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The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN is a tax-processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure that people, especially undocumented immigrants, pay taxes regardless of their immigration status or lack of a Social Security number (SSN).

The ITIN is formatted similarly to an SSN, but it normally begins with a 9 and is intended for individuals who are not eligible for an SSN. ITINs are quite useful when filing a US tax return or opening a US bank account. They do not, however, allow you to get cash benefits from the US government in the form of Social Security, they will not modify your immigration status, and they will not offer you the opportunity to work in the US.


Applying for an ITIN

Because the IRS has begun to run out of ITIN numbers, you must meet certain criteria in order to apply. The IRS will usually accept the requirement to file a US tax return or to be designated as a dependent on a relative’s US tax return. You can also apply for an ITIN if you have sold a US property, will receive US payments or compensation, have gambling revenue, or are qualified to claim a benefit under the US Tax Treaty.

When applying for an ITIN, you have three choices. They are as follows:

Option 1: In Person with the IRS

If you are physically in the United States, you can apply in person at one of the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs). You must schedule a meeting with an IRS representative in advance. During the meeting, you must show documentation of your foreign status and identity, most typically your original passport. During the meeting, the IRS would check the documents’ validity and return them to you. Your ITIN application and supporting documentation would then be submitted to the IRS agent for processing. Overall, if you plan on spending a few days in the United States, this is a fairly simple and cost-effective alternative.

Option 2: With a Certified Acceptance Agent or CAA

A CAA is an individual who has been authorized by the IRS to act as an agent for ITIN applications. The CAA is also needed to evaluate your physical original passport or birth certificate, which will be returned to you promptly at the end of the interview. A CAA can do an interview with you in person or via video chat. CAAs can also provide much-needed flexibility because they are located all over the world. CAAs often demand a fee for this service, making it the most expensive alternative, but well worth it for the time savings and convenience of usage.

Option 3: Via Mailing Certified Copies

You can mail your ITIN application including Certified Copies of your Passport to the IRS immediately. The Certified Copies must be provided by your passport-issuing authority or the US Embassy or Consulate in your native country. The IRS will strictly not accept notarized copies, so make certain that the Certified Copies are provided by the correct agency. If you choose this option, it is always recommended that you request two or more Certified Copies in case the first application is not properly processed. This can be an excellent mid-cost solution depending on your home country and the convenience of dealing with the passport-issuing authority.

Key Takeaway

It is easy to get your ITIN, whether it be in person, with a certified acceptance agent, or via mail. If you need assistance for getting your ITIN, look no further than White Sands Tax Solutions. We are a tax agency that embraces technology and contactless service while focusing on being personable and available for all your tax needs.

Call us at +941-484-0968 or schedule a free appointment, and one of our tax advisors will be glad to assist you.

Contact Us

333 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 257
Venice, FL 34285

(941) 484-0968


Shauntelle Hoffman

Todd VanBuskirk

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