An ITIN is a nine digit tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to help the immigrants comply with the US tax laws and provide a means to effectively process and account for the tax returns and payments of those who are not eligible for Social Security Number. Individuals use this number as a legal identity card to open interest bearing bank accounts, secure a driver’s license, apply for home mortgage loans also register for certain health and insurance plans. However, it is not a business or a corporate tax identification number and does not serve the license to work.
Since ITIN goes hand in hand with the tax preparation business, both the resident and nonresident alien individuals can get an ITIN but must have a filing requirement and file a valid income tax return. These cases may include:
• A nonresident foreign national who owns or invests in the US business and receives a certain amount of taxable income from that business but resides in another country.
• A foreign student or scholar who is willing to apply for the scholarships and stipends and have qualified as a resident of the US.
• Dependent or spouse of a US citizen or resident alien
• Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
The ITIN services not only helps to build a tax base by letting more people pay into the system, but allows to offer more services to the existing customers. The applicants must fill up the W7 form which they can collect from the social security office along with a completed tax return and submit it to the IRS in order to receive an ITIN. When the application is approved, the ITIN is sent to the respective applicants through the mail. Also, the IRS does not accept any notarized copies of the documents of the applicants for an ITIN. Only the original copies of 13 documents as listed by the IRS should be submitted to verify identity and foreign status. These documents include national identification cards containing the name, address, date of birth of the applicants, voter cards, driving license, state identity card, passports and visa. The ITIN applications are submitted by paper filing processes only. The application process is most similar to the tax preparation and the form is completed in English.
There are a number of sources available to assist the individuals in receiving an ITIN. The IRS also provides an additional certification like the acceptance agents that expedites the traditional filling process. These agents are authorized organizations assisting all the foreign immigrants in getting their ITIN cards by reviewing and verifying the original documents submitted by the applicants and sending the authenticated documents to the respective IRS office for further processing. These agents also receive an ITIN card on behalf of the applicant. The individuals can also reapply and get their cards renewed in case it has expired after being used for the three consecutive years or is lost.