Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used on federal tax documents to file taxes or file tax return.
ITIN is used for tax reporting and to open a US bank account when you do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN).
ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both residents and non-resident aliens may have a US filing or tax reporting requirement.
ITIN serves as your tax identification number for filing your taxes, receiving a tax return from the IRS, opening a personal bank account, and allowing you to claim dependents you support anywhere in the world.
How to Apply for ITIN Number
ITIN application is very complicated. If you need to apply for your ITIN, you can apply for yours here.
Where Can a Get I Get Form W-7?
W-7 forms can be found on the IRSís website here.
Instructions for W-7 can be found here.
Completing the W-7 application and meeting their requirements is very complicated.
Thatís why I recommend using an ITIN service.
What is a CAA?
A Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) is authorized by agreement with the IRS to review identity documents and assist taxpayers with Form W-7, Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
The CAAís job is to be your agent to help you through the ITIN process, from beginning to end. They communicate with the IRS on your behalf and help with any queries.
A CAA must have completed a course for fraud document recognition, have completed an IRS training program, have knowledge of the tax laws and regulations for the ITIN application process and be accepted into the CAA program by the IRS.
Certified Acceptance Agents are individuals specifically authorized by the IRS to review original documents and certify copies of the same. This service is critical to taxpayers who are legitimately concerned about sending original documents to the IRS (such as a passport) that may get lost.
What is an Acceptance Agent?
An acceptance agent is a business or individual who has a written agreement with the IRS to assist individuals who donít qualify for a social security number but need an ITIN to file taxes.
This person will review your necessary documents and forms and forward Form W-7 to the IRS.
Where Can I Get Help With My ITIN Application?
If you need help with your ITIN application, email me at email@example.com
You can also call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 if you are in the United States. If you are outside the United States, call 267-941-1000 for information and help in completing your Form W-7 and your tax return or to check on the status of your application six weeks after submitting Form W-7.
What is a Certified Copy?
A certified document is one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the Agency.
These documents will be accepted. A notarized document is one that the taxpayer provides to a public notary who bears witness to the signing of the official document and affixes a seal assuring that the document is legitimate.
These documents will not be accepted for ITIN applications.
A certified copy is a copy issued and marked as valid so itís clear it hasnít been altered in any way.
Outside of using original documentation, the only other option you have is to use certified copies. A certified copy requires you to go to where the original document was obtained and get them to get a copy for you.
This way it will be an exact copy of the original with a stamp from the agency notarizing it. This is the only type of documentation that will be accepted with an ITIN application.
How Do I Receive My ITIN?
In order to receive your Individual Tax Identification Number, you need to apply for it. Once your application is approved, the IRS will issue your ITIN by mail.
You will need to fill out an IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification and mail it in. You can also fill this application out in person.
Within seven weeks of submitting your application, you should receive your approval letter and a letter containing your ITIN in the mail. If you do not receive your ITIN within seven weeks, you will need to reach out to the IRS to find out why.
How Long Does it Take For The IRS to Process an ITIN application?
It varies based on the time of the year. If applying, outside of tax season it can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks. During tax season it can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks.
Will The IRS Return My Original Documents to Me? How Long Will It Take Them To Return It?
The IRS has a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants. The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7.
Why Do ITIN Applications Get Rejected?
The top 10 reasons why your ITIN application may get rejected are:
Did not check a box including the "Reason for submitting Form W-7 or W-7 (SP)
Did not attach supporting identification documentation to prove applicants identity and foreign status. Except for applicants under 18 years of age, at least one of the documents must contain a recent photograph
Did not attach a completed federal tax return to show a tax purpose for obtaining the ITIN. You must attach an original return unless you meet the criteria for claiming one of five "EXCEPTIONS" to the tax return requirement. See instructions to form W-7 or Publication 1915, Understanding Your IRS ITIN for examples of the exceptions.
Attached supporting identification documentation that is not on the list of 13 acceptable documents to prove identity and foreign status, or it is expired. See form W-7 instructions or Publication 1915, Understanding your IRS ITIN for additional information.
Submitted a form W-7 for a dependent not listed on a federal tax return; or the dependent is listed on the federal tax return but missing their form W-7.
