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Comprehensive guide to getting an ITIN from IRS

How to Get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
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Category : > New Business Setup
Posted On : Mon Oct 24th,2016

How to Get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

What is an ITIN?

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the specific individuals to comply with federal tax laws and to file federal tax returns. It is a nine-digit number and usually starting from the number 9. ITIN used on the federal tax return for specific individuals to file their return. They cannot file their return without getting ITIN or with expired ITIN.


Who can obtain an ITIN?

Every nonresident US who have to comply federal tax laws and to file federal tax returns needs to get an ITIN or those individuals who are not eligible to get social security number (SSN) but have to comply with federal tax laws. If someone is not required to comply federal tax laws and to file federal tax returns then he needs no ITIN.

Who is the issuing authority of ITIN?

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the issuing authority of ITIN in the USA. The federal agency is responsible for the enforcement and administration of revenue laws also engaged in the collection of revenue on behalf of the government of USA.

What is the purpose of ITIN?

Federal tax reporting and federal tax filling required by the IRS is the only purpose of ITIN. IRS uses ITIN to help the individuals to comply with all federal tax laws. An ITIN number does not allow or authorize work in US and not provide eligibility to avail Social security benefits and tax credit on earned income.


When can you apply for ITIN?

You are required to send a W7 along with your Federal Income Tax Returm otherwise the Internal Revenue Service will reject your W7 application.


What documents are required to get an ITIN?

The following documents are required to get an ITIN from IRS

  • A Form W-7
  • valid federal income tax return
  • Original Proof of identity or copies certified by issuing agency
  • Foreign status


What documents are acceptable as proof of identity and foreign status?

The list of acceptable documents is as under:

  • Passport (stand alone document) as well as identity proof
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver's license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver's license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter's registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only - under 6)
  • School records (dependents only - under 14, under 18 if a student)

What is the procedure to apply for ITIN?

There are three ways to apply for an ITIN.

  • One is to get the services of an IRS-authorized certified Acceptance Agent to apply for an ITIN.
  • Second is to visit the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in-person. IRS will process your application and issue your ITIN through mail at your mailing address.
  • Third is to via form W-7 (Application form for IRS individuals Taxpayer Identification Number). You must have to attach original documents required in form W-7 with your foreign status and identity proof. Mail your W-7, tax return, proof of identity, and foreign status documents to:

Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342


How much time IRS take to issue ITIN?

Within seven weeks from the date of applying for ITIN you will receive a letter from IRS mentioning your unique ITIN if you qualify and your application is complete. If you do not qualify or your application found incomplete then your application will not proceeded. You may know the status of your application by calling at toll free number 1-800-829-1040 if you are in the United States. If you are outside the United States, call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number).


Where can you help regarding ITIN?

You may inquire, help, or for the status of your application for ITIN by calling at toll-free number 1-800-829-1040  if you are in the United States and call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) if you are not in the United States.

What is the expiry date of ITIN?

Every ITIN shall expire if it does not use in any consecutive three years. And any individual with expired ITIN is no more required to renew his ITIN if he has not required filing a federal tax return.

Can anyone obtain ITIN from abroad?

Yes, you can obtain ITIN from abroad via form W-7 or approach to an IRS-Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent.


MS Management Sciences, ACMA, APFA

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