What You Need to Know About the ITIN

What You Need to Know About the ITIN

What is the ITIN number?

The ITIN is a Tax Identification number in the United States. It is controlled by the IRS (the agency to which US taxes are paid) and is used by foreigners who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number.

ITIN stands for “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number” and it is used for two purposes. First, the ITIN is used to pay taxes on the economic income that is obtained in the United States. Second, the ITIN works to identify spouses and dependent children who do not have Social Security so that taxpayers can claim an exemption for that spouse or dependent.

What an ITIN number is NOT used for:

It is essential to understand that obtaining the ITIN number does not change your immigration status, which means that you will not be able to get a permanent residence card. Also, the ITIN is NOT a Social Security number.

Who can apply for the ITIN number?

A person who resides in the United States for a period of six months or more and is not eligible for a Social Security number.

  • An investor or entrepreneur from other countries who have money invested in a business in the United States.
  • Foreigners, not residents in the United States who can request a tax benefit.

What documents do I need to apply for the ITIN?

To apply for the ITIN, the identity of the applicant and its foreign character must be proven. The documents are the following: Passport, identification card, driver’s license from the United States or from the country of origin, official birth certificate for minors under 18 years of age, visa, American or foreign military card, or foreign steering wheel card.

How do I apply?

To apply for the ITIN, you must use the W-7 form. 

If you are going to do it alone, we recommend that you follow these instructions to complete the form.

There are several options to file the form:

You can take it in person to an IRS office

Services provided at these centers are by appointment only. You can make an appointment by calling 844-545-5640. Visit here for a list of Tax Assistance Centers (TACs) that have been designated to offer the document verification service for ITINs. TACs that do not provide document verification services for ITINs will mail original documents, Form W-7, and tax returns to the IRS processing center in Austin for processing.

Submit it by mail

Submit Form W-7, your United States federal income tax return (if applicable), or other required documents under an exception, and the documents listed under Requirements for Supporting Documents, above, to:

Internal Revenue Service

ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

Submit it by private delivery service

If you use a private delivery service to send your Form W-7 (SP), send Form W-7 (SP), your United States federal tax return (if applicable), or other documents required under an exception, and the documents indicated under Requirements for Supporting Documents, above, to: Internal Revenue Service

ITIN Operation

Mail Stop 6090-AUSC

3651 S. Interregional, Hwy 35

Austin, TX 78741-0000

Through a processing agent

You can also apply for an ITIN through one of two types of IRS-authorized processing agents. These are a:

  • Acceptance Agent (AA)
  • Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA)
  • An Acceptance Agent (AA)

An Acceptance Agent (AA) can help you complete and file Form W-7 (SP). For a list of agents, visit IRS.gov and enter “acceptance agent program” in the Search box. An AA will have to send original documents or certified copies of such documents by the issuing agency to the IRS for all applicants.

How long does the process take?

The process to receive a tax identification number takes about 7 weeks after submitting the request.

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