Frequently Asked Questions


Tax ID Number ITIN


What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs 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).

What is an ITIN used for?

IRS issues ITINs 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. They 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. ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.

An ITIN does not:

  • Authorize work in the U.S.
  • Provide eligibility for Social Security benefits
  • Qualify a dependent for Earned Income Tax Credit Purposes

Do I need an ITIN?

Does the following apply to you?

  1. You do not have an SSN and are not eligible to obtain one, and
  2. You have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal tax return, and
  3. You are in one of the following categories.
  • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
  • U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
  • Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
  • Nonresident alien student, professor or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
If so, then you must apply for an ITIN.

Why would my ITIN expire?

There are two reasons an ITIN would expire at the end of this year:

  • You did not use your ITIN on a U.S. tax return at least once for tax years 2016, 2017 or 2018 or
  • Your ITIN has the middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 (For example: 9NN-83-NNNN) and has not already been renewed.

Will the IRS Notify me if my ITIN is expiring?

The IRS will notify you by mail (CP48 Notice) that an ITIN on your tax return is expiring if you have filed a U.S. tax return in the last three years using an ITIN for you, your spouse or your dependents and the ITIN has the middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87. The IRS will not notify you directly if your ITIN has not been included on a U.S. tax return at least once in the last three tax years. Extensive media communication and outreach are underway to notify all affected taxpayers.

Do I need to renew my ITIN?

You only need to renew an expiring ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return or a claim for refund that you plan to file in 2020. Check the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on to help determine if you are required to file a federal tax return. Also, if you have or are eligible for a Social Security number, do not renew your ITIN. You cannot have both an ITIN and an SSN.

What happens if I don't renew my expired ITIN?

You only need to renew your ITIN if you need to file a U.S. tax return in 2020. If you don’t renew your ITIN and file a U.S. tax return with the expired ITIN, there may be a delay in processing your tax return.

Do I Need to renew if I live outside of the U.S?

Yes, if you need to file a U.S. tax return in 2020. But, spouses and dependents residing outside of the U.S. cannot renew their ITIN until they file an individual tax return, or someone else files an individual income tax return claiming them for an allowable tax benefit (such as a dependent parent who qualifies the primary taxpayer to claim head of household filing status). In these instances, they must attach a federal income tax return to their W-7 renewal application.

Are ITINs valid for identification?

No. ITINs are not valid identification outside the Federal tax system. Since ITINs are strictly for tax processing, IRS does not apply the same standards as agencies that provide genuine identity certification.

Are ITINs valid for work purposes?

No. ITINs are for federal income tax purposes only. Getting an ITIN does not change your immigration status or your right to work in the United States.

Can ITINs Be used as proof of identification to obtain a state driver's license?

No. ITINs are not valid for identification outside the Federal tax system. For more information access the DMV communication provided to the state departments of motor vehicles.

Whom should I contact if I do not recive the documents within the allotted period?

If you do not receive your original documents within 65 days of mailing to the IRS, allowing 5 days for postal mail receipt, you may call 1-800-908-9982 (U.S. only) or for international, call 1-267-941-1000 (this is not a toll free number).

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