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Additional ITIN Information

Effective January 1, 2013, the IRS implemented new procedures that affect the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application process. Some of the information below, including the documentation requirements for individuals seeking an ITIN, has been superseded by these changes. Taxpayers and their representatives should review these changes, which are further explained in these Frequently Asked Questions, before requesting an ITIN.

How can I obtain an ITIN from abroad?
Alien taxpayers who need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may be able to secure one from outside the United States. Details can be found on the " Obtaining an ITIN from Abroad" page.

Are ITINs valid for identification?
No. ITINs are not valid identification outside the Federal tax system. Since ITINs are strictly for tax processing, IRS does not apply the same standards as agencies that provide genuine identity certification.

ITIN applicants are not required to apply in person, and IRS does not further validate the authenticity of identity documents. ITINs do not prove identity outside the Federal tax system, and should not be offered or accepted as identification for non-tax purposes.

Are ITINs valid for work purposes?
No. ITINs are for federal income tax purposes only. Getting an ITIN does not change your immigration status or your right to work in the United States.

Can ITINs be used as proof of identification to obtain a state driver’s license?
No. ITINs are not valid for identification outside the Federal tax system. For more information access the DMV communication provided to the state departments of motor vehicles.

What do I do when I am assigned a social security number (SSN)?
Once you receive a SSN, you must use that number for tax purposes and discontinue using your ITIN.  It is improper to use both the ITIN and the SSN assigned to the same person to file tax returns.  It is your responsibility to notify the IRS so we can combine all of your tax records under one identification number.  If you do not notify the IRS when you are assigned a SSN, you may not receive credit for all wages paid and taxes withheld which could reduce the amount of any refund due.  You can visit a local IRS office or write a letter explaining that you have now been assigned a SSN and want your tax records combined.  Include your complete name, mailing address, and ITIN along with a copy of your social security card and a copy of the CP 565, Notice of ITIN Assignment, if available.  The IRS will void the ITIN and associate all prior tax information filed under the ITIN with the SSN.  Send your letter to: 

     Internal Revenue Service 
     Austin, TX 73301-0057 

What ITIN information is available in Spanish?
Most of the information on this page is also available in Spanish and can be accessed by clicking the Spanish equivalent page.

What ITIN information is available for tax professionals?
Information on filing tax returns using an ITIN is available for tax professionals. Although an ITIN/SSN mismatch is created when electronically filing tax returns reporting wages for ITIN holders, programming changes allow acceptance of these returns. Additional information on this and other reminders for tax professionals is available on the ITIN Reminders for Tax Professionals page.

What is an ITIN Acceptance Agent?
An ITIN Acceptance Agent is an individual, business or organization (college, financial institution, accounting firm, etc.) authorized by IRS to assist individuals in obtaining ITINs. Certifying Acceptance Agents review applicants' documentation, complete a certificate of accuracy and forward the certificate and application along with a tax return to the IRS for processing. This is limited to primary and secondary applicants. Applications for dependents will still require that originals documentation or certified copies from the issuing agency be mailed to IRS. Some Acceptance Agents may charge a fee. Click here for a list of Acceptance Agents.

How can I become an Acceptance Agent?
There are three major steps required by all applicants interested in becoming an Acceptance Agent:
    1. Complete the mandatory Acceptance Agent training
    2. Complete Form 13551 and attach the fingerprint card
    3. Attach the certification form for each person listed in block 5 of the application.
More information is available on the " How to Become an Acceptance Agent" page.

What information is available for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellers?
Foreign buyers and sellers of U.S. real property interests need Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) to request reduced tax withholding when disposing of the property interest, and to pay any required withholding. Individuals who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers may obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to meet the requirement to supply a TIN. Click ITIN Guidance for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellers for more information.

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 30-Apr-2013