The Internal Revenue Service has updated the procedures for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The procedures have become effective from January 01, 2013. When government organizations update their procedures, people often wonder about how these changes could affect their lives. Similarly, wondering about how to get ITIN number for H4 visa is completely understandable.
Before moving to ITIN for H4, let’s have a look at what is H4 visa.
We are going to discuss here three types of visas related to business opportunities in the United States to answer how to get ITIN for H4.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 101 (A)(15)(H), the US Government issues H-1B visas to non-immigrants. US employers can use H-1B visas to hire foreign employees for some special occupations. According to the definitions of the regulation of this act, a special occupation is any occupation that specializes in the fields of human endeavor. According to the theoretical and practical definitions, the visa is not restricted to the fields of biochemistry, biotechnology, mathematics, physical sciences, education, law, social sciences, architecture, theology, arts, etc.
The E2 visa is an investor visa that allows a person to invest money and start a business in the United States, provided the person lives and controls the business from inside the US. The holder of an E2 visa is allowed to leave the US at any time. If an E2 visa holder wants to wind up his business in the US then it is essential for him to change the status of residence to continue living in the US. Otherwise, the E2 visa holder is bound to leave for the country of their origin.
This is the most important visa category if you want to know how to get ITIN for H4. An H4 visa is issued to the immediate family members of H-1B visa holders in the US. If the person holding an H-1B visa is already located in the US then the person can directly apply for the H4 visas of his family, with a procedure explained later in this article about how to get ITIN for H4. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services also issue H4 visas to the immediate family members of H-1A, H-2A, H-2B, and H3 visa holders also.
ITIN number for H4 Visa Holders
Foreign people coming to the US for employment need to pay their taxes. Similarly, their immediate family members or dependents are also bound to pay taxes. ITIN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a processing number that is issued to immediate family members of a foreign investor or employee for paying taxes.
The range of ITIN is nine digits. The starting unit is always number nine. The fourth and fifth digits of ITIN include numbers from 70-88. The immigration status of the immediate family members of H-1B visa holders does not affect the implication of the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
You may be wondering about how to get ITIN for H4 visa holders. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has modified the H4 visa laws. These modifications have become effective from May 26, 2015.
According to these modifications, the immediate family members of H-1B visa holders have been distributed into two categories. The spouses fall in the first category. This category will get social security numbers and will be allowed employment in the US.
Other immediate family members or H4 visa holders including children will not get Social Security Numbers. They will get Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers instead of Social Security numbers. These H4 visa holders are allowed to study in the US but they cannot be employed. However, they are allowed to get a driver’s license or open their bank accounts.
Important Information about ITIN
Understanding the use of ITIN is highly important to know how to get ITIN for H4. The use of ITIN is not limited to paying taxes only. Individuals who do not have their Social Security Numbers use ITIN to open their bank accounts, acquire driving licenses, or purchase properties and vehicles.
Information about the Latest developments in ITIN
Along with understanding how to get ITIN for H4, it is also important to keep yourself updated about IRS rules for ITIN.
The Internal Revenue Service has recently announced that the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number will expire if it is not used to pay federal income tax returns. According to the new rule, if someone does not file for the taxes for any one year or five consecutive years, the ITIN will expire.
This uniform policy applies to every individual with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, irrespective of their immigration status or when the ITIN was issued.
This new policy has been introduced to make sure that everyone makes legal use of their ITINs. According to ITS, only one-quarter of the total of ITINs issued since 1996 are being used to pay taxes.
Is ITIN a Card like SSN?
When pondering how to get ITIN for H4, you might come to believe that ITIN is like a card. Many foreign individuals who come from abroad are unaware of whether an ITIN is a card or something else. This information is important if you want to know how to get ITIN for H4. Social Security Numbers are issued in the form of cards.
The Internal Revenue Service sends an ITIN in the form of a letter. The serial number of ITIN includes nine digits. These digits always begin with the number 9 and have a 7 or 8 numbers in the fourth digit. Due to the increasing number of immigrants in the US, the IRS has made a few amendments in the ITIN range. Now the newly issued numbers are more than nine digits, or as needed. This amendment has become effective on April 12, 2011.
Legal Immigrants with ITIN
People holding a Social Security Number are bound to pay their taxes. However, individuals with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are also bound to pay their taxes for several reasons. Before understanding how to get ITIN for H4, let’s have a look at the legal immigrants with ITINs who need to pay their taxes.
- Individuals who are not the citizens of United States are noted as non-resident aliens. If you have given a ‘Green Card Test’ or ‘Substantial Present Test’ for the given calendar test and you also qualify for the test then you are not marked as non-resident aliens. An individual who invests in the US market and controls his business along with obtaining profits from the US market while living outside the United States is considered a non-resident alien. Such people are legally bound to obtain ITIN to pay their taxes.
