What is an ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), also known as the W7 form, is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to certain residents and nonresidents who are required for U.S. tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number.
Who Must Apply?
People who are required to have a taxpyer identification number for tax and reporting purposes. Any individual who is not eligible to obtain an Social Security Number (SSN) but who must furnish an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number must apply for an ITIN on Form W-7. Most nonresident students and scholars cannot claim family members as dependents. Any family member who can be claimed as a dependent must have an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN). Family members who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) can apply for an identification number on Form W-7.
When & Where to Apply
You can apply here and the application process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes
Complete and attach Form W-7 when you file the tax return for which the ITIN is needed. However, if you meet one of the exceptions, complete and submit Form W-7 as soon as possible after you determine you are covered by that exception.
What Supporting Documentation will I need?
A valid (unexpired) passport is the only stand-alone document to prove both identity and foreign status.
Reminder, all documents must be orginal documents or certified copies by the issuing agency.
A complete list of Supporting Documents that can be accepted can be found here.
When Did the IRS Start Issuing ITIN's?
In 1996, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued regulations that introduced the ITIN, and required foreign persons to use an ITIN as their unique identification number on Federal tax IDs.