You can get an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) remotely as a non US resident and in this Article, we are going to show you exactly how to get your US ITIN as a non resident.
What is an ITIN?
The ITIN was introduced by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to enable Non-US residents, foreign nationals, and migrants to fulfil their tax obligations accurately in the United States.
ITIN is essentially a 9-digit number, and it always kicks off with the digit 9, forming a format like this: 9XX-XX-XXXX. It’s important to note that ITINs should not be mistaken for Social Security Numbers (SSNs), which are also 9-digit identifiers issued by the Social Security Administration. It’s a distinction to keep in mind because ITINs are exclusively designed for individuals without US citizenship or permanent residency
What is an ITIN used for?
The IRS uses the ITIN to efficiently process and monitor tax payments from individuals who do not qualify for an SSN.
An ITIN also allows individuals without an SSN to open a traditional US bank account and give non-US resident the access to sell on US-reserved e-commerce platforms like Tiktok shop US- for more information on this, take a look at our blog: How to sell on Tiktok Shop from an unsupported Country.
Documents required for ITIN application
- Proof of Identification showing your proof of identity and foreign status
- IRS form W-7
- Non-resident Federal income tax return IRS (IRS Form 1040 NR)
Acceptable Proof of Identification showing your residency and nationality for ITIN application
To apply for an ITIN, you will be required to provide original documentation or certified copies from the issuing agency to prove identity and foreign status.
There are currently 13 different documents the IRS will accept as proof of identity and foreign status, which they need in order to grant you an ITIN number. Each document must be valid, and within the expiration date, and must also show your foreign status.
A passport is the only standalone document that proves both identity and foreign status – otherwise, a combination of 2 or more documents must be submitted. Here are the accepted documents:
- Passport (standalone document)
- National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
- US driver’s licence
- Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
- Foreign driver’s licence
- US state identification card
- Foreign voter’s registration card
- US military identification card
- Foreign military identification card
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
- Medical records (dependents only, under 6)
- School records (dependents only, under 14, under 18 if a student)
How to obtain and fill out IRS form W-7 for US ITIN application
You can either fill Form W-7 out by yourself which takes a bit of a learning curve but it’s entirely free when you do it yourself or outsource the filling of the Form W-7 to a Certified Acceptance Agents which will cost some fees or outsource it affordably to other reputable tax professional services.
let’s go over this options for filling out the IRS form 1040 NR
- DIY: Download Form W-7 from the IRS Website and Complete It Independently
The overview about form W-7 can be found on this webpage of the IRS website. You can download the W-7 form using this link on the IRS website and instructions on how to fill out the form W-7 can be found on this page of the IRS website.
- Seek Expert Assistance: Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) and Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
Completing Form W-7 need not be a daunting task – it’s actually quite straightforward and user-friendly. However, if you prefer a more hands-off approach, you have the option to enlist the expertise of a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
The IRS itself provides a valuable resource on its website, featuring a comprehensive list of Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) specializing in ITIN applications.
These professionals are available in various countries and across multiple states in the US. It’s important to note that while their services are immensely beneficial, they do come at a cost, often ranging in the hundreds of dollars. To explore and select from this list of national and international CAAs and CPAs, you can visit the IRS website for more information.
- Affordable Outsourcing: Choosing Reputable Tax Professional Services for Form W-7 Submission
Now, let’s talk about a fantastic alternative for those who prefer not to handle Form W-7 on their own or invest in costly IRS-listed Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) or Certified Public Accountants (CPA). This option could be your perfect solution.
Our top recommendation is H&R Block, an online service designed to simplify your tax journey. With HR Block, you can effortlessly complete Form W-7, Form 1040 NR, as well other US federal income tax forms.
But what sets H&R Block apart? H&R Block offers the convenience of scheduling an online appointment with Certified Public Accountants (CPA) who will expertly assist you in completing your W-7 form and Form 1040 NR, all for an affordable price of just $85. It’s the personalized and support you need at your fingertips.
