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What is the ITIN?

General information

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a processing tax number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who require an identification number for US tax purposes but do not have and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).


ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both residents and foreigners may have tax obligations to file returns and pay taxes according to the IRS Tax Code.


What is the ITIN used for?

ITINs are for tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. The IRS issues ITINs in order to help individuals comply with United States tax laws, and to provide an efficient way to process and account for returns and payments for those who are not eligible for Social Security Numbers.

An ITIN does not grant the right to work in the United States nor does it grant the holder Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Who needs an ITIN?

The IRS issues ITINs to aliens and others who have a tax reporting or filing requirement and do not qualify for an SSN.  A nonresident alien who does not qualify for an SSN, Anyone who is required to file a federal income tax return only to claim a refund under the provisions of an agreement with the United States needs an ITIN.


Examples of individuals who need an ITIN include:

  • Nonresident aliens who need to file a federal income tax return and are not eligible to obtain an SSN

  • Resident aliens (based on number of days present in the US) filing a federal return and are not eligible to obtain an SSN

  • Dependent or spouse of a citizen or resident alien

  • Dependent or spouse of a non-resident alien with a visa


How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to obtain an SSN, but are required to provide a federal identification number or file a federal tax return, you will need to apply for an ITIN.

If you have a pending application for a Social Security Number, do not file Form W-7.  Fill out Form W-7 only if the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that you cannot be issued a Social Security Number.

How do I apply for an ITIN?

We can help you request your ITIN number and at the same time prepare your taxes in a single visit.

If you qualify for an ITIN and your application is complete, you will receive a letter from the IRS assigning your identification number, usually within four to six weeks.


If you do not receive your ITIN or other correspondence six weeks after applying, please call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 to find out the status of your application.

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