FAQ > What is the fastest way to get an ITIN number?
The ITIN is an important identifier for anyone in the U.S. who has unqualified tax obligations for a Social Security number, so it is not surprising that applicants often want to know how to get one quickly. Until ITIN assignments arrive, you can't start making your tax commitments. The IRS recommends planning for the future and giving yourself plenty of processing time, but still, it's good to understand how to speed up the processing of your W7 ITIN in tense timescales.
The first thing you should do is make sure that you have filled out the ITIN form completely, with accurate information in all required fields. You should also make sure you send the documents to the IRS can process them more quickly. That means you include a passport, as well as a U.S. tax return for the previous fiscal year. Those are the documents preferred by the IRS.
What if the applicant does not have a tax return or passport?
There are procedures to be followed for applicants who have qualified for exceptions to the passport requirement. You still need to make sure you fill out a completed application form, and then you will need to include enabling documents to prove your qualifications in the exceptions. Since the IRS will have to assign someone to prove that it is complying with the exception, this may take additional time.
Similarly, if you do not have a passport, you can simply use two of the alternative qualification documents to obtain your ITIN. Those documents also take a little longer to process a passport than it would, but they are acceptable.
If you are looking to speed up your application, make sure your passport is available. You may not be able to control whether you have a U.S. tax return sooner or not, but you can plan ahead to have the optimal identification for the process. For more tips, take a look at these ITIN W7 instructions.