- Individuals who are not citizens of the United States but are living in the country are noted as resident aliens. For example, a foreign student who was born in another country but now lives in the United States is a resident alien. The resident aliens are not eligible for Social Security Numbers. The IRS issues ITIN to such individuals to pay their taxes.
- If you are a legal or permanent resident of the US but not a citizen then your dependents including your spouse and children will get ITIN.
- The dependents of a legal immigrant or an individual in the US on a temporary visa also get ITIN. As explained earlier, the laws have been amended and the spouse of a legal resident now gets Social Security Number. However, if a person living in the US on an E2 visa winds up his business and changes his status into a citizen then the dependents will get Social Security Numbers. Most of the people who fall in this category want to know how to get ITIN for H4.
Tax Specialties for ITIN Holders
The system of ITIN has been created to encourage more people to pay their taxes. From 1996 to 2033 alone, more than 3 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers were issued. US citizens and other taxpayers receive more tax benefits than ITIN holders. Any case of change in status will lead to the conversion of earnings with ITIN into SSN earnings. The ITIN holder will now receive more tax benefits.
It is important to remember that you cannot use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to confirm your residence in the US. The ITIN does not provide any legal proof or documentation of your US residence. The ITIN cannot be used for employment purposes. You cannot use ITIN to prove work authorization on l-9 form. Make sure you remember this step when considering how to get ITIN for H4.
The Process of Applying for ITIN
You may have already researched a lot about how to get ITIN for H4 visa holders. Sometimes, there are some complex requirements in the files that may reject ITIN requests for H4 visa. Therefore, it is ideal to contact a lawyer or an advocate to prepare your application for ITIN. Here we will have a look at the basic procedure of applying for ITIN.
Documents Required for ITIN Application
In order to apply for any legal status, you need to provide some necessary documents as proof of your eligibility for that status. Below is the list of the necessary documents that you need to submit along with your ITIN application. It is important to remember that these documents are needed for the application of the dependents who are currently residing in the US. If you want to apply for your dependents living outside the United States and want to how to get ITIN for H4 then you will need to attach some additional documents with your application. In this case, make sure to contact an advisor or registered advocate.
Form W7 is required to apply for ITIN irrespective of the resident status. The same form will be used to apply for the ITIN of H4 visa holders.
Federal Income Tax Returns
H4 visa holders are the dependents of H-1B visa holders. It is necessary that the H-1B visa holder files federal income tax returns in order to apply for the ITIN of the dependants.
The passport of the applicant along with a copy of the passport of H-1B visa holder is necessary to attach with the form as proof of your authenticity. When considering how to get ITIN for H4, remember that your passport is the most important document of this process.
US Driver’s License
If you have already obtained your Driver’s License then make sure to attach it with your W-7 application. A driver’s license is not necessary in most cases. However, it adds authenticity to your identification and adds importance and value to your W-7 form.
The US Status ID includes names, addresses, and other important information needed for confirming your authenticity. US Status ID is also very important if you are considering how to get ITIN for H4.
The status of the visa, i.e. H-1B or E2 is essential to make sure that you are undergoing an accurate and legal process of getting ITIN.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services require your photo for the process of identification.
National Identification Documents
The National Identification Documents include important documents containing information about the date of birth, country of origin, full legal name, and other documents.
You need to submit your medical records in order to apply for the H4 ITIN.
The documents of dependents (children and not spouses) are needed for the application of ITIN. Children under the age of 18 years come in the category of H-1A visas. School documents are required for H-1A visa holders only. However, school documents are also required in some exceptional cases. Make sure to confirm your status of the requirement of school documents from a registered lawyer.
It is essential for H-1B or E2 visa holders to submit copies of their passports when applying for Social Security Numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. A copy of your passport is also needed to apply for the ITIN of your dependents. However, if you are unable to produce a copy of their passports due to any reason then it is mandatory to submit a copy of their birth certificates.
Foreign Military Identification
If the principal visa holder is applying for ITIN and has served in any foreign military then it is necessary to submit your foreign military identification number along with a W-7 form. Similarly, if you are applying for the ITIN of your dependents and they have served in the foreign military then you need to submit their foreign military identification numbers to get ITIN.
If the principal visa holder is applying for their ITIN then they need to submit the photo or a copy of it, which they submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the dependents have already moved to the US and submitted their photos to USCIS then they need to submit these photos or a copy of it along with their W-7 forms.
The Process of Applying ITIN for H4
Many people want to know how to get ITIN for H4 while others wonder why they need to get ITIN for H4. The most important purpose of getting ITIN for H4 is to pay the taxes. If your dependents are living in the US and earning money but are not paying taxes then they may be caught in a problem upon revelation. Have a look at how to get ITIN for H4.
