General Information on the ITIN – What is an ITIN?

A Personal Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a processing tax number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS grants ITINs to individuals who require an identification number for tax purposes in the United States but are not 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 residents and foreigners may have tax obligations to file tax returns and payments 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 to help individuals comply with United States tax laws and to provide an effective way to process and account for returns and payments that are not eligible for Social Security Numbers.

An ITIN does not grant the right to work in the United States or grant the holder Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Credit (EITC).

Who needs an ITIN?

The IRS grants ITINs to foreigners and others who have a tax reporting or filing requirement and do not qualify for an SSN. An alien who is not a resident and does not qualify for an SSN, who has a requirement to file a federal tax return just to claim a refund under the provisions of some agreement with the United States, needs an ITIN.

Examples of individuals who need an ITIN include:

  • Non-resident aliens who need to file a federal tax return and are not eligible to obtain an SSN
  • Resident aliens (based on number of days in the U.S.) filing a federal return and not eligible for an SSN
  • Dependent or spouse of a citizen or resident alien
  • Dependent or spouse of non-resident alien with visa

How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible to get an SSN, but you must meet the requirement 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 to obtain 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 granted a Social Security Number.

How do I apply for an ITIN?

We at ROCKIES TAX SERVICES can help you request your ITIN number and at the same time prepare your taxes in one visit.

When should I apply for an ITIN?

You must complete Form W-7 as soon as you are ready to file your federal tax return, since you need to include the return with your application.

You can apply for an ITIN in any season of the year (filling your Taxes); however, if the return you include with Form W-7 is filed after the filing deadline, you may owe interest and / or penalties. To avoid this, you must file your current year return by the due date.

Where can I get help with my ITIN application?

You can call the IRS toll free at 1-800-829-1040 to get information on the status of your application to give you more information.

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 ID 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 inquire about the status of your application.

Important Reminders about ITIN Expiration

Your ITIN may expire before you file a tax return in 2019. Any ITIN that is not used on a federal tax return, at least once in the past three years, will expire on December 31, 2018.

Additionally, all ITINs issued before 2013, with digits 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82 in the middle (Example: 9XX-73-XXXX), will also expire at the end of the year.

If you have to file a tax return in 2019, the IRS recommends that you now file a Form W-7 – Request for Personal Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service to renew your ITIN. We remind you that the ITINs with the numbers 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80 in between, which expired in 2016 and 2017, can also be renewed.

To Form W-7 it is necessary:

attach the original identification documents, or copies thereof certified by the issuing agency, and any other required attachments.

Note:  You do not have to attach a tax return to a renewal application.

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