What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

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What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

FAQ about how to get an ITIN

What is an ITIN number?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN is a tax processing number generated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for those who need to file US taxes but do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN).

The IRS will also issue ITINs to dependents who can be claimed on a tax return, but who do not qualify for social security numbers.

Taxpayer Identification Numbers are nine-digits and used by the IRS to track income in the US.

Do I need an ITIN?

If you are working in the US and are not eligible for an SSN, you may need to get an ITIN if any of the following applies to your situation.

–You don’t have an SSN and are not eligible for one, AND you are required to file a federal tax return, AND you are in one of the following categories:

–Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return

–US resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a US tax return

–Dependent or spouse of a US citizen/resident alien

–Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder

–Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit

–Nonresident alien student, professor or researcher filing a US tax return or claiming an exception

How do I get an ITIN number?

To apply for an ITIN, submit form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and all necessary identification documents to the IRS. You must submit either original documentation or certified copies.

After you have all the documents in order, you have three options to apply.

1. By mail

You can mail your completed W-7 form and documentation to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin Service Center

ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

You should receive all documents back within 60 days.

2. In-person at an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent

You can avoid having to mail your identification documentation by making an appointment with an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent in-person. This may come with an additional fee.

For a list of local agents, see the IRS’ state-by-state list to find an agent near you.

3. In-person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center

You may also make an appointment at your closest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. Simply find the nearest center and call to make an appointment. They do not accept walk-ins, so don’t forget to bring all your paperwork and documents with you to your appointment.

What documents are needed to apply for an ITIN?

You will need the following documents in order to apply for an ITIN:

  • Passport
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) documentation 
  • Birth certificate and any other identification from your home country 
  • Form W-7

Can I work legally with an ITIN?

An ITIN number does not authorize you to work in the US. It is only used to help you comply with US tax law if you do not have an SSN.

An ITIN also does not make you eligible for Social Security benefits, nor does it qualify a dependent for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

How do I renew an expiring ITIN?

If your ITIN has expired or is about to expire, you can renew it by filling out another W-7 form and submitting it along with the necessary documentation.

Note:

No tax return is required for an ITIN renewal application!

If your ITIN has expired and you will not be filling out another tax return, you are not required to renew your ITIN. However, if you file another US tax return in the future, it will have to be renewed at that time.

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