What Is An ITIN Number?
An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a number issued to individuals by the IRS specifically for the people who cannot obtain a social security number because they are not eligible for it. This means that ITINs can be issued to non-immigrants as they might have a US tax-reporting requirement according to the IRS, no matter what their immigration status may be.
The ITIN Number is used for federal tax reporting. This makes it easier for the US government to have everyone comply with the country’s tax laws equally, even the people who do not possess a social security number.
Do You Need an ITIN Number?
To know whether you need one of these nine digit numbers uniquely for yourself is pretty simple. If you need to file a federal tax return, but you do not have a social security number and cannot apply for one at the moment, you must apply for the Individual Taxpayers Identification Number. This goes for all non-residents and dependants or spouses of US citizens who need to fill or report federal tax.
What Is the Perfect Time For This?
Many people tend to be confused about when they should apply for the ITIN if they think they might be qualified for the social security number soon. The easiest way to know the answer to that is if you simply go by when you are ready to file your federal income tax return. Complete the form W7 at the same time and submit it with the documents that serve as evidence of your status as a foreigner.
The reason that you should apply as soon as you can is because the tax you will file with your ITIN Number application might be officially filed after the return’s due date. If you apply earlier, you can easily avoid the interest and the penalty. This leads us to the question of when can you finally get your ITIN.
If you qualify and your application gets accepted, you will find out about it via a letter from the IRS. The letter holds your ITIN number too and the whole process takes around 6 weeks. The ITIN will expire in 5 years time starting from the year it was issued in.
ITIN Number Revised!
In 2012, changes were made to the ITIN process which led to changes in the application process too by the IRS. Before 2012, the IRS used to issue a card, and now you receive an authorization letter. This was done to eradicate any similarity with the social security card because the fact is that they are not the same thing. However, people who have already been issued cards do not need to worry as these are still valid for them to use.
The changes and updates made to the ITIN process were done to make it better. The reason that the IRS requires original documents to process your paperwork for this is proof of how refined their work is.
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