Knowing how to apply for an ITIN, and obtaining the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is mandatory for everyone living in the United States, including immigrants who are not eligible to receive a social security number (SSN). Here we present you with a guide on how to apply for an ITIN.
Who Needs To Apply For An ITIN?
Everyone who falls in the following groups needs to apply for an ITIN as per the law set by the IRS:
- S Resident or non resident alien filing for a tax return
- Spouse of a US resident or non resident alien filing for a tax return
- Dependent (one or many) of a tax eligible US resident or a non resident alien
- Nonresident student, researcher, teacher or professor filing for a tax return
- Non-resident student, researcher, teacher or professor claiming for a tax return
- Dependents and/ or spouse of a non resident alien with a US visa
- Non Resident aliens who need to file for a tax treaty benefit
- Resident aliens who have interest bearing bank accounts in the United States
- People in a US or foreign based partnership that have assets and produce income or make investments in the United States
- People who receive distributions such as pensions, royalties, annuities, royalties and more
What is an ITIN Used For?
An ITIN is a nine digit number used to identify and maintain the tax records of an individual. It is the primary requirement of filing the yearly tax according to the IRS’s deadlines. Everyone has a unique ITIN and this helps the IRS keep track of the taxes paid by everyone in the country. Apart from taxes, The ITIN can also be used to open an interest bearing bank account, since everyone who has such accounts needs to file taxes according to the federal tax laws of the States.
In some states, showing an ITIN is necessary to get your State ID and your drivers permit/ license.
Why Should Immigrants Apply For AN ITIN?
The federal tax laws require both immigrants and citizens to apply for an ITIN and receiving an ITIN does not bring a change in the immigration status of an individual. However, immigrants do get certain benefits from applying for an ITIN.
Firstly, if you are an illegal immigrant, it changes your status to legal as by filing your taxes, you show the government of the United States that you are serious about living in the country as a respectful, law abiding citizen, and being recognized as a legal immigrant is your first step of being promoted to a citizen of the United States.
The documents that are needed when filing for an ITIN will give you a chance to submit proof of your immigration and legalize your status. If you have any incomplete documents, or if you haven’t submitted any documents to a government office since you immigrated in the United States, then this is the time to do so. Filing for an ITIN will help you make sure that the government has all required documents regarding your immigration. This allows them to check your professional and educational background which can have positive impact on your citizenship process.
If you are in the States and pay all your due taxes (you require an ITIN number to do so), and want to file for tax returns, deductions and grants, then you will be able to do so if the IRS office finds you eligible because since you’re doing your duty and paying your taxes (on time), the government will do what it can to help you out when it comes to your health care, education and accommodation.
What is The Right Time to Apply for an ITIN?
You can apply for an ITIN any time of the year, however, it is best to do so long before the IRS’s tax deadlines (it is usually on April 15). This is because it takes the IRS a few weeks to process your ITIN and if you miss your tax deadlines, then you will be viable to pay penalties as per the federal tax law.
If you haven’t received your ITIN number within 2 weeks of applying for it, then you should contact, or visit one of IRS’s regional offices to inquire about your ITIN process.
What Are Acceptance Agents? What do they do?
Representatives of the IRS that are authorized to assist individuals (both residents and immigrants) obtain their ITIN are called acceptance agents. Acceptance agents review documents, complete w-7 form, other forms and accuracy certificates, ensure the proper arrangement of documents and forward the certification and forms to the IRS for the processing to begin. Some acceptance agents charge a fee for the services they provide, others do it free of charge.
Filing for an ITIN though IRS’s acceptance agents drastically reduces the processing time of getting an ITIN.
Do You Need To Apply For An ITIN Though An Agent?
If you want, you can opt out of going to an acceptance agent and do the entire process yourself. Just download the W-7 form, the identification details of you and your family, and any other required documents that prove your foreign status or are stated in the list provided by the IRS of the documents required to apply for an ITIN.
However, applying for an ITIN yourself will increase the processing time, and if you have made any mistakes or left certain sections of the form incomplete or failed to provide all the documentation, then your application will be rejected and you will have to start a fresh application process once again. This will waste a lot of time, and if you miss IRS’s tax deadline then you will have to pay tax penalties.
Also note, that if you apply for an ITIN number without the help of an acceptance agent, the IRS will require you to send your original passport, or Id documents by mail to the IRS ITIN Department. By doing so, you risk loosing your original Id documents.
So can you apply for an ITIN without an acceptance agent? Yes, but you should only do it if you know what you are doing.
Applying for an ITIN allows you to pay your taxes, which is your prime responsibility as a citizen of the United States and therefore it is important that you get an ITIN (or have it re issued) on time.
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.