more than 200 transactions has their sales reported to the IRS for tax purposes. In this case, they will want an SSN (again, this is not possible) an EIN (an SSN for a business - this IS possible) or an ITIN (this is also possible).

So, if they are asking for tax purposes, you can provide an EIN or an ITIN. An EIN is the same thing as an SSN, but for a business. US Citizens can register an EIN with the IRS. If done correctly, the IRS will only verify the BUSINESS NAME matches the EIN.

The second possibility is an ITIN. This is for NON-US companies and individuals to obtain a tax reporting number for IRS purposes. I have no experience with this, so I am not sure how it works. But maybe someone else will chime in, or you can search for ITIN at the IRS website Internal Revenue Service and find out that way.

Of course, the best thing is to not have them ask for an SSN in the first place. For this to work, your sales must be projected to be under $20,000 for the year. As soon as they think you MAY hit that mark, they will ask for it. So, you can't just do $19,000 in sales and stop. You must have sales way under that mark and spread them out. If you had $1,000 in sales in a week, they will probably ask right away. If your sales are $200 per week, probably not. We do not have exact numbers. But slow and steady seems to be the way to go.
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Default Re: Paypal and SSN number verification

Jeff I know you're knowledgeable in this area so maybe you can shed some light on this confusion I have where I've seen different info in the forum about it.

You mention that PayPal requests tax info if projected sales are 200 AND $20K, I know with PayPal nothing is in stone but it's possible to have let's say 300 small transactions with $8K in sales and not be asked for tax info?

I've seen some people say it's either of those limits and I'm still not sure. Can you shed some light on this? Thanks
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Old 11-26-2014
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Default Re: Paypal and SSN number verification

For income to be reported, BOTH the $20,000 threshold and the 200 sales threshold have to be met. HOWEVER - PayPal is not going to wait until you get close to those numbers before they ask for the information. According to IRS rules, they could be liable if your numbers were to go over that but they did not get the information for whatever reason. So, if you trigger their algorithm that tells them there is a POSSIBILITY that you will hit those targets, they will ask for the information, they will not wait until you get close.

As near as we can tell, their algorithm looks at you dollar volume and calculates what your year-end sales would be if your volume remained consistent. Then they add a cushion to that to make sure they are not likely to miss anyone. When you trip that flag, they request the information.

I know it can be confusing. Many of us were HOPING they would ask when you got to $19,000 or so, but it didn't work out that way. It can happen with as little as $3,000 or $4,000 in sales.
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Default Re: Paypal and SSN number verification

Thanks for the info! Yeah I know there isn't a set number to follow, I guess we will need to project our sales for the year too and try not to get close to any of those number projections
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