Information Regarding Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN)
1. ITIN Factsheet created by National Immigration Law Center (NILC)
Last Updated April 2014
The attached document will answer the following questions:
Table of Contents
General ITIN & Taxes Questions
- Who qualifies for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
- When can a taxpayer file for an ITIN?
- For how long is an ITIN valid?
- Why does the taxpayer receive his/her ITIN on a letter and not a card?
Applying for an ITIN
- What does a taxpayer need to apply for an ITIN?
- Is a taxpayer required to file a tax return when applying for an ITIN?
- Can a taxpayer obtain a W-7 without filing a tax return?
- Where can a taxpayer obtain a Form W-7?
- What is a CAA?
- In what other languages is the Form W-7 available?
- How long does it take for the IRS to process an ITIN application?
- Should a taxpayer file returns for all open years when applying for an ITIN?
- What are common reasons for rejecting ITIN applications?
How to fill out and file Form W-7
- Must a taxpayer answer the “Entry date in U.S.” question on the W-7?
- What documents must a taxpayer submit with the W-7 to obtain an ITIN?
- What addresses must a taxpayer provide?
- How can an advocate ensure that any submission to the IRS is timely received?
ITINs & SSNs
- Should a taxpayer who has been working under an unassigned name and/or social security number (SSN) file a tax return?
- How does an employee who is assigned a SSN and medicare number transfer the withheld social security taxes from the old, unassigned SSN to the new number?
- How should a taxpayer obtain an ITIN after using an unassigned SSN?
- How should a taxpayer notify the IRS when he/she receives an assigned SSN and no longer needs the ITIN?
W-2 Forms and Employers
- Should an ITIN ever be given to an employer for issuing a W-2?
- What should an employee do when he/she does not receive a Form W-2 on time?
- What should an employee and an employer do when the employer receives a “no match” letter from the SSA?
- Can a taxpayer apply for ITINs for his/her dependents?
- What documents are required when requesting an ITIN for a dependent child?
Assistance with Filing & IRS Disclosure
- Does the IRS release any tax information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?
- Does the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) contact ICE after a taxpayer files a state tax return (with an ITIN) or in other circumstances?
- What options does an employer have when paying back wages to employees who used unassigned SSNs?
- Are taxpayers filing tax returns with an ITIN eligible for the earned income credit (EIC)?
- Are taxpayers filing tax returns with an ITIN eligible for the Child Tax Credit (CTC)?
Massachusetts/DOR Related ITIN Questions
- Should a taxpayer file state tax returns in addition to federal returns?
- What are the penalties if a taxpayer does not file a tax return?
- What does a taxpayer do if the DOR says it wants verification of an ITIN?
- Can a taxpayer file a state return without a taxpayer identification number?
*Disclaimer: This document is a compendium compiled by Ilana Abramson, AmeriCorps advocate at MLRI from multiple advocacy resources and is NOT a substitute for legal advice. Special thanks are due to Luz Arevalo of Greater Boston Legal Services who reviewed and provided assistance with preparation of this document.