U.S. Tax IQ provides full range of ITIN Services. We can help you obtain a US Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (“ITIN”) or renew your ITIN, where applicable, in a quick and easy fashion. Not sure if you need an ITIN or are eligible for one? Here are some key facts about this important taxpayer identification number.
What is an ITIN?
Generally, individual US taxpayers use a Social Security Number (“SSN”) as their tax identification number for all US tax matters. However, the SSN is generally only available to US citizens, green card holders, and people authorized to work in the United States. SSN can be obtained from the US Social Security Administration through one of their offices.
ITIN is a US tax ID number issued by the IRS and designed for foreign individuals (non-US persons) who need to file a US federal tax return or have other IRS filing or reporting obligations, but are not eligible for an SSN.
If you need to file a US federal tax return or other IRS filing, but are not eligible for an SSN, you are required to obtain an ITIN from the IRS. ITIN applications are made by filing with the IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Years ago, the IRS would accept returns without ITIN, but not anymore – anything submitted without an SSN or ITIN will generally get rejected by the IRS processing center. While the task sounds straightforward, the ITIN process can get complex and time consuming.
Important! Even if you have an ITIN you may need to get a new one!
Under the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (“PATH”) Act enacted in December 2015, taxpayers who have not used their ITINs on a tax return in the last three years or those with certain middle digits in the ITIN number (78 or 79) must renew their ITIN before filing a 2016 US federal tax return. The renewal period began on October 1, 2016. To facilitate the renewal process, the IRS is not requiring the renewal applicants to attach a tax return to Form W-7.
An expired ITIN could delay your tax refund and affect your eligibility for certain tax credits, until your ITIN is renewed.
Top 8 important facts on ITINs you should know!
The IRS notes the following important facts about ITINs on its website:
- ITINs are generally required for US federal tax reporting purposes only.
- An ITIN allows you to file your taxes and claim dependents you support in the United States, Mexico or Canada.
- An ITIN gets issued regardless of your immigration or visa status in the United States. In fact someone who has never entered the United States may well have an ITIN or require one.
- An ITIN does not authorize you to work in the United States.
- An ITIN does not provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Foreign individuals must have an IRS filing or reporting requirement and generally file a valid US federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.
- An ITIN allows you to get a refund from your income withheld by the IRS, if you qualify.
- An ITIN may even allow you to open a US bank account or apply for a loan.
ITIN Application Process - We make it Seamless!
As discussed above, Form W-7 is used to apply along with an attached valid US federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception. The application should include your original proof of identity or certified copies by the issuing agency and foreign status documents. There are several acceptable documents approved by the IRS to be used as valid proof of identity, and here’s the link to the list:
- Passport (stand alone document) *
- 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
- 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
Once processing of your ITIN application has been completed, you will get a letter from the IRS with your ITIN. The typical processing time is 7 to 11 weeks, but it can take less or more time, depending on your facts and circumstances.
The IRS has a hotline that can be used to check the status of your ITIN application in case of a processing delay.
Save Your Time! Let U.S. Tax IQ Help with Your ITIN Application!
Don’t sweat it and let U.S. Tax IQ handle this tedious process for you. We can verify all your supporting documentation, which means we will validate and confirm all the original documents and you can then hold on to them. If you are unable to attend an interview in person, we can conduct the interview via video conference, provided that you send us original documents and we have them in our possession while conducting the interview. The whole process could take a few days (if using a private delivery service for documents exchange). An alternative would be to visit a Canada Passport office and obtain a certified copy of your identification document (passport), which may take a few weeks, while you would not have the original document in your possession. When applying through us, you will only have to send copies to the IRS. With us, all you will need to do is bring your paperwork and sign the Form. We can also help you in preparing and filing your US taxes, if needed.
As mentioned above, applying by yourself involves sending the IRS originals or notarized and apostilled documents confirming your identity, and this process can get lengthy and expensive. Let us help you with your ITIN application!