Filing our income tax return is an essential part of being a citizen of the United States. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires every individual that generates income in the US to report such income by the month of April. In order to file such a report, we need to obtain a tax identification number issued by the IRS. If we can’t qualify for a Social Security Number, we must apply for the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. That’s why we need to make sure we fully understand how to get an ITIN number issued by the IRS.
Before starting the process, however, we need to know what exactly an ITIN number is. We should also be aware of the reasons why we might or might not need a Tax ID number. Then, we will be able to explore the different options available on how to get an ITIN number. If we are operating as a business, though, we need to apply for the EIN number instead.
What Is an ITIN Number?
An ITIN number, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service issues for those individuals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number. The IRS issues this number to enable individuals to file their income tax return every year. We must remember that we can obtain our ITIN number regardless of our immigration status. Thus, the IRS will not share taxpayer information with immigration agents under any circumstance. However, obtaining an ITIN number does not automatically gives us the authorization to work in the US.
Why do You Need an ITIN Number?
Any person that is receiving an income that generates in the US needs to file their income tax return. Those individuals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The IRS issues ITIN numbers in order to enable individuals to comply with the US tax laws and requirements.
People in a wide range of circumstances are eligible to apply for an ITIN number. For example, resident and non-resident aliens filing a US tax return are both eligible for an ITIN number. Also, a dependent or spouse of a US citizen or resident alien, as well as a dependent or spouse of a non-resident alien can apply for this tax ID number.
How Can You Get an ITIN Number?
There are different ways for us to apply for an ITIN number if we need to. The first thing we need to know on how to get this number, however, is the type of form we need to file. As the IRS website states, we need to file Form W-7, Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, including a couple of documents. Such documents must be original or certified copies that prove our identity and foreign status.
In order to apply for our ITIN number, we have the option of mailing our W-7 with our tax return. We also need to include a proof of identity and foreign status documents to the IRS offices. We can also apply through a Certifying Acceptance Agent or making an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. After we submit our application, it takes around seven weeks in order for us to receive a letter with our ITIN number.
We can always contact the IRS directly in case we have any questions or doubts regarding the process or status of the application.