ITIN: Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. What is it?
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number for U.S. federal taxes only and cannot be used as identification to prove identity outside of tax related matters. ITINs are assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who are not eligible to obtain a social security number but need one for reporting their income taxes in the United States. ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because they serve an important purpose in simplifying our complicated tax system and avoiding needless confusion over ITIN expiration dates that may cause some people to spend years worrying about whether or not they’ll have enough time left on their ITINS before it expires!
What is an ITIN for?
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ITINs are for federal tax processing and reporting only. ITIN holders cannot use the number as identification outside of filing taxes or obtaining a dependent’s social security benefits.
ITINS are primarily intended for federal income tax returns such that individuals who do not qualify due to immigration status may still use ITINS if they report taxable income year after year while also filing their own individual taxes. A taxpayer must file either with an ITINS or SSN but cannot check both boxes so it makes sense to apply even if you already have one because having two options available means avoiding paying double-taxes which would negate any benefits accrued
What are the benefits of having an ITIN?
Among the benefits of having an ITIN we have:
- Pay taxes.
- Create an American bank account.
- Take out health insurance.
- Prove your legal status.
- Apply for a credit card.
- Buy a house or property.
- Obtain a Driver’s License.
- Build your credit history in the United States.
Who is eligible to apply for an ITIN?
Anyone who has income in the United States on which they must pay U.S. taxes, but does not qualify for a social security number (SSN) may need to get an ITIN instead; including those that work remotely from their home country while living abroad, students with F-visa status working toward degrees at qualifying universities, self employed people without employees, certain family members of immigrant visa holders, etc…
What documents are required to apply for an ITIN?
A ITIN application is filed with IRS form W-765, ITIN Application. In addition to filing a ITIN application you must also file the tax return for which the ITIN number will be used or submit proof of having applied for an SSN by submitting either.
The following documents are required to submit an ITIN application:
- Documentation from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Birth Certificate and any other identification from your country of origin.
- Printed and completed W-7 form.
How can I apply for an ITIN?
Once your documents are reviewed and approved, your ITINS will generally arrive in 12 weeks via snail mail. If you need it faster than that however there are other options available including Express Mailing (for $51) or expedited service through local Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs). These services usually get you your ITINS within ten business days but come at an additional price tag so make sure to plan ahead before considering one of these options.
Does the use of an ITIN automatically mean that an immigrant is undocumented?
Absolutely not! ITINs are for tax reporting only and have no bearing on immigration status or citizenship rights in any way whatsoever. If you need a ITINS it means you already have some type of taxable income which requires filing with either ITIN to avoid paying taxes twice, file using your SSN but fail to report all income (a big no-no) because both employers and banks will likely get audited by federal authorities if they see different numbers listed, or just do what everyone else does: check the box that says “Foreign National” when asked about your social security number in order to prevent getting taxed twice without revealing too much information about your immigration status.
What happens if I file taxes with an expired ITIN?
If you need to get a ITINS but your ITIN has already expired (or will expire before tax season is over) the IRS recommends filing for ITINS as soon as possible and including form W-pr, Application For Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return, with all proper documentation showing that it was filed on time under penalty of perjury (and most importantly paying any incurred fines for late filing). Do ITINs have an expiration date? Not really; they last indefinitely until used or required by law enforcement officials due to fraud either by you or someone else who got one using your information without permission like when identity theft occurs!
Does ITIN help student visa holder?
ITINs can help international students and scholars in a variety of ways including tax refunds, ITIN for school purposes (such as reporting tuition paid on behalf of dependents), ITIN for mortgage processing to pay off student loans through the Homebuyer’s Program.