Noncitizens who are ineligible for a Social Security number need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file a U.S. federal tax return. To apply for an ITIN, noncitizens must fill out Form W-7. Follow along with our step-by-step guide to complete the process with ease.
Step 1 – Reason for Filing
On the right side of the page, you’ll see a section entitled “Application Type.” Check the appropriate box whether you’re applying for a new ITIN or renewing an existing ITIN.
After that, go to the next section called “Reason You’re Submitting Form W-7.” You are presented with these options:
- Nonresident alien required to get an ITIN to claim tax treaty benefit.
- Nonresident alien filing a tax return.
- U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a tax return.
- Dependent of U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- Spouse of U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a tax return or claiming an exception.
- Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien holding a U.S. visa.
Boxes c, d, and e are usually the most common choices. If you pick boxes d or e, be sure to include the name and Social Security number or ITIN of the U.S. citizen or resident alien. If you pick boxes a or f, enter the tax treaty country – your home country – and the treaty article number on the appropriate lines. You can find your treaty article number in IRS Publication 901.
Step 2 – Name
Enter your legal name on line 1a. This is the name that will be used for future returns and documents.
If the name you entered on line 1a is different than what’s shown on your birth certificate, specify this name on line 1b.
Step 3 – Mailing and Foreign Address
On line 2, put down the U.S. address you currently reside. Double check to see if all the information is correct because this is address the IRS will use to send your ITIN.
If necessary, enter the non-U.S. address where you permanently or normally reside on line 3. If you don’t have a permanent non-U.S. address, enter the last country you resided on line 3.
Step 4 – Birth Information
Include your date of birth and country of birth on line 4. Then, state whether you’re a male or female on line 5.
Step 5 – Other Information
For line 6a, specify your country of citizenship. Be sure to spell out the country’s entire name and not just use the abbreviation.
If you have a foreign tax I.D. number, enter it on line 6b.
If applicable, include the number, expiration date, and USCIS classification of your U.S. visa on line 6c. Otherwise, put down N/A.
For line 6d, specify the documents you’re submitting to the IRS for proof of your foreign status and identity. A passport is the best option because you can solely use one to substantiate both requirements of identification. If you don’t have a passport, refer to the supporting documentation chart in the Form W-7 instructions to see what other documents you can use. Also, include the date you first entered the U.S. in the corresponding box.
For line 6e, confirm if you had a previous ITIN or an Internal Revenue Service Number (IRSN). If so, enter the number and your name on line 6f. Otherwise, skip line 6f.
Line 6g is only relevant if you checked box f from the “Reason You’re Submitting Form W-7” section.
Step 6 – Sign and Send
After you sign and date your form, send your completed Form W-7 and supporting documentation to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
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This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice. Each person should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor with respect to matters referenced in this post. 1-800Accountant assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.