- Start by filing your federal income tax returns. You cannot afford any mistakes or errors in the process of filing federal income tax returns. Therefore, make sure to hire a registered and qualified CPA to file your tax returns.
- According to the IRS, e-filing is not available to apply for the ITIN of alien non-residents or alien residents.
- Prepare your application and submit it as soon as possible. Once the application is prepared and submitted, make sure to start preparing your documents. Make sure to keep a track of your application and keep your documents ready.
- After preparing your tax application, mail it to the IRS ITIN Operations Division and wait for the response.
- In most cases, you only need to submit the passport of a dependent to get an H4 visa. However, the best practice for the safe side is to contact a registered advisor or lawyer to proceed with your H4 visa process.
Forms and Publications Required to Apply for ITIN
Your advisor or lawyer will inform you about the forms required to complete your application. In general, you need to fill out and submit the following forms to apply for ITIN.
- Form 13551
- Form W – 7
- Form W – 7 (COA) – Certificate of Accuracy for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Publication 1915
- Publication 4393
Individuals who have recently married and brought their spouses to the US may plan to file their tax returns together. The process is called Married Filing Jointly. You can only file your tax returns together if your spouse has Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The IRS offers many benefits for filing taxes jointly. However, you need to keep the following considerations in mind if oyu are planning to file taxes jointly.
- Always contact certified tax services to proceed with your Married Filing Jointly.
- Do not pay any fee to someone who offers you to file your joint taxes online. The IRS does not offer any such facility for alien residents and alien non-residents. You need to mail your files to the IRS.
- Make sure to keep a backup of every document you submit including the forms and identification requirements.
- It is necessary that your spouse has obtained ITIN. Leave the space of Social Security Number empty.
Benefits of H4 Visa
When you ask someone about how to get ITIN for an H4 visa, they will inquire about the eligibility of the applicants. H4visa applies to immediate family members including spouses as children. However, it only applies to children under the age of 21 years.
Once the dependents acquire their H4 visas, they become eligible for attaining the following benefits.
- Eligibility to pursue their education in the US
- Eligibility to open bank accounts in the US
- Eligibility to get a driver’s license
- Eligibility to file for ITIN
- Eligibility to work in any organization on a part-time basis
Does ITIN Expire?
Like many other documents, ITIN also expires. The IRS has introduced the expiration of ITIN to ensure that people pay their taxes according to their changed statuses.
Most of the alien non-residents wonder about how to get ITIN for H4 but they don’t consider the expiry or other important considerations. According to the revised application process, the new ITIN letters issued by the IRS are validated for a period of five years only.
You need to renew your ITIN when it expires. The residents and non-residents can apply for renewal of their ITIN at the end of the expiration period. The process involves re-applying for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. However, it generally does not require much time for inquiry and renewal.
If you want to understand the concept of how to get ITIN for H4, then make sure to first understand the concept of Circular 230. It is the law that encompasses Certified Acceptance Agents or CAAs. Lawyers, Certified Public Accountants, advocates, and many such service providers come under the category of Circular 230. According to revised laws of the IRS, the CAA cannot be brought under disbarment or suspension in front of the IRS.
Important Tips on How to Get ITIN number for H4 visa.
When people ask how to get ITIN for H4, generally they are informed about the basics of applying for ITIN. However, the process is very complicated. If you are caught with an untrained or undertrained agent then anything could go wrong, resulting in costing you a fortune.
Following are some quick tips and tricks that you will need while applying ITIN for H4.
- Always make sure to clearly state your full and legal name. Also, make sure to clearly state the full and legal names of your residents. Always write the names in block letters, even if it is not mentioned on the form or publication.
- You may be trapped in a conflict if your name on the passport and your legal name conflict with each other. Make sure that your passport and legal name correctly match each other.
- When filing your income taxes jointly, always submit proof of your marriage.
- If you want to make the procedure of application simpler then first apply for the endorsement of your spouse’s name on your passport.
- Sometimes, the ITIN issuing authorities may require personal evidence like your wedding album. Such evidence is required to ensure safety from possible scams. Therefore, if you are planning to move your newly married spouse to the US then make sure to arrange your wedding album in advance.
- When you receive your H4 visa, make sure to check your name and the name of your spouse and other dependents on the visa. Compare the names with your passport and legal full name and request for editing if there is a conflict.
If you are considering how to get ITIN for H4 then make sure to prepare all the documents in advance in order to avoid any delay. Many registered and authentic lawyers are operating in all states of the US. These lawyers provide extensive information and help to all immigrants in getting their ITIN. It is important to do some research before hiring an agent to avoid any clash of documents or errors in the procedure.
The process of getting ITIN for H4 is not difficult, provided you work with the right people at the right time and with the right documents.