Tax Form W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Tax Form W-7 Application

Are you a foreign national or resident alien who needs to file taxes in the US but doesn’t have a Social Security number? Don’t worry, there’s a solution – the IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). But how do you apply for one and what are the requirements? This blog post will guide you through everything you need to know about completing the Tax Form W-7 Application for an ITIN.

This is the form type that is meant for non-citizens who are not eligible to receive the Social Security Number. This tax form helps such an individual to apply for the individual taxpayer identification Number or the ITIN and need to file a federal tax return with the IRS for income from US sources.

Who are the ITINs

The ITIN or the individual taxpayer identification number is meant to be applied by non-citizens who have US tax obligations but are not eligible for the Social Security Number. Hence they need to apply for the ITIN by submitting the form to the IRS. Essentially the ITIN is meant for Federal tax purposes only. 

Nevertheless, there are times and cases when non-citizens without work authorization have to file for US tax returns as well. This is when they derive an income from US sources. The same is applied also if they are entitled to a refund of some money withheld under the tax treaty. 

Additionally, the taxpayers who are enlisted non-citizen spouses or dependants on their tax returns are also required to provide ID numbers for them. These are the cases where the individual taxpayer identification number comes into the picture. With the help of the unique identifying number for the IRS to track, as provided by ITIN, an individual can be tracked as required.

Read More : Form W-2 vs. Form W-4

What is Tax Form W-7

Following are the details that need to be entered within the Tax Form W-7:

  • The main reason for the applicant to require an ITIN
  • The mailing address, name and in case different, the foreign address.
  • The birth date and the location of the birth of the individual.
  • The applicant’s citizenship country 
  • The Foreign Tax ID number of the applicant if they have one. 
  • The US VISA number of the applicant, if they have one. 
  • The details about the documents that are being submitted in order to verify the applicant’s identity.

How to Apply: Tax Form W-7

It has been made mandatory by the IRS that the ITIN is meant only to be used with federal tax filings. However, possessing one does not change the individual’s residency or immigration status, nor does it applies that someone is eligible to have a profession in the United States. Furthermore, one must apply for the Tax Form W-7 only if one needs it for the purpose of the tax return. In order to apply you need to submit:

  • A completed copy of the Form W-7
  • The tax return that requires the number.
  • The valid identification for the person who requires the number

The Valid Forms of ID

In order to receive the ITIN, it is necessary that the individual ID must prove both the identity and the foreign status. This means that it should be proven that the individual is not a US citizen. Usually, a valid passport or a certified copy of the passport is enough to prove both. In case the person does not possess a passport, then, in this case, any of the two following documents can be provided to prove the same:

The Photo ID has been issued by the US Immigration and Citizenship Services. This is also known as Foreign status and identity.

  • The Visa issued by the State Department (foreign status and identity)
  • The US or foreign driver’s license-Identity only
  • The US military ID card.
  • The Foreign Military ID card- Foreign status and identity. 
  • National ID card from the Foreign country- Foreign status and identity. 
  • A non-driver ID card that has been issued by a US state-Foreign status and identity. 
  • The foreign voter registration card- foreign status and identity.
  • The Foreign birth certificate. Identity: if the certificate belongs to a foreign country, then the foreign status and identity. 
  • Medical records in case of children under 6 years of age- Identity: if from a foreign country, then the foreign status and identity. 
  • If still a student, then the school records for children under 18 years of age. Identity: if from a foreign country then a Foreign status and identity.

The W-7 is reviewed by the IRS and when approved, the ITIN is assigned and the tax return is processed.

Submission of the Form

One cannot electronically submit the tax return accompanied by one or more W-7 forms. The submissions can be done either in person or at any of the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers that work for in-person document reviews. These centres are available in most major cities, with a minimum of at least one centre in every state. One can also mail the same at:

  • Internal Revenue Service
  • ITIN Operation
  • P.O. Box 149342
  • Austin, TX 78714-9342

Generally, it takes a minimum of 6 to 10 weeks to acquire an ITIN. This can also expire at the end of the current year if it has not been used for a Federal tax return within the last 3 years. ITINs with the middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86, and 87 will expire at the end of 2021 also. Additionally, all ITINs with middle digits of 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82 (such as “9XX-73-XXXX”) are now expired.

