An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is issued by the IRS to individuals who are required for federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who don’t have and aren’t eligible to get a social security number (SSN). You can apply for an ITIN for you, your spouse, and your dependents when you prepare your tax return.
Here are the steps, in general:
- The process starts with preparation of the current tax year or an amended return.
- A Form W-7 is prepared and supporting documents provided to the CAA. The CAA has specific procedures for reviewing and verifying the authenticity of the documents.
- Next there is an in-person visit or via Skype video conference with everyone present. This includes spouses and children, as well as the primary taxpayer on the tax return.
- If the documents, application and tax return are valid, the CAA will prepare a packet that is submitted by the CAA to the IRS unit that processes applications for ITIN’s. The packet will consist of the tax return, Forms W-7, copies or originals of documents as required by IRS regulations and the CAA’s Certificate of Accuracy (COA).
- Once the ITIN Unit receives the packet it is logged into the IRS tracking system. Applications are then sorted and placed into a queue for an IRS employee to review the application and documents.
- If the application and supporting documents are accepted by the IRS, an ITIN letter is issued with the ITIN number. If the IRS doesn’t accept the application, the application is either put into suspense pending the taxpayer providing additional information to the IRS or it is rejected.
- If an ITIN is issued, the tax return is then forwarded to another IRS department responsible for processing tax returns.
- If the application is suspended, the IRS sends a letter to you and to the CAA requesting additional information. There is a deadline to respond. If the deadline is not met, the ITIN application is rejected and the tax return, with adjustments made by the IRS, is forwarded for processing.
- If the application is rejected, the IRS sends a rejection notice to you and to the CAA. The tax return is forwarded for processing with the IRS making automatic adjustments to the tax return provided the ITIN application was for a spouse or dependent.
- The CAA is a facilitator between the IRS and the client.
- The CAA works to submit proper ITIN applications to enable the IRS and the taxpayer to get through the process with less risk of processing issues.
Please be aware that neither the IRS nor the CAA can guarantee the issuance of an ITIN if you use the services of a CAA.
Note: You can’t e-file a return using an ITIN in the calendar year the ITIN is assigned. Once your ITIN is assigned, you can e-file returns in the following years. For example, if you apply for and receive an ITIN in 2020, you may not e-file any tax return using that ITIN until 2021.
How long does it take to get an ITIN?
The IRS is in control of the timing. The use of a CAA might speed up the process, but there is no guarantee. The CAA does have the ability to speak with the IRS ITIN Unit for status updates and to make sure the process is moving along. Typical turnaround time to receive a response from the IRS for an ITIN is 12-14 weeks, unless it is during their busy season. Then it could take up to 16 weeks.
When can I meet with the CAA?
CAA services are by appointment only. Please contact us at (718)-975-3363 to make an appointment or at the link below.
Renew Your ITIN
Your ITIN may expire if it was not used on a federal income tax return in the last three years OR ITINs with middle digits of 88, 90, 91,92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99 (Example: (9XX-70-XXXX). An expired ITIN could delay your tax refund and make you ineligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, until your ITIN is renewed. All family members who were issued an ITIN may submit a Form W-7 at the same time.