Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

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What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued to nonresident aliens (NRA) by the Internal Revenue Service. ITINs are a nine-digit number in the format (9XX-XX-XXXX), beginning with a “9”. 

  • ITINs with middle digits (the fourth and fifth positions) “70,” through “88” have expired.
  • ITINs with middle digits “90,” “91,” “92,” “94,” “95,” “96,” “97,” “98,” or “99,” IF assigned before 2013, have expired.
  • If your ITIN was not included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once for tax years 2020, 2021, and 2022, your ITIN will have expired on December 31, 2023.

ITIN’s are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.

Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a valid federal income tax return to receive an ITIN.

See General ITIN Information

What is an ITIN used for?

ITIN’s are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. IRS issues ITIN’s to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

See General ITIN Information

Who needs an ITIN?

IRS issues ITIN’s to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Other examples of individuals who need ITIN’s include:

  • A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return
  • A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • A dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder

If you are being put on the UW’s payroll please ask your school’s divisional payroll coordinator for your taxpayer identification requirements.

If you already have obtained or applied for either an SSN or ITIN then you are not eligible for the other as both are U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number and a person is only allowed to have one of these numbers, never both.

See General ITIN Information

How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you do not have a SSN and are not eligible to obtain a SSN, but you have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal income tax return, you must apply for an ITIN.

If you have an application for a SSN pending, do not file Form W-7. Complete Form W-7 only if the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that a SSN cannot be issued.

To obtain a SSN, see Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. To get Form SS-5 or to find out if you are eligible to obtain a SSN, go to Social Security Administration or contact a SSA office. By law, an alien individual cannot have both an ITIN and a SSN.

IRS processes returns showing SSNs or ITINs in the blanks where tax forms request SSNs. IRS no longer accepts, and will not process, forms showing “SSA205c,” “applied for,” “NRA,” blanks, etc.

See General ITIN Information

Are ITINs valid for identification?

No. ITIN’s are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose.

See General ITIN Information

How do I apply for an ITIN?

Applying through the Local Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office Directly:

You can apply for the ITIN at local Internal Revenue Service Office.  See IRS Office Locator for more information.
Applying through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office via mail:

Use the latest revision of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to apply. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your original proof of identity or copies certified by issuing agency and foreign status documents.

Because you are filing your tax return as an attachment to your ITIN application, you should not mail your return to the address listed in the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ instructions. Instead, send your return, Form W-7 and proof of identity and foreign status documents to:

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

You may also apply using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or visit some key IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing your information to the IRS in Austin. Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) in the United States provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. Applicants outside the United States should contact U.S. Tax Attachés in Beijing, Frankfurt, London, or Paris. The IRS’s ITIN Unit in Austin issues all numbers through the mail.

See General ITIN Information