Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration; ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status; Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.

ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose:

  • An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social
    Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system. IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers.
  • If the applicant may be eligible for a SSN at a later date, the ITIN can no longer be used, and the applicant must apply for a SSN from the Social Security Admin.
  • An individual, who is eligible to obtain a SSN, must apply for a SSN instead of an ITIN number. Examples: US citizens, permanent US residents or individuals eligible to lawfully obtain employment in the United States.
  • An individual with a green card or visa permitting him/her to lawfully obtain employment in the US must first apply for a SSN with the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). If the SSA issues a letter of denial, then the individual can apply for an ITIN and must include the letter with the IRS ITIN application.
  • An individual with a SSN application pending should not submit an IRS ITIN application. A letter of denial must be received before an ITIN application can be submitted to the IRS. The letter must be included with the ITIN application.
  • An individual cannot have a SSN and an ITIN number at the same time.

What is a Certifying Acceptance Agent?

An Acceptance Agent is a person or an entity (business or organization) who, pursuant to a written agreement with the IRS, is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to process a Form 1040 and other tax schedules. The Acceptance Agent facilitates the application process by reviewing the necessary documents and forwarding completed Forms W-7 to IRS.