Social Security number and Individual taxpayer Identification Number are used for submitting tax files and complete other financial processes in the US. There are many common misconceptions about the two. Here are common questions about ITIN and their answers.
1. What is ITIN?
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN is the number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The American citizens receive Social Security Number for submitting their tax files. This Social Security Number is considered their National Identity Number. SSN is also issued to the US non-citizens living and earning in the US with work authorization. ITIN number is issued to US non-citizens who are legally living in the US but are not authorized to work in the country.
2. Why should I get ITIN?
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is required to submit tax files, support dependants in the US and to get loan or mortgage or open a bank account.
3. What if I don’t want to file taxes?
It is essential for every citizen or non-citizen of the US to submit their income tax files. As you are working in the US without authorization, not submitting your income tax files can put your into bigger trouble. If you submit your tax files punctually, the government may issue authority to work due to your responsible behavior.
4. How would I know my eligibility for Social Security Number or ITIN?
Before applying for your ITIN number, it is ideal to contact the IRS on toll free number IRS-800-829-1040 to get information about your eligibility status.
If you have applied for SSN, the IRS will issue you SSN or ask you to apply for ITIN number if you are not eligible for SSN.
5. How do I apply for ITIN?
Form W7 is used to apply for ITIN. You can get the form from the IRS, complete the required field, attach documents and send the form to the following mailing address.
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
6. What documents are required for ITIN application?
You need Form W7, income tax file and personal identification documents for applying for your ITIN number. The personal identification documents include US driver’s license (if available), National Identification Document, Birth Certificate, Visa Copy, US Citizenship and Immigration Service photo ID, Medical (of dependents only), School records (of dependents and students only), Voter registration copy of your country, and State ID. Contact tax preparer and registered tax advisor for getting more information on required documents.
7. What to do if I lose my ITIN number?
If you have lost your ITIN number then make sure to contact the IRS instead of filing for a new number. Internal Revenue Service issues one ITIN number to a person in a lifetime. If you have already filed taxes then you must have the copies of your tax files. Check the files to retrieve your ITIN number. Otherwise, call the IRS on toll free number IRS-800-829-1040. If you are contacting during off office times or weekends then drop an email in Contact section of official IRS website.
8. What should I do if ITIN issued by the IRS does not match my international banking account?
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number does not match your international bank account or any other number due to difference in records of the IRS and bank or any other institution. There are a number of reasons for difference in ITIN number including divorce, marriage, adoption and others.
If you are unable to find your ITIN card then you need to apply for a replacement card. Find your letter of authorization to work in the US and any copy of your ITIN card. IF you don’t have ITIN card copy then you need to apply for replacement card along with your birth certificate, visa, passport and state ID. The application will be submitted to your nearest Social Security Association office.
There are three types of issues in this case.
- Difference in ITIN number and your name
- Same name but difference in ITIN number
- Same number but difference in name
In all cases, it is highly suggested to contact the IRS for getting advice.
9. How long does it take to get ITIN number?
The IRS issues and sends the ITIN number to the person within seven weeks of application. It is suggested that the applicant should wait for six to eight weeks and then contact the IRS if ITIN number is not received at the postal address mentioned on form W7 while applying.
10. Should I submit my tax files on my own?
Registered tax preparers are working all over the country to facilitate the taxpayers. These include applicants with Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and Social Security number. You can prepare and submit your tax files on your own but it brings a lot of responsibility. Also, the IRS will charge you penalties if there are errors in the tax files. Therefore, it is recommended to hire a tax preparer to submit your tax files. Also, make sure that the tax preparer prepares your tax files on papers with his stamp.
11. I am waiting for my Social Security number and tax file submission deadline is almost there. Should I apply for ITIN?
If you are eligible for Social Security number then you should not apply for ITIN in any circumstances. Wait for Social security number or contact the IRS to get updates about the status of your SSN application.
12. Do I need to submit original documents?
The IRS facilitates the applicants in a number of ways. You don’t need to submit original documents. You can submit certified copies that are the exact copies of original documents and issued by original document issuing agency.
For further information on ITIN and SSN, you can contact the IRS or any nearby registered tax preparer. For questions specific to Social Security number only, contact the nearest Social Security Association office.
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