83(b) for Non-US Residents

Filing 83(b) Election forms as a founder who’s recently incorporated their company is very important. When you’re not a US citizen, it can get a bit tricky. This page can help you with that.

When trying to file an 83b, it can seem a little hard if you’re not living in the US, for a number of reasons, including:

  • I don’t have a taxpayer identification number
  • Which IRS address do I actually use?
  • I’m not sure how to get the stamps to get a duplicate returned confirm it has been filed.
  • Information online about how to do this is really vague and doesn’t contain clear instructions

There’s two important elements I wanted to ensure with my 83b filing:

  • I had a receipt from the post office that stated it was posted to the IRS before the deadline.
  • I was able to get a duplicate of the notice posted to be with stamps from the IRS acknowledging they had received it. (This means I have a solid legal record that it was handled, in case of an exit event and I require the usage of the 83b)

What to fill in for ITIN

This area is the part where you should consult with lawyers. I personally spoke to a wide range of accountants and lawyers from both the US and the UK (where I am from), and still got number of answers. In the end, I spoke to as many startup founders as I could in a similar situation, and the vast majority filled in “N/A (intl.)” in any box that requested an ITIN. I have done the same.

Which IRS address do I actually use?

Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0215 USA

How to get a copy of the documents returned to you

This is a little tricky: posting something to a US address is simple, but including an envelope inside with the correct amount of stamps is hard. Every post office I spoke to told me that they didn’t have actual US stamps, or that they were unsure of the amount they’d have to place on the envelope inside to ensure it returned home.

However, there is one type of stamp that solves this problem: the Global Forever stamp. It looks like this:


This single stamp can just about get the letter anywhere. The only hard part is sourcing it.

To source these stamps you have three options:

  • Before you incorporate, look on eBay or something similar for some of these stamps new. Ensure you’re not purchasing used ones! They will most likely ship from the US and the delivery dates can be quite long as such. For safe measures, order before you start incorporating.
  • If you live in a city, there is a chance you can find a stamp dealer who have them. This will require some internet research and phone calls, as many stamp dealer’s websites are more focused on their older stamps.
  • (This is the option I used) if you have a friend or business partner who lives in the US, use them as a proxy to get the Global Forever stamp. This requires advanced planning because it is risky. For records sake, it’s only important that you have a postage receipt that shows you posted to the IRS before the deadline. But if you post to a friend first, you won’t have that receipt until they locally re-post it to the US. The process would look like the following: You fill out all the documents, make the return copy, include an envelope inside with your home address, and ship that to them. They will then buy a Global Forever stamp, attach it to the inner envelope, and then post the envelope with local stamps to the IRS. The receipt of their postage to the IRS needs to be before the deadline, and you need to save a copy of that.

Either way with any of these options, based on my experience I highly recommend that you plan this in advanced. I was scrambling too close to the deadline for my liking.

What you can expect to get back from the IRS

The duplicate copy of the notice you provided will be returned to you with stamps from the IRS such as the following:


When you get this letter back, photocopy it for record keeping. Mine was a little tattered from transit, so a digital copy is a lot safer!