What is an ITIN, and do I need one?
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number “9”, formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN).
The application process of an ITIN can be tedious, lengthy, and confusing as well. At Marigu Consulting, we help you through this process to get you compliant with the law by filing your taxes.CONTACT US
ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. This is a nine-digit number that begins with the number “9” and is used for processing an individual’s tax information. The ITIN is necessary for an individual who does not qualify for a social security number but needs an ID number for US tax purposes. The IRS issues ITINs after the application process is completed correctly.
Individuals who are not eligible to obtain social security numbers but have reporting and filing requirements with the IRS need to get an ITIN to complete their related tax returns. Following are some examples of people who must receive an ITIN:
- A resident or nonresident alien who is required to file a US income tax return
- A spouse or dependent of a US citizen or resident alien
- A spouse or dependent of a nonresident alien who holds a visa
- A nonresident alien who needs to file a tax return to claim a tax refund
No, the law does not allow an alien individual to have both an ITIN and an SSN. If you have applied for an SSN, do not apply for an ITIN unless you receive a letter from the Social Security Administration rejecting your application because an SSN cannot be issued.
You can apply for an ITIN via mail to the IRS:
The Form W7 is completed, signed, and filed along with a federal income tax return. These documents are mailed to the ITIN operation unit and an original, unexpired foreign passport, a certified copy, or two other qualifying identification documents (as detailed below). You will receive your original documents back from the IRS via mail within 60 days (plus 5 days to allow mailing and delivery delays).
What documents, besides a Foreign Passport, will suffice for the ITIN application?
If you do not provide a passport, (a passport is the only stand-alone document) then you will have to provide at least two current other documents that together contain your name and photograph and prove your foreign status. Both foreign status and identity have to be proven with these documents. The requirement for a photograph does not apply to a dependent under the age of 14 (18 if student).
The following chart is published by the IRS to provide clear guidance on what documents qualify and what proof they provide: Click here
Yes, Primary, secondary, and dependent persons may submit W-7 applications in person (with original documents) at designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TAC). Designated Taxpayer Assistance Centers will certify only original, and copies certified by the issuing agency passports and National ID cards.
Service at the TAC is by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 844-545-5640. See IRS.gov for a list of designated TACs that offer ITIN document authentication services.
For additional instructions on how to apply for the ITIN, CLICK HERE