NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


How can I apply for an ITIN number to apply for a tax refund from the IRS?

The IRS grants the ITIN to foreigners or residents of the United States, but what is it and how do you obtain or renew it? Here all the information.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Temporada de impuestos 2023: ¿Qué es el ITIN, para qué sirve y cómo obtener o renovar mi número?
PiotrekswatGetty Images

On July 1, 1996, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began to issue the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

An ITIN is granted to foreigners or permanent residents of the United States who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) but who must file their tax return.

What is the ITIN?

An ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS for those who cannot obtain an SSN.

What is it for?

The ITIN allows non-residents and foreigners to comply with the required tax responsibilities in the United States, as well as receive refunds from the IRS.

What is the ITIN not for?

The ITIN does not provide the right to receive Social Security benefits, nor does it grant the right to work in the United States, and it does not define one’s immigration status. Additionally, outside of the tax system, the number cannot be used as a form of identification.

Who needs an ITIN?

You must obtain an ITIN if:

  • You do not have an SSN and are not eligible for one
  • You are required to provide a federal tax identification number or file a federal tax return
  • You are a nonresident alien required to file a US tax return
  • You are a US resident alien (based on days present in the US) filing a US tax return
  • You are the dependent or spouse of a citizen/resident alien of the United States
  • You are the dependent or spouse of a non-resident alien who has a visa
  • You are a non-resident alien claiming a benefit from a tax treaty
  • You are a nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a US tax return or claiming an exception.

How do I apply for the ITIN?

If you want to apply for an ITIN, you must submit Form W-7, Application for Internal Revenue Service Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with your federal tax return. In addition, you must include original documents or certified copies that prove your identity and immigration status.

Read more on AS USA:

What documents do I need to prove my identity and status as a foreigner?

To apply for the ITIN, the applicant’s identity and immigration status must be proven. The documents accepted by the IRS are:

  • Passport (this is the only document you can present on your own, as it proves your identity and immigration status).
  • National ID Card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • United States driver's license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver's license
  • United States state identification card
  • Voting registration card from your country
  • United States military identification card
  • Military ID card from your country
  • Visa
  • A photo ID issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Medical records (only for dependents under 6 years of age).
  • Educational records (only for dependents under 14 years of age, or under 18 years of age if they are students).

The IRS returns the original documents in a maximum of 60 days.

How to submit the application

The first option is through the mail by sending the Form W-7 and all the required documents to:

Internal Revenue Service: Austin Service Center ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342 Austin, TX 78714-9342

The second option is to apply for the ITIN in person through the services of a Certifying Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS. With this option, you will not be required to mail these sensitive documents.

The last option is to make an appointment at a Taxpayer Assistance Center designated by the IRS.

After processing the paperwork, the IRS will issue your ITIN and mail it to you. Typically it takes the IRS around seven weeks to receive, review, and send the ITIN to the applicant.

How to renew the ITIN?

To renew it, you must follow the same process, so make sure to keep all the certified copies of your identity documents.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?