ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is used for paying taxes in the U.S. The number is issued by the IRS for processing and identifying tax payment by individuals in the country. Despite the fact that ITIN tax number does give any quasi-legal status to illegal or non resident aliens, people can use the ITIN to obtain various benefits like opening a bank account applying for a loan, obtaining credit cards, getting mortgage loans, etc.
Below we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ITIN numbers. The information contained here will make it easy to understand what ITINs are, who can apply, and how to apply for the number.
Q. 1. What is a ITIN Number?
ITIN tax number is used when filing income tax with IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in the U.S. The tax number identifies individuals that pay taxes to the IRS. ITIN number consists of 9-digits in the form of xxx-xx-xxxx. Every ITIN number begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the second digit.
All ITIN tax numbers issued after January 1, 2013 are valid for five years. Individuals must apply to get ITIN number from IRS after every five years. The new tax laws states that an individual should use the ITIN number at least once every five years of issuance otherwise it will be deactivated automatically.
Q. 2. How can I Apply for ITIN Tax Number?
You can apply for ITIN number by filling Form W-7, Application for IRS ITIN. You can find the instructions to fill the form on the IRS website. The ITIN number will be mailed to you once the IRS processes and approves your application.
You need to complete and attach the income tax return with the application Form W-7. In case you are applying for more than one ITIN number for the same tax return, like for your spouse or other dependents, you need to fill and attach another W-7 application form with the tax return.
Apart from income tax return, you also need to provide documentary evidences that verify your identity and status in the U.S. You can validate your identity with the IRS by submitting original or certified copy of a valid passport. In case you don’t have a passport you can submit original or certified copies of the any two of the following documents:
- Civil Birth Certificate
- USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) photo identification
- Valid U.S. or Foreign National Identity Card
- Medical Records (valid for dependents under the age of 6)
- School Records issued by Ministry of Education (valid for dependents under the age of 14 or if student 18)
- S. or Foreign Driving License (Can be used to validate identity only but not foreign status)
- Foreign Military Identification Card (Can be used to validate identity only but not foreign status)
- Foreign voter’s registration card
Note that the above documents can either be original or photocopies. Copies of original documents must be certified by the issuing agency. You can also certify the documents with the U.S. embassies and consulate services overseas. Also, the name, address, contact information and other information entered in the Form W-7 must be the same as contained in the documentary evidences.
Q.3. Who Must Apply for ITIN Number?
Anyone who do not possess and are not eligible for SSN (Social Security Number) can apply for ITIN number that is issued by SSA (Social Security Administration). More specifically, U.S. nonresident, resident, and undocumented aliens need to apply for ITIN number when filing income taxes.
U.S. Non resident aliens are individuals that do not have substantial presence in the country. Substantial presence test include being present 31 days in the current year and 183 days during the previous 3 years period including the present year counting all of the days present in the current year plus 1/3 and 1/6 of the days being present in the first and second year respectively prior to the current year. These individuals do not have a valid green card (permanent resident card) but have legally arrived in the country for studies, work, business or other purposes for a short term.
U.S. Resident aliens refer to persons that have substantial presence in the country. However, such individuals are not eligible for SSN for certain reasons. These individuals include dependent or spouse of legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen or legal immigrants such as students or workers that have arrived in the country on a temporary visa.
U.S. Undocumented aliens are individuals that have arrived illegally in the U.S.
Individuals that fall in the above three categories have to apply for an ITIN number.
Q. 4. Does ITIN number offer Legal Status to Immigrants?
ITIN numbers do not offer any legal status or any public benefits to the individuals. They are not eligible for EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) or social security benefits. The number is only used to file income tax with the IRS. However, the individual can use ITIN tax number to obtain other benefits in the country such as:
- Open a bank account
- Obtain refund of tax on income withheld by the IRS
- Apply for credit card, mortgage loans, and other credits
- Obtain driving license or car insurance
- Apply for EIN (Employee Identification Number) to set up a business
- Qualify for child tax credit
Note that if a person becomes eligible for SSN – through becoming a permanent resident or U.S. citizen – the number of years of earnings reported with an ITIN tax number will be counted towards the amount the person will be eligible to receive.
Q.5. Is ITIN number a way to Track and Report Undocumented and Illegal Aliens?
No, the ITIN number is not specifically an immigration tool to track illegal or undocumented individuals. The number is only used to file taxes with the IRS. In fact, the IRS is legally required to respect the privacy of each and every individual. Under Section 6103 of IRC (Internal Revenue Code), the IRS cannot release taxpayer information to other government agencies except under court order for non-tax criminal proceeding or for investigating tax investigation by the Treasury Department.
Every individual, whether U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or undocumented, is required to pay taxes to the state or the federal government. An ITIN number is used for that purpose only.
If you want to apply for an, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN tax number and have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at 888-509-3616. If you have any suggestions please share those with us as well. Freedomtax ITIN Number has a professional team of IRS Certifying Acceptance Agents, and tax accounting professionals with more than 16 years of experience, helping immigrants with their ITIN application. Freedomtax can also help immigrant entrepreneurs incorporate a business in the USA. Freedomtax ITIN Tax Number Online services provides Quality, Professional Service with a Family Feel.