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What Is IRS Form W-7?

The IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a form used to apply for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). You can also use a Form W-7 to renew an existing ITIN that is expiring or has expired. If you have or are eligible to get a social security number, you should not file a Form W-7.


Form W7

an example of a blank w-9 form

What Are Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers?

An ITIN is tax processing number issued and used by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine digit number, and it is formatted like a social security number (SSN). It is issued to taxpayers who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer ID number but are not eligible to obtain an SSN. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible nonimmigrant workers in the United States are eligible for SSNs.

Why Is ITIN Necessary?

ITINs help individuals comply with U.S. tax law. It allows the Internal Revenue Service to process federal tax returns for individuals who otherwise have no taxpayer ID number. It is only used for federal tax purposes.

Does ITIN Expire?

ITINs do expire if they are not used on a U.S. federal income tax return in the prior three years. For example, ITINs not included on federal income tax returns for tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021 will expire on December 31, 2022.

Do I Need To File IRS Form W-7 And Apply For An ITIN?

Having an ITIN allows an individual to file a tax return and comply with U.S. tax law. An ITIN can be used regardless of your immigration status.

You may need an ITIN if the following applies to you:

  1. You do not have, and are not eligible for, a social security number
  2. You have to file a federal income tax return or furnish a federal tax identification number
  3. You fall into one of the following categories:
    1. Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
    2. U.S. resident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return based on days present in the U.S.
    3. Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
    4. Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
    5. Nonresident alien who can claim a tax treaty benefit
    6. Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher required to file a U.S. tax return or claim an exception

What If My ITIN Expired?

You may also need to file a Form W-7 if your ITIN expires. To renew an expiring or expired ITIN, file your tax return accompanied by a completed Form W-7 along with all required original identification documents and supporting documents as attachments. When you renew your ITIN, it will remain the same number previously assigned to you.

When Is Form W-7 Due To The Internal Revenue Service?

If you are filing for an original ITIN, you will need to complete and attach Form W-7 to your tax return and file your application package with your tax return, on or before the due date of the tax return. Note, if you want to receive communications in Spanish, file Form W-7(SP). If you file Form W-7, you will receive all future correspondence in English.

Where Do I File Form W-7?

A tax return cannot be submitted electronically when it is accompanied by a Form W-7 in the year in which the ITIN is assigned. Although you can't e-file in the first year, you can e-file returns in future years.

You must apply for an ITIN by sending in a Form W-7 by mail or in person. You can mail your Form W-7, tax return, and other required documents to:
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

If you choose to apply in person, you can visit a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) or use an authorized acceptance agent. There are two types of acceptance agents approved for W-7 filing by the IRS.

  1. Acceptance Agent (AA): can help you complete and file Form W-7. An AA will have to submit original documents or certified copies to the IRS.
  2. Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA): can verify original documents and certified copies of documents from the issuing agency. CAAs can only verify passports and birth certificates for dependents.

What Documents Do I Need To Apply For An ITIN?

When you submit a Form W-7, you must provide documentation that meets the IRS requirements for establishing your identity and foreign status. If you are claimed as a dependent, you will need to also prove U.S. residency unless you are from Canada, Mexico, or are a dependent of a military member stationed overseas.

Documents must be original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency. It must contain a stamped seal from the issuing agency if you send in a certified copy. Additionally, the documents provided must be current and unexpired.

A valid passport is the only document that can stand alone. Dependents who need to prove U.S. residency must provide additional documents if the passport does not have a date of entry into the U.S.

What Are Valid Forms Of Identification?

Valid forms that can be used to support the applicant's identity include:

  • Passport
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Visa issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. driver's license
  • U.S. military ID card
  • Foreign driver's license
  • Foreign military identification card
  • National identification card (must contain your name, photo, address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter's registration card
  • Civil birth certificate
  • Medical records (valid for dependents under age 6)
  • School records (valid for dependents under age 18, if a student)

Civil birth certificates, medical records, and school records can only be used to establish foreign status only if the documents are foreign. You may be required by the IRS, at a later date, to provide a certified translation of foreign-language documents.

What Are Valid Documents To Establish Foreign Status?

Your foreign status is your connection to a foreign country. Documents that can be used to establish your foreign status include:

  • Passport
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services photo identification
  • Visa issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Foreign military ID card
  • National identification card (must contain name, photo, address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • Foreign voter's registration card
  • Civil birth certificate
  • Medical records (valid for dependents under age 6)
  • School records (valid for dependents under age 18, if a student)

What Are Valid Documents To Prove U.S. Residency?

