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What an ITIN is
an ITIN is an individual taxpayer identification number
With an ITIN you may file an income tax return even if you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN).
You may apply for an ITIN at any time.
The Internal Revenue Service or IRS began giving out ITINs in 1996
to allow people who cannot get a Social Security Number to file their tax returns.
The IRS will not voluntarily share your ITIN information with other government agencies
An ITIN is made up of nine numbers.
The first is always the number “9”.
Why You Should File a Tax Return.
There are four good reasons why you should file a tax return
even if you don’t have a social security number.
If you earned wages or received other income in the past year you
you may owe taxes
and it is against the law
did not file a tax return
If you earned wages
and your employer withheld taxes from your wages,
the government may owe you a refund.
To apply for some types of immigration benefits, you may need to show that you filed a tax return.
Filing a return is one way to show good moral character
and continued presence in the United States for immigration purposes.
How you may use an ITIN
You may use an ITIN:
-To file a tax return.
-To correct a tax return filed in the past with a false social security number.
-To file a late tax return after the deadline for filing has passed.
-To report money that you earned while using a
security number not given to you by the government.
-To open a bank account.
-To claim dependent exemptions and the child tax credit
on your return for your children.
(Your children will need their own ITINS and SSN’s to be claimed as dependant exemptions on your tax returns).
You may not use an ITIN:
-To claim the Earned Income Tax Credit on a tax return.
- As Permission to work in the United States.
-To get Social Security benefits, food stamps, welfare or other public benefits.
To apply for an ITIN
To apply for an ITIN you must: Fill out a Form W-7.
You must list your birth-date,
mailing address and immigration status.
To get a copy of Form W-7 visit any IRS office
or download the form from the IRS website, at www.irs.gov.
or call 1-800-829-1040
When you apply for your ITIN you must show the IRS documents that prove your country
of origin and your identity.
It takes at least six weeks after you have filed your W-7 application
to get the ITIN letter.
If you do not hear anything
during that time
call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040
If the IRS requests more information from you, you should respond to the IRS within 45 days
to avoid having to file a new application.
The IRS will not voluntarily report you to the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services for getting an ITIN.
There is no fee to get an ITIN
and there are places that will prepare your ITIN application for free.
For more information about ITINS contact the Legal Services of New Jersey Low Income Tax Clinic at: