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How To Get An ITIN Number?

The U.S. is one of the most popular countries in the world. Large numbers of people of different nationalities, from all over the world, visit or immigrate to the U.S. every year. With all the luxuries and facilities of life living in the U.S., also come certain responsibilities. One such responsibility is paying the tax and you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to be entitled to pay the taxes.

As U.S. citizens are required to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN), those who are not U.S. citizens are required to obtain an ITIN number so that their taxes can be processed.

If you are a person who is required to pay the U.S. taxes but do not have enough information on how to get an ITIN number, this blog is going to answer your questions and clear all your ambiguities. Keep reading to know how to get an ITIN number

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

What is an ITIN?

So, you want to know how to get an ITIN number but do you even know what an ITIN is? Do not worry, just keep reading!

ITIN is Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in the U.S. issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used to report and process the taxes. The ITIN number is issued to individuals who are entitled to pay the tax but according to social security administration’s regulations, are not qualified to obtain a Social Security Number.

An ITIN is a 9 digit number similar in pattern to the Social Security Number (SSN) always starting with a 9. As fourth and fifth digit, there used to be numbers from the range 70-88 but changes effective from 12th April, 2011 the range has been extended to include 70-88, 90-92 and 94-99.

Who Needs an ITIN?

Before knowing how to get an ITIN number you must know if you need an ITIN or not?

You do not need an ITIN if you have a Social Security Number (SSN) or if you have applied for Social Security Number (SSN). You only need an ITIN if you do not qualify to get a Social Security Number (SSN) but are required to pay taxes, to file tax returns or to claim dependents/spouse living in the U.S.

People who cannot have Social Security Number (SSN) can obtain an ITIN regardless of their immigration status or country of origin but they cannot have both the Social Security and an ITIN, by law.

So, if you are earning money in the U.S. but are not a U.S. citizen and hence not eligible for Social Security Number (SSN), then you and your spouse/ dependents need an ITIN.

What is an ITIN used for?

Although you should know how to get an ITIN number but knowing what an ITIN is used for is equally important.
An ITIN is only intended to be used as your ID number for tax reporting and is not meant to serve any other purposes. ITINS are only issued to make sure that you abide by the tax laws, if you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN). But you may need an ITIN number for opening a bank account or to apply for mortgage loans if you do not have SSN.

Does ITIN allow you to work?

No, having an ITIN does not mean that you are allowed to work in the U.S.

Does ITIN provide any Social Security Benefits?

No, the ITIN does not provide you any Social Security benefits.

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

How to get an ITIN number?

Any individual applying for ITIN needs to:

  • Completely fill the revised version of application W-7 form
  • Your valid Federal income tax return should be attached with the W-7 form (if you qualify for an exception, you should provide documents proving your exception)
  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of your foreign status

What is a W-7 form?

Want to know how to get an ITIN number? A W-7 form is the one used to apply for obtaining an ITIN for individuals who are not U.S. citizens and are not eligible to get a Social Security Number (SSN) but need to file the federal tax revenue with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What do you need to fill the W-7 form?

You need to provide following information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the W-7 form:

  • Why do you need an ITIN?
  • Your name, current mailing address and your foreign address (if applicable)
  • Your country of citizenship
  • Your date of birth
  • Your location of birth
  • Your foreign tax identification number (if applicable)
  • Your U.S. visa number (if applicable)
  • Documents submitted for your identity and foreign status’ verification

What Documents can prove your identity and foreign status?

In order to know how to get an ITIN number and what documents IRS considers as proof of your identity and foreign status, you need to keep an eye on the revisions that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently done. After the revision of the list of required documents that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts as the proof of your identity and your foreign status, IRS only accepts original valid passport as the proof of both your identity and foreign status. In case, you do not have a valid passport then you need to provide one or more recent documents which must have your name, photograph, expiration date and prove your foreign identity.

Any of the following documents can be provided to Internal Revenue Service (IRS), instead of a passport:

  • National Identity Card (it must include your name, photograph, DOB, current address and date of expiration)
  • Birth Certificate
  • S. driver’s license
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • S. identification card
  • S. military ID card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • Visa
  • S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photograph ID
  • Medical Records (only for dependents)
  • School Records (for dependents and students)

You can either submit original documents or can submit certified copies of any of the two or more above listed documents. The copies need to be certified by the issuing agency or official keeper of the original documentation and attested by a U.S. public notary.

The W-7 form along with the supported documents must be mailed to the address mentioned on the W-7 form.

Important:

  • If you have submitted or are planning to submit your original documents, you so not need to worry because IRS will return your documents. But if you do not receive your documents back in 60 days then you can call Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s helpline
  • Try and avoid sending original documents if there is an option of sending the copies
  • Make sure you send the form (along with the supported documents) through an insured mail service so that you receive a receipt.
  • Do make a copy of your completed form and keep it with you

Why Internal Revenue Service revised ITIN application process?

If you found out that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revised the application process for getting an ITIN while searching for information on how to get an ITIN number and got confused why the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did revise application process, relax! Here’s why:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only revised the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application process to ensure that the ITIN is only used for their original and intended purpose of tax reporting and processing only.

How can you apply for an ITIN?

Knowing different methods of submitting an application for an ITIN is an important part of knowing how to get an ITIN number. There are three different ways to apply for an ITIN which are mentioned below:

  • In Person- Completed W-7 form and valid supporting documents can be submitted to any of the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Assistance Centers in the U.S.
  • By Mail- You can mail your completed W-7 form, along with the supporting documents (including your federal income tax return and valid identity and foreign status documents) to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service

Philadelphia Service Center

ITIN Unit

P.O. Box 447

Bensalem

PA 19020

  • With the help of an acceptance agent- Applying for an ITIN through an acceptance agent certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the best way for individuals who are not sure how to get an ITIN number and lack information about the process and requirements. Acceptance agent can be an individual, business or an organization and will do the needful for you which includes:
    • Reviewing your W-7 form
    • Reviewing your supporting documents
    • Completing an accuracy certificate
    • Sending the complete application to the IRS
  • Ask the agent in advance if the acceptance agent you are planning to visit accepts walk-in clients or you need to take an appointment.

When to apply for an ITIN?

One should learn the details about how to get an ITIN number and apply for it as soon as he/she gets to know that he is entitled to file the tax return.

How long it takes to get an ITIN number?

In case you are seeking advice on how to get an ITIN number and need one soon, do keep in mind the time that Internal Revenue Service will take to provide you with an ITIN number.

If you have submitted a completely filled form along with all the supporting documents, valid and certified, and you are eligible to get an ITIN then Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may take 2 to 4 weeks in processing your application.

Previously, Internal Revenue Service used to provide a card for the ITIN number, similar to the Social Security number card, but they are working on changing it. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is working on issuing an ‘authorization letter’ instead of the card to avoid any confusion with the Social Security Number card. However, this will not have any effect on those already possessing an ITIN card, their cards will not be replaced and they can continue using their cards. Only new applicants will be provided with the ITIN authorization letter.

  • Are you sure you knew very well how to get an ITIN number? Did you completely fill the form and attach all the required documents but still have not received your ITIN? If it has been six weeks since you applied, then you should call the Internal Revenue Service and ask the status of your application

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

Where to go for assistance?

You might not be sure about how to get an ITIN number or may have some confusion in filling the W-7 form or preparing the federal income tax return but there is no need to panic or feel helpless. Following are some of the ways through which you can seek assistance for your problems:

  • You can always call Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s toll free number (1- 800- 829- 1040) to seek assistance for how to get an ITIN number, how to fill the W-7 form or to ask for your application’s current status.
  • You can also contact IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in the U.S. to seek help on how to get an ITIN number or other issues related to your ITIN application. You can visit any of the centers, on a walk-in or appointment basis, to ask for their help.
  • Another option is to take services of an Acceptance Agent, authorized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and ask them how to get an ITIN number, what is the proper way to submit an ITIN application, the requirements etc.
  • Just in case you are not in the U.S. and have confusion regarding how to get an ITIN number, you can contact Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in your country and ask if they can help you with how to get an ITIN number or in filling the W-7 form.

How to get an ITIN number for dependents/ spouse?

You need to apply to get an ITIN for your spouse/ dependents but if you are not sure how to get an ITIN number for them, following tips would be useful for you:

  • In case of dependents/ spouse you need to submit documents which prove that the dependent is either a national of the United States or residing in the U.S., Canada or Mexico
  • In case you are living abroad and have adopted a foreign child or the adoption is in process then the child may also need an ITIN. Therefore, while seeking help on how to get an ITIN number for yourself, do ask for the information regarding how to get an ITIN number for the child as well.
  • In case the dependent is a minor then the documents you provide with ITIN application must confirm the relationship between the person applying on dependent’s behalf and the dependent. The documents may be the birth certificate, adoption papers or the legal guardianship papers issued by the court.

What leads to the deactivation of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?

Since now you are well aware of how to get an ITIN number, you should also keep in mind that if you have not filed at least one federal income tax return with your ITIN for five consecutive years, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will deactivate your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

In case of deactivation, you will need to reapply for getting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and will have to go through all the paperwork of filling the W-7 form, attaching valid and certified supporting documents of your identity and foreign status, again. So, do file your federal income tax returns using your ITIN, at least once, in a maximum period of five years.

We hope that by now you know if you are eligible to apply for an ITIN, how to get an ITIN number and the whole process of its application. With this knowledge you can breeze through the procedure of applying for an ITIN and can file your tax returns to the IRS, fulfilling your tax obligations.

If you need help getting an ITIN number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com.

Sources

https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Individual-Taxpayer-Identification-Number-ITIN

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc857.html

https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information

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