Itzia Fariyike
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Itzia Fariyike
How to obtain an ITIN for Non-Residents

How to obtain an ITIN for Non-Residents

Sometimes doing business in the United States can be difficult, especially for Non-Residents. Taxes still need to be paid whether you are a resident or not. To file taxes as a non-resident, one needs to have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). According to the IRS website, examples of Individuals who need an ITIN are as follow:

  • A nonresident alien individual claiming a tax treaty benefit
  • A nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return
  • A resident alien (who is treated as a resident alien for income tax purposes based on his or her days of presence in the United States) who files a U.S. tax return
  • A resident or nonresident alien individual who can be claimed as a dependent of a U.S. citizen or resident alien on a U.S. tax return
  • A resident or nonresident alien spouse who isn't filing a U.S. federal tax return (including a joint return) but who can be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. tax return
  • A resident or nonresident alien electing to file a joint tax return with a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • A nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
  • A resident or nonresident alien individual who can be claimed as a dependent or a spouse of a nonresident alien U.S. visa holder  (https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc857)

To apply for an ITIN, you will need to file form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number along with identity documents that verify both your identity and your foreign status. Identity documents must be submitted in their original form or as a certified copy from the issuing agency. The IRS provides a list of acceptable documents:

  Can be used to establish:
Supporting Documentation Foreign Status Identity
Passport (the only stand-alone document*) X X
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification X X
Visa issued by the U.S. Department of State X X
U.S. driver’s license   X
U.S. military identification card   X
Foreign driver’s license   X
Foreign military identification card X X
National identification card (must contain name, photograph, address, date of birth, and expiration date) X X
U.S. state identification card   X
Foreign voter’s registration card X X
Civil birth certificate X** X
Medical records (valid only for dependents under age 6) X** X
School records (valid only for a dependent under age 18, if a student) X** X
* Applicants claimed as dependents who need to prove U.S. residency must provide additional original documentation if the passport doesn’t have a date of entry into the United States. See Proof of U.S. residency for applicants who are dependents below.
** May be used to establish foreign status only if documents are foreign. https://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw7

Form W-7 can be filed by mail or in person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TACs) in the United States by appointment only. Once the form has been received by the IRS, it will take about 7-10 weeks to process. After that, you will receive your ITIN via mail and you can start filling taxes.


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