Submitted a form W-7 for a dependent who is not a U.S. citizen, a resident alien for tax purposes, or does not reside in Mexico or Canada. See publication 1915 for information on claiming dependents in India and South Korea.
Did not enter a foreign mailing address on line 3, if required. If you now reside in the United States permanently, enter your US address on Line 2 and the country name on line 3.
Did not enter birth information on line 4.
Did not complete line 6d to identify the supporting identification documentation attached, and/or did not enter the date they entered the United States, if required.
Did not sign their name on the signature line as it appears on line 1; or an unauthorized person signed. Besides the applicant, only a parent, court appointed guardian or a representative with a valid power of attorney can sign form W-7, or grant authority to sign a parent or other designated individual listed on a form 2848 (Power of attorney) that is attached to form W-7 or on file with the IRS.
The complete list of the "Reject Reason Codes can be found on the Internal Revenue Manual here.
If a W-7 is rejected, the taxpayer should carefully read to understand why the application was rejected. The taxpayer should then make sure the documents are correct, send IRS any information they requested, and provide it in the form requested.
Will Original Documents Be Returned by The IRS?
Yes, original documents will not be returned by the IRS. You may still want to send certified copies to be safe.
The IRS does have a process in place to make sure your original documents are returned to you.
In fact, all documents you send in with your application will be returned to you within 60 days of receiving and processing your Form W-7.
If you have not received your documents within 60 days of sending in your application, you can reach out to the IRS to inquire as to where they are or when they might be returned to you.
However, itís highly recommended that you send certified copies instead of originals. This is the best way to prevent your only copy from being lost in the mail. After all, the IRS has no control over the mailing system and many things can go wrong unfortunately.
ITIN vs SSN
If youíre wondering about an ITIN vs SSN, keep in mind that not everyone can get an SSN. Additionally, an ITIN serves only one purpose: identifying you so you can pay taxes.
Technically, your Individual Tax Identification Number is pretty similar to a SSN. Both numbers serve as identification the IRS can use so you can file taxes. The key difference is your SSN can be used for other things your ITIN can only be used for filing and reporting taxes.
ITIN Number for Illegal Immigrants
In order to clearly understand how an illegal immigrant can get an ITIN, you have to understand the purpose of obtaining an ITIN as an illegal immigrant first.
First, you have to understand that while an ITIN is an identification number, it isnít the same as a SSN or EIN. Namely, this means it does not provide you with the same benefits these other identifications do. It does, however, offer its own unique benefits to an illegal immigrant.
An ITIN is used for illegal immigrants to make it possible for them to file taxes. Because this is a form of identification, it makes it possible for them to file a tax return.
An ITIN makes it possible for an illegal immigrant to open a bank account within the United States as well. It also makes it possible for an illegal immigrant to apply for a mortgage loan.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons why an illegal immigrant benefits from an ITIN.
It makes sense to obtain one, and if you need any help doing so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
How Do Illegal Immigrants File Taxes?
Illegal immigrants file taxes using an ITIN.
If you are an illegal immigrant who has taxable income in the United States, you need an ITIN in order to file taxes.
This number is merely used as a label so the federal government can identify you and allow you to file taxes. This number serves no other purposes and canít be used for much else.
Can I Work With My ITIN Number?
No, you canít use your ITIN number to work. Having an ITIN does not make it legal for you to work in the United States.
This type of identification is only used as a label so you can file taxes. While there are a few benefits to having this ID, it does not help you with getting a job.
You canít use your ITIN as a substitute for an SSN. The sole purpose of your ITIN is to file taxes. This identification cannot be used to apply for a job.
What Does ITIN Mean?
ITIN is an acronym that stands for Individual Tax Identification Number.
Your Individual Tax Identification Number is a tax identification number used by the IRS. It makes it possible for someone who canít get a SSN to still file taxes.
ITIN is only used as a label by the federal government for filing taxes. It serves no other purposes and does not offer a person the same benefits an SSN does.
What Information Do I Need to Get ITIN?
To get ITIN, you will need to provide your birth name, current legal name, your address, your country of citizenship, your date and place of birth, and your signature.
The IRS wants to know why you are filing out the Form W-7 in the first place. Even if this is just a dependent filing for their ITIN, this is something the IRS needs to know.
