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FAQ > What does it mean for ITINs?

The ITIN acronym for Personal Taxpayer Identification Number. An ITIN is issued by the IRS and contains nine digits. All ITINs start with a 9 and use a 7 or 8 for their fourth digit. Only foreign nationals who do not qualify for a social security number can have an ITIN, so U.S. citizens do not or do not have one. The number is used for IRS tax purposes only.

If you need an ITIN number to file your tax return, you must prove that you are an alien by submitting the required documents for the ITIN application. Applicants can simplify the process if they have a valid passport. With a passport, the IRS does not require any other documentation to prove your identity. If you ask yourself, 'What do I need to get an ITIN number?' and you don't have a valid passport, there are a number of other forms of inside diameter you can use:

  • Driver's license
  • U.S. Visa
  • Photo ID. issued by the U.S. government.
  • foreign voter registration card
  • Civil birth certificate

Once a person has the valid forms of inside diameter required by the IRS, he or she can follow the rest of the ITIN W7 instructions to complete the application. This means completing Form W7 and submitting it with your federal tax returns that you need for the ITIN along with your original documents. Certified copies of the original documents are also acceptable.

If you have used an ITIN in the past, you may need to renew it at some point. In the case of renewal, you should check that all the information you are submitting is correct and make sure it matches all of your documents. Fill out the online application again W7, print it, then send the package with the original documents or certified copies to the IRS. If you follow all the information on the instruction page, you should receive your ITIN shortly.

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