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Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
 

WHAT IS AN ITIN?

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).

WHY DO I NEED AN ITIN?

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.

HOW DO I GET AN ITIN?

For detailed information, please click the link below:

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

APPLYING FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER


HOW TO APPLY:

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 have recently changed. To submit ID documents to the London office you must come in person. Your document will then be certified and returned to you. If unable to come in person, you can mail original ID documents to Austin, TX USA or have them certified by the issuing agency or a US consulate/embassy. For more details, see the recent IRS press release "IRS Strengthens Integrity of ITIN System; Revised Application Procedures in Effect for Upcoming Filing Season".
  3. 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.
  • 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.
  • If your application requires a letter from social security proving your ineligibility for a SSN, please note that the Federal Benefits Unit 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.

WHERE TO APPLY:

Completed applications may be sent to either of the following addresses:

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

Internal Revenue Service
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1K  6AH
United Kingdom

Contacting the IRS

  • Internal Revenue Service
    American Embassy
    24 Grosvenor Square
    London W1K 6AH

    Phone:  [44] (0)20 7894-0477
    Fax:      [44] (0)20 7495-4224