Individual Taxpayer identification Number (ITIN) 


What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.


ITIN is required When Claiming Exemptions for Dependent or Spouse:

You must list ITIN or SSN for any person you wish to claim an exemption for.   An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Who needs an ITIN?

IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs.  

• A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return

• A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return

• A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien


How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you have a filing requirement.

If you have an application for a SSN pending, do not apply for an ITIN.

To obtain a SSN, or to find out if you are eligible to obtain a SSN, go to Social Security Administration or contact a SSA office. By law, an alien individual cannot have both an ITIN and a SSN.

Can ITINs can be used for Identification?

No. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers cannot be used for identification outside the Federal tax system. Because ITINS are for tax processing only, IRS doesn’t apply similar standards, as agencies give authentic identity

Can ITINs be utilized for Work Purposes?

NO. It is of note that ITINS are only for federal income purposes 

Are ITINs valid as proof of identification to get a driver’s license in the state?

NO. Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers cannot be used for identification outside the Federal tax system.



HOW to Obtain an ITIN?  

  •  Prove your Identity
  • Prove your “foreign status”
  • Attach to US Tax Return


I reside outside of the United States, who can I turn to for questions about ITIN?

 The IRS dissolved all non-US based Certifying Acceptance Agents, including for ITIN4U. My expertise is available for consultation.

 What are the benefits of consulting with you? 

  • Your precious Identity documents do not have to be sent to the IRS for weeks – call now to find out how
  • Your application is reviewed for accuracy


How and when can I expect to receive my ITIN?

If you qualify for an ITIN and your application is complete, you will receive a letter from the IRS assigning your tax identification number usually ten – twelve weeks (including time in the Post).

How to prove “foreign status” and “identity”?

A Passport is the only single document that proves both Identity and Foreign Status.  If you submit an original valid passport, you do not need to submit any other documents to prove your “foreign status” or “identity.”

Are other documents acceptable?

Yes other documents are acceptable but it’s much more difficult – you must submit at least two documents. The documents must be current, verify your identity (that is, contain your name), and support your claim of foreign status.  Expired documents are not acceptable.

Chart from Page 3 W7 Instructions

If I cannot get the documents I need to apply for an ITIN, can I apply for a Social Security number instead?

If you qualify for a social security number, you should not be applying for an ITIN.

Will the IRS accept an apostille document?

NO. The IRS is only accepting original documentation or copies of documents certified by the issuing country or agency. An apostille does not meet these requirements since it is similar to the U.S. Notary (JP).