How to obtain and fill out the Non-resident Federal income tax return IRS (IRS Form 1040 NR)
When it comes to filling out Form 1040 NR, you have options: you can tackle it on your own, which may have a bit of a learning curve but it’s free, or you can seek assistance from Certified Acceptance Agents, which comes at a cost, or explore other affordable tax professional services. The choice is yours, depending on your preferences and budget.
Now, let’s delve into the available options for completing the IRS Form 1040 NR.
- DIY: Download and Fill Out Form 1040 NR from the IRS Website;
The overview about form 1040 NR can be found on this webpage of the IRS website. You can download the form 1040 NR using this link on the IRS website and instructions on how to fill out the form 1040 NR can be found on this page of the IRS website.
- Hire the Expertise of a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
The 1040 NR is quite a technical form, in order to avoid making any errors, you may want to consider employing the service of a certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
The IRS itself on its website publishes a list of Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for the purpose of ITIN application. There are CAAs and CPAs in different countries and in several states in the US.
Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) and Certified Public Accountants (CPA) typically provide their services at a cost, which can vary and may range from hundreds of dollars.
Check out the list of both national and international CAAs and CPAs as listed on the IRS website.
- Affordably Outsource Form 1040 NR Filing to Reputable Tax Professional Services;
If you don’t want to fill out the form 1040 NR yourself and don’t want the seemingly high cost of hiring an IRS-listed Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), then this third option is for you.
We recommend using H&R Block, an online service designed to assist you in completing your Form 1040 NR, Form W-7, and various other US federal income tax forms.
H&R Block offers you the convenience of booking an online appointment with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who will expertly guide you through the process of completing your W-7 form and Form 1040 NR, all for an affordable cost of just $85. It’s the perfect blend of expertise and affordability.
Where to submit your US ITIN Application?
Once you have your original or certified proof of identification, your completed IRS Form W-7, and the Non-resident Federal income tax return IRS (IRS Form 1040 NR), you’re all set to apply for your ITIN. The exciting part is that you have three different ways to submit your ITIN application, and I’m here to guide you through these options. Let’s dive in!
Mail your W-7,1040 NR tax return, proof of identity, and foreign status documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Here’s a handy tip for you: If you anticipate needing your original proof of identity and foreign status documents within 14 weeks of submitting your ITIN application, there’s a smart alternative. Instead of sending your precious original documents, you might want to consider mailing certified copies of your proof of identity and foreign status documents. This approach can save you from any potential inconvenience. Your peace of mind is essential!
Remember, when sending certified copies of your documents, it’s crucial that these copies are certified by the issuing agency. Please note that it must be a certified copy, and not a notarized one.
Here’s an important detail for you: When you send your original identity and foreign status documents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), rest assured that they will be returned to you. No need to worry about including a return envelope; the IRS will send your documents back to the address provided on your Form W-7.
However, if you’re eager to get your original documents back more quickly, you have the option to include a prepaid Express Mail or courier envelope. If you choose this route, the IRS will use the return envelope you provided for faster delivery of your original documents. This can be a convenient way to expedite the process and have your documents back in your hands sooner.
Apply for an ITIN in-person using the services of an IRS-authorised Certifying Acceptance Agent. This will prevent you from having to mail your proof of identity and foreign status documents.
Make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. This will also prevent you from having to mail your proof of identity and foreign status document
What is the typical processing time for an ITIN?
Once you’ve submitted your ITIN application, the IRS will process it, and you should expect to receive a letter from them assigning your tax identification number. This typically occurs within seven weeks, if you qualify for an ITIN and have submitted a complete application.
To wrap it up, obtaining a US ITIN as a non-US resident requires gathering the necessary documents, filling out the required forms, and choosing an application method that suits your needs. So, if you’re considering obtaining an ITIN, follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to getting your US ITIN.