Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does ITIN mean?
A: ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
Q: What can I use it for?
A: The primary purpose for using an ITIN is to declare taxes. The ITIN can also be used to earn interest on your accounts, to apply for loans, and build and maintain your credit history.
Q: Who can obtain an ITIN?
A: The ITIN is for individuals who cannot obtain a valid social security number. If you have a valid social security number, you do not need an ITIN.
Q: What do I need to obtain an ITIN?
A: You need two forms of valid, unexpired government-issued identification to apply for the ITIN. At least one document must contain your photo. Acceptable documents include: driver’s license or identification card issued by a U.S. state or your country of origin, passport, voter’s identification card, military card, or civil birth certificate issued by a government authority of your country. Children under 18 must have two forms of identification as well. You can apply with vaccination records or school records and any of the identification listed above.
Q: Do I have to wait long to receive my ITIN?
A: The IRS will mail your ITIN approximately eight weeks after completing the paperwork.
Q: What are the implications for immigration?
A: The ITIN does not have anything to do with the process of immigration. The IRS does not communicate with immigration officials from the Immigration and Naturalization Services(INS).
Q: Can I use the ITIN as a work permit?
A: No. The ITIN is only for people who cannot obtain a valid social security number. You should not give this number to your employer. The ITIN is not a work permit or social security number.
Q: If I have an ITIN, do I have to file my taxes?
A: Unless you are covered under one of the exceptions detailed in the W-7, the procedures state that your taxes will be filed at the time of application. If you already have an account with a financial institution that earns interest, you may qualify as an exception to this rule.