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ITIN Application Guide
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers were created for foreign investors and visitors who owe taxes but are not eligible for a Social Security number. ITINs have recently been the subject of much scrutiny as a large number of undocumented aliens were able to obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. ITINs enable undocumented immigrants to legally file taxes in the United States, even if they lack the appropriate immigration status. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax number issued by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and it is not related to the USCIS or the Social Security Administration. The ITIN is only issued for tax purposes. An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) does not provide the right to work or live in the United States.
Download ITIN Application Guide for more information.
Application Requirements: The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are not able to obtain a Social Security Number. The requirements for obtaining an ITIN are different than other U.S. government applications, as the applicant’s immigration status is not verified and the applicant does not have to meet in person to file the application. The supportive documents submitted are not validated outside the tax system. The IRS has their own set of rules and regulations, and it is not related to the USCIS. Only non-U.S. citizens can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Individuals who already have a valid Social Security Number should not apply for an ITIN, as it is not needed and it is not allowed to have both a Social Security Number and an ITIN. Individuals who have a valid Social Security Number should file taxes using their Social Security Number, not an ITIN.
Advantages of Filing Taxes and obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN):
- You may get a cash refund on your tax returns
- You can prove that you have lived in the United States
- Filing taxes is considered “good moral character” by the USCIS
- You comply with U.S. tax laws by filing and paying taxes
- Tax returns can be requested by banks and mortgage companies when applying for a loan
- Filing taxes may help you to apply for residency in the future
- Some banks and credit card companies may let you open an account with an ITIN, instead of a Social Security Number
- You are establishing a credit history by obtaining an ITIN and filing taxes
- Filing taxes with an ITIN can help you apply for legal immigration status if the proposed Immigration Amnesty is approved by the U.S. government