Naturally, the IRS needs all of your basic identification number including your current legal name, your birth name, your address, your country of citizenship, your date of birth, your place of birth, and your signature.
Typically, it is the signature of the applicant that takes the most time and creates the most problems.
This signature requires you to either go somewhere in person to fill out the application or you have to wait for the application to be sent to you in the mail, fill it out, and send it back in. Depending on where you live and what type of mailing options you have, this is something that can take a while.
The other big mistake is when people forget to sign the application and it has to come back just for the signature. The time it takes for the application to go between you and the IRS is the biggest reason why individuals are encouraged to apply for this number prior to tax season.
This gives you plenty of time to deal with any problems and actually receive your number before tax season arrives.
For the same reasons, if you can hire someone to apply for your ITIN for you, you will eliminate all of the problems with the signature and potential errors.
I provide this services for many clients, and Iím happy to help you. Just email me at email@example.com to get started.
Does a Taxpayer Have To Answer The "Entry Date in U.S." Question on the W-7?
Box 6d on the W-7 form, "Entry date in U.S.," can make some taxpayers who entered the U.S. without documentation a bit hesitant. However, the entry date is needed where the taxpayer is applying for the ITIN as a "resident" for tax purposes. By using the entry date, the IRS can determine if the person passes the Substantial Presence Test for "resident alien" status for tax purposes.
What Documents Must a Taxpayer Submit With the W-7 to Obtain an ITIN?
The only identification document that is sufficient by itself is a passport because it is accepted for both identity and foreign status. Everything else, including a matricula card or a voter registration card, needs a second document, which is usually a birth certificate.
A combination of two or more of the following documents may be accepted as proof of both identity and foreign status:
National Identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
S driverís license
Civil birth certificate
Foreign driversí license
S state identification cad
Foreign voterís registration card
S military identification card
Foreign military identification card
S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
Medical records (dependents only)
School records (dependents and/or students only
Supporting Documentation Can be used to Establish:
Foreign Status Identity
Passport (the only stand-alone document) X X
U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification X X
Visa issued by U.S Department of State X X
U.S driverís license X
U.S military identification card X
Foreign driverís license X
Foreign military identification card X X
National identification card (must be current and contain name, photograph, address, date of birth and expiration date) X X
U.S state identification card X
Foreign voterís registration card X X
Civil birth certificate X* X
Medical records (valid only for dependents under age 14 (under age 18 if a student)) X* X
School records (valid only for dependents under age 14 (under age 18 if student)) X* X
*Can be used to establish foreign status only if they are foreign documents
Additionally, all documents must be current; no expired documents are accepted.
If a taxpayer submits their application to an acceptance agent, then the acceptance agent can send copies with the W-7 to the IRS processing center. If the taxpayer does not submit their application to an acceptance agent, then the original documents or certified copies are required to be sent.
When filing for an ITIN, all CAAs helping taxpayers should include the W-7 Certificate of Accuracy (CoA) form.
What Addresses Must a Taxpayer Provide?
Box 2 requests the taxpayerís foreign address. The foreign address is only used for applicants who reside outside of the U.S., such as dependents. However, in box 3 the taxpayer must list his/her local address, which is where the ITIN will be mailed. If the applicant lives in the U.S., then no foreign address is necessary.
Some advocates report problems with leaving the foreign address section blank even when they check that the taxpayer is a U.S. resident. If the taxpayer is in the United States, a U.S. address in box 2, and the name of the foreign city and country is sufficient for the foreign address. If the taxpayer has a P.O. Box he/she can enter it in box 3, otherwise box 3 can remain empty.
How Can You Ensure That Any Submission To The IRS Is Timely Received?
Certified mail is the best way to make sure that the IRS received a form a taxpayer sent before a deadline. The advocate can save the cost of a return receipt by writing the receipt number on the tax return (usually above or below the taxpayerís signature). Be sure that the advocate (or the taxpayer) holds onto the certified mail receipt.
Should An ITIN Ever Be Given To An Employer For Issuing a W-2?
