ITIN Information

What is an ITIN?

ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created the ITIN for use by anyone who is not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) and who receives taxable income (this includes stipends and indirect income such as a bank interest).  If you already have a SSN, you are not eligible to apply for an ITIN.  Should you apply for an ITIN now and later get a SSN, this will not cause you any problems. You will simply start to use the SSN instead of the ITIN (to file taxes, submit to payroll, etc.) as soon as you receive it.

Effective January 1, 2013, new ITINs will expire after five years. Under prior policy, ITINs had no expiration date. Taxpayers who still need an ITIN will be able to reapply at the end of the expiration period.

For more information on ITIN, visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information .

For instructions of how to apply for an ITIN, visit http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf .

Form W-7: Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf

Who Needs an ITIN?

If you are NOT eligible for a SSN and you are:

  1. A nonresident alien eligible to get the benefit of reduced withholding under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty
  2. A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return or file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund
  3. A nonresident alien who elects to file a joint U.S. tax return with a  spouse who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  4. A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the U.S.) filing a U.S. tax return
  5. An alien spouse claimed as an exemption on a U.S. tax return
  6. A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien (spouse of #3 above)
  7. A dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder

Supporting Documents for ITIN Application

ITIN applicants (except F and J visa holders, see the section “Exemptions from the above documentation requirement” below) must submit with their ITIN application original documentation establishing identity and foreign status, such as passports and birth certificates, or copies of these documents certified by the issuing agency*. The original or copy certified by the issuing agency must be sent to the IRS ITIN processing facility, and processing can take up to two months, according to IRS.

* You may be able to request a certified copy of documents at your embassy/consulate in the U.S.  However, services may vary between countries; therefore it is recommendable that you contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for specific information.  When you communicate with your issuing agency in this regard, you may refer them to the IRS website addressing their new requirement of “certified copies of these documents from the issuing agency.”

* Certified document is one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the Agency.  It is NOT the same as a notarized document.

Acceptable Documents

Supporting Documentation

Can be used to establish:

Foreign Status

Identity

Passport (the only stand-alone document)

x

x

USCIS photo identification

x

x

Visa issued by US Department of State

x

x

US driver’s license

x

US military identification card

x

Foreign driver’s license

x

Foreign military identification card

x

x

National identification card (must be current and contain name, photo, address, date of birth, and expiration date)

x

x

US state identification card

x

Foreign voter’s registration card

x

x

Civil birth certificate

x*

x

Medical records (valid only for dependents under age 6)

x*

x

School records (valid only for dependents under age 14 (under age 18 if a student))

x*

x

* Can be used to establish foreign status only if they are foreign documents

Note: If no passport, at least two documents are required.

NOTE:   Under prior policy, applicants could submit notarized copies of these documents. This option is no longer available.

ITIN applications can be submitted (1) by mail (2) in person at any IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center , or (3) through an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent .

If you need your original documents while your ITIN application is pending, it is recommendable to apply in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC).  TACs will be able to verify passports and National ID documents and return them immediately.  TACs provide services on a walk-in, non-advance appointment basis.  Make sure in advance that a TAC you will visit provides the service you need by calling.

If you don’t receive the original documents submitted by mail within 65 days of mailing, you may call to inquire 1-800-908-9982 (U.S. only) or 1-267-941-1000 (for international).

Exemptions from the above documentation requirement:

  1. 1. Nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits (use boxes a and h on Form W-7). Non-resident alien applicants generally need ITINs for reasons besides filing a U.S. tax return. This is necessary for nonresident aliens who may be subject to third-party withholding for various income, such as certain gaming winnings or pension income, or need an ITIN for information reporting purposes.  While existing documentation standards (see current W-7 instructions above) will be maintained only for these applicants, scrutiny of the documents will be heightened.  ITIN applications of this category that are accompanied by a US tax return will be subject to the new document standards.
  2. ITIN applicants in F and J status sponsored by UConn, who receive taxable scholarship, fellowship or other grants reportable by the school on Form W-2 or Form 1042-S can forward IRS copies of their documents through P/DSO (for F visa holders) or A/RO (for J visa holders) at International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).  If you are in this category, please submit ITIN W-7 supporting document certification letter request to ISSS.  Once you receive the certification letter, you need to submit your application with the supporting documents to IRS:
  1. Certification letter
  2. Form W-7 Application
  3. Copies of identity and foreign status documentation
  4. Copy of DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1/J-2 Status)
  5. Copy of I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (F-1/F-2 Status)
  6. Other supporting documents necessary to meet the Form W-7 application requirements, if any.***Please make a copy of all of your documents before mailing for your file***

ITIN applications should be mailed to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX  78714-9342

How to Request an ITIN W-7 Supporting Document Certification Letter

If you are in F or J status sponsored by UConn and need the certification letter from International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) for your ITIN application, please submit the following documents.  The processing time of ISSS office is up to two weeks.

  •  Completed Form W-7*
  • Copy of Passport with a valid expiration date (at least valid for six months into the future)
  • Copy of the most current signed Form I-20 or DS-2019*Note: Accurately completing and timely filing a Form W-7 is the applicant’s sole responsibility.  International Student & Scholar Services does not review the Form W-7 for accuracy and cannot advise on completion of the form.

Disclaimer

Information presented on this web page is for general information and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as, legal tax filing/ITIN advice.  International students and scholars may choose how they wish to complete and submit tax forms as it is the individual’s sole responsibility to meet all tax filing obligations.  International students and scholars are encouraged to consult the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), local and state tax agencies and tax professionals for advice and guidance regarding their individual tax situations.