Who can apply for an ITIN number?

Who can apply for an ITIN number?

The US tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued  The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN Number). Individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) but are required to file federal taxes or need an identification number for other tax-related purposes may apply for an ITIN Number. 

ITIN Number is a nine-digit number. SSN starts with the number “9”, formatted like (NNN-NN-NNNN). Use ITIN Number for tax reporting purposes only.

  • Nonresident aliens who must file a U.S. tax return.
  • U.S. resident aliens who must file U.S. tax returns based on days spent in the United States.
  • Dependents or spouses of U.S. citizens or resident aliens.
  • Dependents or spouses of non-resident foreign visa holders.
  • Non-resident aliens claiming tax treaty benefits.
  • Nonresident foreign students, professors, or researchers who file U.S. tax returns or claim exemptions can apply for an ITIN number.

What is ITIN?

ITIN Number is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which stands for the US tax collection agency.

ITINs aid individuals in adhering to U.S. tax regulations by facilitating the efficient processing and tracking of tax returns and payments for those ineligible for a Social Security number. Immigration status holds no bearing on eligibility for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, as both resident and nonresident aliens may have obligations to file or report taxes in the United States as outlined by the Internal Revenue Code. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are a requisite for federal tax reporting purposes.

The criteria for obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number include:

  • Being a nonresident alien obligated to file a U.S. tax return
  • Qualifying as a U.S. resident alien and filing a U.S. tax return based on days spent within the United States
  • Being a dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • Being a dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
  • Being a nonresident alien seeking tax treaty benefits
  • Being a nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or seeking an exemption

Eligibility Criteria for ITIN application?

The Internal Revenue Service is issued to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Immigration status is not taken into account when issuing an ITIN Number. Immigration status is not taken into account because both resident and nonresident aliens may be required to file or report in the United States under the Internal Revenue Code.

Individuals must meet application requirements and file a valid federal income tax return to obtain an ITIN Number.

Where can I use my ITIN number?

ITIN Number is used primarily for federal tax purposes in the United States. ITIN holders can submit their ITINs in different purposes; 

Filing Tax Returns: If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) but have U.S. tax filing requirements, you can use your ITIN to file federal tax returns.

Claiming Treaty Benefits: Nonresidents who are eligible for tax treaty benefits with the United States can use their ITIN

Opening Bank Accounts: Many financial institutions in the United States accept ITINs as a form of identification for opening bank accounts.

Mortgage and Loan Application: Some lenders may accept ITINs as valid identification when applying for a mortgage, personal loan, or other type of credit.

Obtaining a Driver’s License: In some states, individuals may use an ITIN as part of their application for a driver’s license or state identification card.

Property Rental: May request an ITIN as part of the rental application process to verify the tenant’s identity and creditworthiness.

Applying for Certain Government Benefits: Some state or local government agencies may accept them for certain benefits or services.

Various Purposes: ITINs may be required or accepted for a variety of purposes, such as applying for public services, obtaining a business license, or enrolling in educational programs.

Even though  ITIN Numbers serve a variety of purposes, they are not evidence of work authorization or legal immigration status in the United States. 

Can I get the ITIN Number online?

ITIN Number holders have access to the online accounts they have created. The IRS provides an online platform specifically designed for ITIN number holders. This online system allows users to quickly and securely reach various IRS departments and save time. The efficiency and security of the system streamline the user experience, facilitating easy navigation and use.

Additionally, the ITIN application process can be completed online. However, users should take into consideration a few important steps throughout this procedure.

Which documents are required?

The IRS has identified 13 specific documents as acceptable forms of identification and proof of alien status to obtain an ITIN. These documents must be current and include an expiration date. For those with no stated expiration date, the IRS will accept documents submitted within 12 months of application.

All papers must include both the applicant’s name and a photograph. The applicant must also support his/her claim regarding alien status. If original documentation will be needed for any purpose within 60 days of submitting the ITIN application, individuals may apply in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) or Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA). Alternatively, submitting certified copies of them directly from the issuing institution is also an option.

13 documents acceptable for the IRS include:

  • 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
  • Visa
  • 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)

How to get ITIN number for free?

The ITIN Number application process, done directly through the IRS, is offered free of charge. If applicants choose to seek assistance from Certified Admission Agents (CAAs) or other authorized representatives, they should note that representatives often charge a fee. While it is common to ask representatives for guidance, it is important to remember that the fees requested have nothing to do with the Internal Revenue Service.

Security Measures for Online Application

Online applications always have security measures in place to protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access or misuse. It is necessary to be conscious of online security and take some precautions. Thus, sensitive information, including ITIN Number, is protected. All measurements are for the benefit of users.

Some security measures are:

  • Encryption: Uses encryption technology to secure data transfer between the user’s device and IRS servers.
  • Secure Access: Users may be required to create an IRS online account with strong authentication measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify their identity before accessing the application portal.
  • Data Protection and Privacy Policies: The IRS uses strict data protection protocols to prevent identity theft.
  • Secure Document Upload: Uploaded files are encrypted and stored securely on IRS servers.
  • Monitoring and Auditing: The IRS continually monitors and audits its online systems to detect and mitigate potential security threats.
  • User Education: Provided by the IRS to educate on online security best practices.
  • Compliance Standards: The IRS adheres to industry best practices and compliance standards for online security, such as the Federal Information Security Administration Act (FISMA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework.

Online services offered by the IRS

IRS offers a wide range of online services to make the process go smoothly. 

  • Filing Tax Returns Electronically (e-File)
  • Checking Refund Status
  • Making Tax Payments
  • Setting Up Payment Plans
  • Accessing Tax Transcripts:
  • Applying for an ITIN: 
  • Getting Taxpayer Assistance: 
  • Updating Taxpayer Information
  • Filing for Tax Relief and 
  • Accessing Online Tools and Calculators.