How to Become an Acceptance Agent for IRS ITIN Numbers


Section 203 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, enacted on December 18, 2015, included provisions that affect the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number(ITIN) application process. 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 expand the Acceptance Agent Program.

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 completed Forms W-7 to IRS.

Open Season Timeframe for New Acceptance Agents Applications

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now accepting Acceptance Agent Applications year round. Therefore, Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program (PDF), may be submitted at anytime during the year for new applicants. Renewing applicants are encouraged to submit their applications at least 6 months prior to the end of their existing Acceptance Agent Agreement. 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:

  1. Complete the Application Form 13551 (PDF), IRS Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable).
  2. Take the Mandatory Acceptance Agent training, then sign and submit the certification form.
  3. Attach the certification form for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application) to Form 13551.
  4. 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.

Refer to the Acceptance Agent Program page for more details. Also, questions about the ITIN Acceptance Agent Program can be directed to the ITIN Policy Section by e-mail at

References/Related Topics

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.