What is the process to apply for an ITIN?
1. Fill out Form W-7
This is requested in person from an IRS office or through a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). Click here to find the TAC closest to you. Another option is to find a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) who can help you with your application. Click here to find the nearest CAA. After you fill out a W-7, send it to the IRS.
2. Submit proof of why you require an ITIN
An example might be your responsibility to file a tax return. After the IRS processes your request for an ITIN and your first tax return, you can file returns for prior years using your new ITIN.
3. Show your identity documents
Along with the W-7, you must submit current and original documentation to the IRS to verify your identity and alien status, such as:
- a US driver’s license or a US identification card.
- a foreign national identity card or civil birth certificate from the country of origin, foreign academic records, or passport.
Keep in mind that providing the correct documentation to allow the IRS to establish who you are and whether you qualify for an ITIN is very important.
What you need to know: If you don’t want to part with your original documents, you can go in person to an assistance center, TAC, or CAA and they will be able to accept your paperwork and let you keep your documents.
What if I want to renew my ITIN?
If you already have an ITIN that is about to expire and need a renewal, choose one of the following three options:
- Mail your Form W-7, proof of your identity, and documents pertaining to your foreign status to the following address:Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342Your identification documents will be returned to you within 60 days. Submit your application as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your next tax return.
- Apply in person for an ITIN through an IRS-authorized CAA . This way you can keep your original identity documents.
- Schedule an appointment at an IRS-designated Taxpayer Assistance Center . This way you can also keep your original identity documents.
How long does the process take?
The process can take up to 10 weeks because many apply for the ITIN in the busiest months, which are precisely before April 15. Normally the process should last between six to eight weeks maximum.
The IRS will return your documents to you and at the same time give you favorable notice that you have received an ITIN. After this it will take another six to eight weeks for the IRS to process your tax return.
Once you have your ITIN, see how your fields of possibilities increase to generate income and demonstrate that you comply with the law by filing your taxes regardless of your immigration status.