Under limited circumstances, such as a case settlement context, an employee might want to consider giving his employer his ITIN for use in issuing a W-2. For example, in situations where the employee never gave a SSN at all and was paid by the employer in cash or in situations where the employer has filed wages with the SSA (using a SSN that he may or may not know was false) and he now knows the SSN is false and no longer wants to report to the SSA using a false SSN, the employer could use the employeeís ITIN for issuing a W-2. However, it is still unclear what the SSA does when they receive W-2s with an ITIN. The SSA has a large earnings "suspense fund" for all the monies paid that cannot be accounted for under assigned SSNs.
ITINs should not be given to employers when they receive no-match letters from the SSA (see below for more information on no-match letters) because it is not a SSN.
Can You Apply For ITINís For Your Dependents?
Yes, if the dependents are not eligible for Social Security numbers. The returns will not be processed without TINs for the dependents. The process for applying for an ITIN for a dependent is the same as applying for an ITIN for the taxpayer (attach the W-7 form and identification and/or supporting documentation to the tax return).
What Documents Are Required When Requesting An ITIN For a Dependent Child?
This allows the taxpayer to take advantage of an additional exemption, but does not allow the taxpayer to qualify for EITC or the child tax credit. There is no age limit to this exemption, as long as the child is a dependent. The following documents have been accepted for verification of identity, in addition to a birth certificate: school records (including school identification cards), medical records (including vaccination cards with their names), visas (such as a B-1 or B-2 visa).
However, in recent years the criteria for a valid medical record has become stricter. Immunization records are not acceptable documents for ITIN.
A valid medical record must meet the following criteria:
Be issued by a valid hospital, medical facility, or doctorís office in the U.S. or in a foreign country recognized by the U.S State Department
Be accompanied by a letter on official letterhead that is dated from the federal authority or equivalent, physician, hospital or clinic who administered the care of the child
Show the childís name, date of birth, and a complete address
Show the name, address, and phone number of the doctor, hospital or clinic where the treatment was administered
This criteria can be difficult to meet and advocates are working to clarify the requirements of the letter from a doctor.
Further information about CD566 notices, can be found here.
Does The IRS Release Any Tax Information To Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
It is important to advise taxpayers about potential consequences. The IRS Disclosure Statute (I.R.C ß 6103 (c) et al.) prohibits sharing of information, but has many exceptions. Those exceptions include court orders and Department of Justice (which would include ICE) investigations for criminal activity, even without a court order.
By law, no one Ė other than as provided in the above exceptions Ė can look at the taxpayerís records, unless the taxpayer authorizes via power of attorney. The SSA keeps data regarding amounts earned and social and medicare payments but neither agency shares information with ICE, except as provided in the above exceptions.
If a taxpayer is being investigated for illegal activity, the investigating agency may ask a judge to sign an order allowing them to get copies the taxpayerís tax returns.
How to Apply for ITIN for F2
To apply for an ITIN for F2 visa, you simply fill out Form W7 with the IRS or hire a business lawyer to fill it out on your behalf.
Your F2 visa wonít impact your ability to get an ITIN, neither positively or negatively.
How to Apply for ITIN for F1
To apply for ITIN for F1 visa, just fill out Form W7 with the IRS or contact a business lawyer to do so for you.
In some cases, F1 visa individuals may be eligible to obtain an SSN, which would mean they donít need an ITIN.
If you have a job offer, you can likely obtain an SSN, so youíd want to check out that option before getting an ITIN.
How to Apply for ITIN for Child
To apply for ITIN for child, you fill out Form W-7 on your childís behalf and submit the required documentation.
Itís necessary to have an ITIN for your child if they donít qualify for a SSN because you need this number to claim them as a dependent on your tax return.
How to Apply for ITIN for Foreign Spouse
To apply for ITIN for foreign spouse, Form W-7 is used to obtain an ITIN.
You only need to apply for an ITIN if your spouse is required to have one. Otherwise, you can file taxes as married filing separately or married filing jointly and mark NRA (non-resident alien) on your return.
How to Apply for ITIN for H4
To apply for ITIN for H4 visa holders, you complete Form W-7.
H4 visa holders arenít eligible for social security numbers, so they need an ITIN to file taxes in the United States.
How to Apply for ITIN for Dependents
To apply for ITIN for dependents, fill out form W-7 and include the required identification documents to the IRS.
How to Apply for ITIN for Non-Resident
To apply for ITIN for non-resident individuals, form W-7 is used to obtain an ITIN.