Domestic and/or International Tax Professional - How to Become an Acceptance Agent for IRS ITIN Numbers
Effective January 1, 2013, the IRS has updated 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 Some of the information below, including the documentation requirements for individuals seeking an ITIN, has been superseded by these changes.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.
The IRS has also taken steps to improve the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Acceptance Agent Program. These improvement steps are focused on ensuring that only individuals with a clear tax administration purpose receive an ITIN and that all Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, are processed efficiently and effectively.
An Acceptance Agent is a person or an entity (business or organization) who, pursuant to a written agreement with the IRS, is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number but who still need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to process a Form 1040 and other tax schedules. The Acceptance Agent facilitates the application process by reviewing the necessary documents and forwarding the completed forms to IRS.
Open Season Timeframe for New Acceptance Agents Applications
As of 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now accepting ITIN Acceptance Agent Applications year round. Therefore, Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program (PDF), is now accepted year round. We will continue to accept amended applications throughout the year.
To ensure that Acceptance Agents have the tools they need to perform their jobs, all new and renewing applicants are required to complete mandatory training. The training session is available online at ITIN AA-CAA Online Pre-Application Training Power Point.
There are four steps that need to be taken by all new and renewing applicants:
- Complete the Application Form 13551 (PDF), IRS Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable).
- Take the Mandatory Acceptance Agent training, then sign and submit the certification form.
- Attach the certification form for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application) to Form 13551.
- Complete forensic training and submit the certificate of completion to the IRS
- Applications received without the required certification form(s) will not be processed.
- All Acceptance Agents are required to submit at least five W-7 applications a year to remain in the program.
- Background checks and tax compliance checks will be conducted by the IRS after the application is received.
Note: This page contains one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.