Apply for an ITIN
The application — IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number — asks details about why you need an ITIN and requires you to send in certain documents to prove your foreign status and identity.
The documents must
- Be current
- Verify your identity (contain your name)
- Support your claim of foreign status
At least one document must contain your photograph. A current passport would meet all of these requirements and is the only document you can submit on its own. Otherwise, you must send two forms of documents.
Types: The IRS has a long list of possible documents or combinations of documents that can prove status and identity. All are listed in the IRS Form W-7 instructions.
All documents must be originals or certified copies. A certified copy is one that the original issuing agency provides, and certifies as an exact copy of the original, and contains an official stamped seal from the agency.
Many applicants have reported the IRS lost their passports or other valuable and hard-to-replace identification documents. Consider getting certified copies or using one of the application methods listed below, other than mail.
Exceptions to the rule requiring original documents or certified copies include:
- Military dependents and spouses
- Nonresident aliens claiming tax treaty benefits and not filing a tax return
- Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) participants
Each of these groups has specific requirements to qualify. See IRS.gov – 2013 ITIN FAQ’s.
Submitting the application
Applying in Person
You can apply for an ITIN by bringing your completed forms and documentation to any IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center office. The staff can help you complete an application and will submit it for processing.
Certain offices can verify passports and national identification cards and return them immediately. A list of these Document Review Taxpayer Assistance Centers is available on IRS.gov. This allows you to avoid mailing your original documents, or certified copies, to the IRS.
Applying through an Acceptance Agent
Acceptance Agents (AAs) and Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAAs) can help you complete applications.
The advantage to using Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAAs) is that for primary and secondary applicants (like a spouse), the CAA can certify that your documents are original and make regular copies to send to the IRS. That way, you won’t have to mail your originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.
NOTE: CAAs still have to send original or certified copies of the documents to the IRS for all dependents.
Applying by Mail
If none of the in-person options work for you, you can still submit your application by mail. We strongly suggest that you get certified copies of all your documents instead of sending originals. We also suggest you send the application and documents by certified mail so you’ll have evidence of when you filed the application and where you sent it.
NOTE: Make sure you send your IRS Form W-7 and your tax return to the address under Where to Apply in the IRS Form W-7 instructions.
If you use the United States Postal Service:
Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operation P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342 (using U.S. Postal Service)
If you use any private delivery services:
Internal Revenue Service ITIN Operation
Mail Stop 6090 AUSC, 3651 S Interregional, Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741-0000
DO NOT send your application to the address listed on the tax return.
If you must send original documents, you can enclose a prepaid express envelope with your application to have them returned faster.
Be sure to read all the instructions on Form W-7. Certain forms of identification documents have very specific requirements about what they must include (for example, school records and medical records). If your documents don’t meet all of these requirements, even if they’re your actual records or your only records, the IRS will reject your ITIN application.
Applicants Outside the United States
Applicants outside the United States should call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free call) or contact the U.S. Tax Attachés in Frankfurt, London, or Paris.