Documents that can be used to prove U.S. residency by applicants that are claimed as dependents include:

  • Under age 6: U.S. medical record, U.S. school record, or U.S. identification card that lists name and U.S. address, or a U.S. visa
  • Between ages 6 and 18: U.S. school record, or U.S. identification card or driver's license that lists name and U.S. address, or a U.S. visa
  • Older than Age 18: A U.S. school record, a rental statement from a U.S. property, a utility bill for a U.S. property, a U.S. bank statement, a U.S. state identification card or driver’s license that lists the name and U.S. address, or a U.S. visa

How Do I Complete Form W-7?

The Form W-7 is only one page long, but there are several sections to complete.

Application Type

The box at the top right of a Form W-7 asks for your application type. Check the box next to the correct line to indicate if this is an original W-7 applying for a new ITIN or if this is a renewal of an existing ITIN.

Reason You're Submitting Form W-7

You should check the box next to your reason for submitting Form W-7. The options are:

  • A: nonresident alien required to get an ITIN to claim tax treaty benefit
  • B: Nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return
  • C: U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • D: Dependent of U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • E: Spouse of U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • F: Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return
  • G: Dependent/spouse of a nonresident alien holding a U.S. visa
  • H: Other

If you check D, you will need to enter your relationship to a U.S. citizen or resident alien. If you checked D or E, you will have to enter the name and SSN of the U.S. citizen or resident alien who is your spouse or claiming you as a dependent.

If you check H, you will have to describe in detail your reason for requesting an ITIN and attach supporting documentation.

Name

Enter your first, middle, and last names on line 1a. If your birth name was different, you can enter it on line 1b.

Applicant's Mailing Address

Enter your mailing address, city or town, state or province, and country in line 2. This is the address the IRS will use to return your original documents and send written notice of your ITIN application status.

Foreign (non-U.S.) Address

Enter your complete foreign address in the country in which you permanently or normally reside in line 3. You should complete line 3 even if the information is the same as line 2. If you've permanently relocated to the United States, you should enter only the foreign country in which you previously resided.

Birth Information

Line 4 asks for your date of birth and location of birth. Line 5 has check boxes for male or female.

Other Information

Enter the country or countries in which you're a citizen in line 6a. If the country from 6a has given you a tax identification number, enter that on line 6b. For example, if you're a Canadian citizen, you would enter your Canadian Social Insurance Number. If you have a U.S. visa, list the visa type, visa number, and expiration date in 6c.

Check the box next to any identification documents that you are mailing with the return in box 6d. If you include a valid passport, enter the issuing country, number, expiration date, and the date of entry into the U.S. in the box as well.

Sign Here

Your W-7 will not be accepted without your signature. Sign and date the form and enter a phone number in this section. If you used a delegate to complete your form, enter their information and relationship to you as well.

Acceptance Agent's Use Only

If you use an acceptance agent to file the form with the IRS, they will enter their own information at the very bottom of the form.

How Long Does It Take To Process Form W-7?

The IRS website states that you should allow 7 to 11 weeks for the IRS to notify you of your ITIN application status, depending on when you sent in your application. If you haven't heard back in that timeframe, you should call the IRS telephone help number: 800-829-1040 if you're in the U.S. or 267-941-1000 if you're outside of the U.S.

Do I Have To File a Tax Return With Form W-7?

If you check the boxes for b, c, d, e, f, or g at the top of the Form W-7 as the reason you are submitting a Form W-7, you must file a U.S. federal tax return unless you otherwise qualify for an exception.

What Are The Exceptions To Filing A Tax Return With Your Form W-7?

  • Individuals with third-party withholding on passive income that is subject to IRS information reporting. Be sure to document your passive income with our online paystub maker. There are dozens of paycheck stub templates available for your own choosing.
  • Individuals with wages, salarycompensation, and honoraria payments that are exempt due to a tax treaty, as long as they will be submitting Form 8233 to the payer of the income.
  • Individuals who receive non-compensatory income in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and grants subject to IRS information reporting.
  • Individuals receiving non-compensatory income in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and grants exempt or subject to a reduced rate due to a tax treaty as long as they will be submitting Form W-8BEN to the withholding agent.
  • Nonresident aliens visiting the United States who have gambling winnings, are claiming tax exemption or a reduced rate due to a tax treaty, as long as they also will be utilizing the services of a gaming official as an acceptance agent.
  • Individuals who have third-party reporting of mortgage interest. For example, individuals with a home mortgage loan on real property in the U.S.
  • Individuals who have third-party withholding as the result of the sale of real property in the U.S.
  • A non-U.S. representative of a foreign corporation who needs an ITIN to meet their filing obligations under T.D. 9363.

Does An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Authorize Me To Work In The United States?

An ITIN does not authorize you to work in the United States. It also does not provide eligibility for social security benefits or qualify a dependent for the Earned Income Eligibility Credit (EIC). It has no impact on your immigration status.

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Satisfaction Guaranteed
Gold stars

Great Service

First time creating a stub. Customer support was AMAZING. I had a few self-induced issues and customer support was there from start to end.

Brandon Wilson