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Individual Taxpayer Identification Number


An ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals involved in a transaction which may be a taxable event in the United States.

An ITIN is used for federal tax purposes only.  It is not valid for personal identification, does not entitle the individual to work in the U.S. or to receive U.S. Social Security benefits, and creates no inference regarding the individual’s immigration status.

To qualify for an ITIN, the applicant cannot have or be eligible to receive a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN).


An ITIN is needed when a non-resident alien is involved in a financial transaction that is or may be subject to IRS information reporting or federal tax withholding.  Situations when an ITIN is required include, but are not limited to:

• Non-resident alien who elects to file a joint U.S. tax return with a U.S. citizen or resident alien spouse.

• Non-resident alien who needs to file an individual U.S. tax return, such as a 1040NR or a 1040NR-EZ.

• Non-resident alien who wishes to claim a tax treaty benefit, such as reduced tax withholding or exemption from tax and has been asked by the payer to certify eligibility on a W-8BEN or W-8ECI form.

NOTE: Forms 1001 and W-8 are obsolete and have been replaced with Forms W-8BEN and W-8ECI.  Form W-9 should be used only by a U.S. person, including a resident alien.


For detailed information, please click the link below:

Understanding Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (36-page PDF/786kb)



There are three parts to a complete application for an ITIN:

  1. IRS Form W-7 (1-page PDF/74.7kb), Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  The 1-page application form must be completed in accordance with the Instructions for Form W-7. It must be signed by the applicant and dated.
  2. Proof of Identity. Every applicant for an ITIN must provide either the original or a properly certified copy of acceptable ID documents.  Please note that the rules for submitting ID documents changed in 2013.
  1. Supporting Documentation.
  • A completed federal tax return with attached proof of payment(s). Proof includes, but is not limited to income statements, such as a Form W-2, 1099, or 1042S.  OR
  • If no tax return can be filed with the application, there is a list of enumerated exceptions to filing a return.  Each exception requires specific documentary evidence of why an ITIN is needed.  Please read the relevant information in the Exceptions Tables, beginning on page 6 of the Instructions, and submit the documentation that is required for the exception that your application falls under.
  • Exception 1(d) applicants, please note: Effective 10 September 2013, self-generated letters and statements from a web site that are filled in by the taxpayer are not considered a valid document from the withholding agent.
  • Exception 2(a) applicants, please note: The Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) at this Embassy can issue you a letter stating your ineligibility for a SSN. Please note that the FBU is only open from 9:30am-1pm Monday through Friday, and is closed on the last Thursday of every month for training purposes. To make an appointment or request a letter, visit them online here. You will need to provide information about your identity and citizenship.


Completed applications may be sent to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
ITIN Operations
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX  78714-9342

Contacting the IRS

  • International Taxpayer Service

    Monday through Friday 
    6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (EST) 
    Tel: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free) 
    Fax: 267-941-1055