It is important to apply for an ITIN as it is a tax processing number needed to open a bank account, fill up the tax returns and carry out all important financial transactions for both US residents and non residents.
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number certified by the Internal Revenue Service to the individuals who do not possess a social security number, but are earning a certain level of taxable income or receiving scholarships, stipends and awards from any renowned university. One can apply for an ITIN to fill up the tax returns, open a bank account or apply for a mortgage loan in the United States. They are a nine digit number beginning with the number nine and used as an identity proof to access all the financial services.
Many trustworthy organizations do not accept any notarized copies or documents of the applicants for an ITIN. Only the original documents of birth certificates, passport, visa, foreign voter card, driving license and military identification card or valid copies of these documents need to be produced. The (CAA) or Certified Acceptance Agent that includes individuals and businesses are authorized agencies who work in collaboration with the IRS and helps to verify or review all the documents submitted by the applicants and their dependants like the spouse. The original copies of the documents submitted should be mailed to the IRS as well. Usually people write their birth dates in the date, month and year format. But for the ITIN they need to enclose all dates in the month, date and year style.
Since ITIN is issued to foreign nationals and other individuals who fall under federal tax filing requirements, both the US residents and nonresidents can opt for an ITIN in order to claim their exemption. But there should be a separate application for the individual taxpayer, spouse and their dependent children.
The applicants should fill up the complete IRS form W 7. This form can be downloaded from the internet or can be called from the nearest social security office. The eligibility criteria for filling up the form include individuals who do not have a SSN, but must furnish a taxpayer identification number, the nonresident individuals, claiming reduced withholding under applicable income tax treaty need an ITIN form, a nonresident individual of US who wishes to file a joint federal tax return with a spouse who is a US resident, a nonresident spouse claimed as an exemption under the US federal tax but is not eligible to receive a SSN and a nonresident student, scholar or researcher who needs to file a US federal tax return and is not eligible under SSN can apply for an ITIN and fill up the W 7 form issued by the IRS. All the original documents submitted are returned to the person concerned at the mailing address provided in the form. The form is completed in English which makes it easier for the non residents to follow the instructions in it. The purpose of the form is not only to get an ITIN but also to renew if it has already expired. In case a person does not have any information to write on any line, then he or she should mark it as a N/A rather than leaving it blank.
There are some other conditions that need to be fulfilled before applying for an ITIN. If the applicant is a resident of more than one country, then he or she should mention the full name of the country without using any short abbreviations. The space given in the form to enter the name of the countries is maximum two. Again, while filling up the form of an individual who is under the age of 14, the parents of the concerned applicant must sign the form on their behalf. Guardians other than the parents must mention the relation to the applicant before signing it and attach it along with all the other important documents.
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