An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s crucial for non-U.S. citizens who need to fulfill their federal tax obligations due to a filing or reporting requirement but do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN). ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status. This guide will answer common questions about ITINs, including how to apply, eligibility, and more.

What is an ITIN?

ITIN Number

An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range of 70-88 in the fourth and fifth positions. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration.

Who is Eligible for an ITIN Number?

An ITIN is issued to individuals who are not eligible to obtain an SSN. This includes nonresident aliens who are required to file a U.S. tax return, resident aliens based on days present in the United States, and dependents or spouses of U.S. citizens or resident aliens.

The eligibility criteria for obtaining an ITIN are defined under the Internal Revenue Code.

What is the Difference Between an ITIN and a SSN?

An ITIN is used for federal tax reporting purposes, while an SSN is used for social security benefits, work authorization, and tax reporting. The key difference is that an ITIN does not authorize an individual to work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits.

How to Apply for an ITIN?

How Can a Non-US Citizen Get an ITIN Number?

Non-U.S. citizens can get an ITIN by submitting a completed Form W-7, “Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” along with the required documentation proving identity, foreign status, and tax documents, and a federal income tax return.

What are the Requirements to Get an ITIN Number?

To obtain an ITIN, you must complete Form W-7 and submit original supporting documentation, such as a passport, proving your identity and foreign status. Additionally, you need to provide a federal tax return.

ITIN Application Process

  1. Complete Form W-7: Fill out the form accurately.

  2. Gather Documents: Provide original documents or certified copies proving identity and foreign status.

  3. Submit Application: Send the completed Form W-7, your tax return, and supporting documents to the IRS.

Common Questions about ITIN

Can a Non-US Citizen Get an ITIN Number?

Yes, non-U.S. citizens who need to file a federal tax return but do not qualify for an SSN can apply for an ITIN. Non-U.S. citizens may need an ITIN to meet their tax filing obligation.

Can I Work with an ITIN Number?

No, an ITIN does not authorize an individual to work in the U.S. It is solely for tax reporting purposes.

How to Find Your ITIN Number?

Your ITIN number is issued by the IRS and will be included in the confirmation letter sent to you upon approval. It can also be found on previous tax returns filed using the ITIN.

Can a Foreigner Get a US TIN Number?

Yes, foreigners can obtain a U.S. TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) by applying for an ITIN if they do not qualify for an SSN.

Can I Use SSN Instead of TIN?

If you are eligible for an SSN, you should use it instead of applying for an ITIN.

What is the Foreign TIN Number?

A foreign TIN is a tax identification number issued by a foreign country. For U.S. tax purposes, individuals may need to provide their foreign TIN along with their ITIN.

What is My US TIN Number?

Your U.S. TIN can be an SSN, EIN (Employer Identification Number), or ITIN, depending on your eligibility and tax status.

What Documents are Needed to Apply for ITIN?

Required documents include a completed Form W-7, your federal tax return, and original supporting documents proving identity and foreign status, such as a passport or national identification card.

How Long Does It Take to Get an ITIN Number?

It typically takes about seven weeks to receive your ITIN after submitting your application. During peak tax season, this process may take longer.

Can I Renew My ITIN Without a Tax Return?

No, to renew your ITIN, you must submit a completed Form W-7 along with your federal tax return.

Can I Get a Tax Refund with an ITIN Number?

Yes, you can receive a tax refund with an ITIN if you are eligible for a refund based on your tax return.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an ITIN Number?

Applying for an ITIN is free of charge. There are no application fees imposed by the IRS.

Can I Apply for an ITIN Without a Tax Return?

In most cases, you must submit a federal tax return along with your ITIN application. There are exceptions, such as being claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return.

How Do I Make an Appointment with the IRS for My ITIN?

You can make an appointment with an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) by calling the IRS or scheduling online.

Can I Walk into the IRS Without an Appointment?

It is recommended to make an appointment to ensure you receive assistance. Some IRS offices may accept walk-ins, but availability is not guaranteed.

How Do I Get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?

Submit Form W-7 with the required documents to the IRS. The form and instructions are available on the IRS website.

Who Qualifies for an ITIN Number?

Individuals who need to file a federal tax return but are not eligible for an SSN qualify for an ITIN. This includes nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents.

Is a TIN the Same as an SSN?

No, a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) can be an SSN, ITIN, or EIN, depending on the individual's or entity's tax status and eligibility.

Can a Foreign Person Apply for an ITIN?

Yes, foreign individuals who need to file a federal tax return and are not eligible for an SSN can apply for an ITIN.

How Do I Get an ITIN Number for a Non-Resident Alien?

Non-resident aliens can obtain an ITIN by submitting Form W-7 with the required documentation proving identity and foreign status and their federal tax return.

What is the Easiest Way to Get an ITIN Number?

The easiest way to get an ITIN number is to accurately complete Form W-7, gather the necessary supporting documents, and submit everything to the IRS along with your federal tax return.

Tam Accounting: Your Trusted ITIN Advisor

Tam Accounting is a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) authorized by the IRS to assist individuals in obtaining ITINs. We provide expert guidance and ensure your ITIN application process is smooth and efficient.


Understanding the ITIN application process is crucial for non-U.S. citizens who need to comply with U.S. tax laws. If you have any questions or need assistance with your ITIN application, contact Tam Accounting today. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the tax system and ensure you meet all your tax obligations.

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