In the case of filing in some states, one can easily paper file the state return and send a copy of both the Form W-7 (ITIN application) and the Federal return. After this, the state will allow you to know if they require any additional information or if they need you to wait to file your state return after you have received the ITIN from the IRS. Your presence can be verified at the state department of Revenue office.

The Mail Certified Documents

There are individuals who do not wish to mail their original documents when filing the tax form W-7. In such a case, here are a few alternatives stated by the IRS in order to obtain certified copies of the documents:

  • Filing-in Person at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center-TAC

This is when a student or an exchange visitor can opt to file in-person at an IRS Taxpayers Assistance Center -TAC can select to submit their W-7 and tax return at the TAC. They can present their original passport to the TAC agent who certifies the passport, return the original passport to the student and submits the copies to the IRS along with the student’s W-7 and tax return. Also, it is mandatory that the dependents who require the ITIN to be included on the principles tax return must also appear in person or choose to submit the original passport.

The IRS official website presents a list of TACs that certify original passports including the various Massachusetts locations as well.

  • Filing through an IRS Certified Acceptance Agent-CAA

This is in the case of the principal applicant who can file their W-7 in person through the CAA. The original passport of the applicant will be reviewed by the CAA and the latter will make copies. The original will be returned to the applicant while the W-7 will be forwarded along with the certified copies to the IRS ITIN processing centre. However one has to bear in mind that only the passports and birth certificates can be verified by the CAA for the dependants.

  • To submit the Copies Certified by the Issuing Authorities

There are cases when the applicants can also submit their copies of the passport after the copies have been certified by the original issuing agency. As stated by the IRS manual:

This is the foreign agency that issues the ID. For most countries, national government agencies issued the ID and are the ones to certify it.” The Instructions for Form W-7 state

That this is a copy that the original issuing agency “provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the Agency. You may be able to request a certified copy at an embassy or consulate. However, services may vary between countries, so it is recommended that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for specific information.

Also Read : Sage 50 Payroll Tax Year 2020 W-4s


Have you ever been told that you need an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in order to file your taxes? If so, this article is for you! In this article, we will provide a brief overview of what an ITIN is, how to apply for one, and the requirements you must meet. We will also include some tips on how to make sure your application is complete and accurate. So whether you are new to filing taxes or have been doing it for years.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What is an ITIN?

Precisely speaking the Individual taxpayer identification Number-ITIN is a nine-digit number that has been assigned by the IRS to taxpayers in order to acquire the Social Security Number or SSN.

Does an ITIN Expire?

For the ITIN to remain valid, it should be used on a US federal tax return within 3 years. If not done so, then the individual will have to apply for the ITIN once again. However, you need to ensure that you do not otherwise qualify for the SSN. Also, in case the ITIN was assigned to you before 2013, then you might need to apply for a new one in case your number has expired according to the annual renewal schedule. Those ITINs with the middle numbers 78 and 79 recently expired on 1st January 2017.

What happens when an individual has a problem with their W-7 Forms?

In such a case the complete picture of the finances needs to be placed in front of the IRS when applying for the new ITIN number. Also, you need to file any applicable tax returns. Here a successful first tax return lays the groundwork for a successful future return. 
The other option is to directly contact the IRS by calling on the toll-free number on the form or also by visiting the IRS taxpayer’s Assistance center. In case your query is related to missing or incorrect documentation then one needs to offer the right information o the IRS. Likewise in case of a mistake has occurred on the form, then you will need to rectify it and resubmit it to the IRS. It is recommended to stay in touch or take the assistance of a tax professional who can help you with the application process. Finally, it is important to rectify or alert the relevant authorities if and when the mistakes occur without any delays.

Is it possible to submit the Tax Form W-7 Online?

no. one has to do the same whether in person or by traditional mail.

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