Applying for An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for Social Security numbers. ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens can have United States (US) tax return and payment responsibilities.

Please note that ITINs can only be used for federal tax reporting, and do not serve any other purpose. ITINs do not authorize work in the US nor provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or Earned Income Tax Credits. Also, ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system.

Applying for an ITIN

  1. Use Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, to apply for your ITIN.
  2. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your original or certified proof of identity documents. To see if you qualify for an exception, please refer to the instructions for Form W-7. An original or certified copy of your passport is the only document that is accepted for both identity and foreign status. If you do not have a passport, you must provide a combination of two or more current documents that contain expiration dates, which show your name and photograph, and support your claim of foreign status:
    • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
    • US driver’s license
    • Civil birth certificate
    • Foreign driver’s license
    • US state identification card
    • Foreign voter’s registration card
    • US military identification card
    • Foreign military identification card
    • Visa
    • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo ID
    • Medical records (dependents only)
    • School records (dependents and/or students only)
  3. Send your tax return, Form W-7 and proof of identity documents to the address given in the Form W-7 instructions. Do not mail the documents to the address listed on the instructions for your tax forms.
  4. You should receive a letter from the IRS four to six weeks after submitting your application. The IRS’s ITIN Unit issues all numbers by mail.

In lieu of mailing your application, you can also apply for your ITIN using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or by visiting an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). TACs in the US provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. Applicants outside the US should contact an overseas the IRS office to find out if that office accepts Form W-7 applications.

For help and additional information, call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040, or by making an appointment at IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in the US, which provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. Applicants outside the US may contact an overseas IRS office to find out if that office accepts Form W-7 applications. You can also use the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent (List of Acceptance Agents).

For the latest information and forms on this topic, please refer to the IRS website.

PLEASE NOTE: Immigration law and regulations change frequently. In order to protect yourself you should make sure that you understand the laws and how they apply to you. If you have questions about your status, you should consult an expert. If you would like to be notified about recent changes to this website, or if you would like to receive Immigration Tips by email, please provide us with your email address. If you would like help from Ms. Chappell-Daly, please contact her.