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IRS Implements Changes to ITIN Application Requirement


Effective January 1, 2013, the IRS implemented new procedures for issuing new Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). Designed specifically for tax-administration purposes, ITINs are only issued to people who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number.

Specifically, the new procedures apply to most applicants submitting Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. ITINs for individuals in these categories generally are issued during the tax filing season with the submission of a Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Questions and Answers

Some Applicants Not Impacted By Changes

Some categories of applicants are not impacted by these changes:

  • Military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN (Military spouses use box e on Form W-7 and dependents use box d). Exceptions to the new document standards will be made for military family members satisfying the documentation requirements by providing a copy of the spouse or parent’s U.S. military identification, or applying from an overseas APO/FPO address.
  • Nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits (use boxes a and h on Form W-7). Non-resident alien applicants generally need ITINs for reasons besides filing a U.S. tax return. This is necessary for nonresident aliens who may be subject to third-party withholding for various income, such as certain gambling winnings or pension income, or need an ITIN for information reporting purposes. While existing documentation standards will be maintained only for these applicants, scrutiny of the documents will be heightened. ITIN applications of this category that are accompanied by a U.S. tax return will be subject to the new interim document standards.

The October 2, 2012 procedures put into place for the following groups will remain in effect:

  • Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) participants. SEVP participants already provide documentation to the Department of Homeland Security under the requirements of that program. Individuals studying under the SEVP will be required to apply through a university, college or other SEVP-approved institution. These are individuals admitted to the U.S. under an F, J or M visa who receive taxable scholarship, fellowship or other grants reportable by the school on Form W-2 or Form 1042-S. These procedures cover applications for the primary applicant, their spouse and dependents.
  • Non-citizens with approved Tax Year 2011 extensions to file their tax returns. These are noncitizens who requested an extension of time to file a 2011 federal income tax return for resident and nonresident aliens and choose to not submit originals documents or copies.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 09-Oct-2015