Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or commonly known as ITIN is given to taxpayers who don’t have a Social Security Number. The IRS uses it the same way as an SSN or EIN to identify the taxpayer for tax purposes.
Not everyone who doesn’t have a Social Security Number needs an ITIN though. Those who are not eligible to get a Social Security Number but required to file a USA Individual Income Tax Return must obtain an ITIN. So, if you don’t have a Social Security Number or not eligible to get it and required to file a federal income tax return, you must apply for ITIN.
ITIN is in the same format as a Social Security Number. At first look, what you will notice is that starts with “9”. If a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) starts with a 9, it’s an ITIN. If not, it’s either a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number.
How to apply for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?
If you’re not able to obtain a USA Social Security Number or don’t have one, there is more than one way you can apply for ITIN. You can then use it as your TIN. To apply for ITIN to use it as your Taxpayer Identification Number, you can:
- file Form W7—Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- apply through an IRS authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent
- apply in an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
Either way works just fine but the most convenient way to obtain ITIN is by visiting the nearest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center or through a Certifying Acceptance Agent.
When you apply by filing a Form W7, you will have to mail certain sensitive documents that prove your identity and foreign status. If you’re not comfortable with it, make sure to apply for ITIN through the methods explained.
Form W7 Fillable PDF
If you want to apply by filling out Form W7 PDF, you can do so. This is optional for those who don’t want to pay for obtaining an ITIN. Start filling out Form W7 below. This version of Form W7—Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is fillable online.
Since this is a regular PDF document that allows you to fill out online, you can save it as it is once you’re done or print out a paper copy. So, it’s also printable.
When mailing Form W7, include your proof of identity and foreign status documents. You can mail your passport or other documents that show your foreign status. Mail Form W7 with these documents to the following mail address using USPS. Do not use any other delivery service such as FedEx or UPS as they are considered as Private Delivery Services.
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Before you print out a paper copy, make sure to save your W7 as PDF. This will allow you to go through your application in case you need to.
Note: You can also file Form W7 to renew your ITIN. If your ITIN hasn’t been used for at least three years, it will expire. The ITINs that are issued before 2013 that contains middle digits of 88 is also going to be expired at by the start of 2021. Make sure to renew your ITIN before you get to file a federal income tax return as obtaining it may take a while.