What is Form W-7?
Form W-7, or officially Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form used to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in the U.S. It may also be used to renew an existing ITIN that is expiring or has already expired. According to the latest update from the IRS, an ITIN that has not been included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once in the last five consecutive years will expire; therefore, renewal using Form W-7 is important.
In the United States, only citizens and non-citizens who are authorized to work are eligible to have a Social Security number (SSN). An SSN is used to identify an individual when filing taxes to the IRS, the federal tax agency in the U.S. that oversees the collection of taxes and enforces tax laws. People who are ineligible to obtain an SSN from the Social Security Administration (SSA) can apply for an ITIN using IRS Form W-7. An ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS. In general, non-citizens without work authorization also need to file U.S. tax returns if they have income from U.S. sources. Moreover, taxpayers who list non-citizen spouses or dependents on their tax return need to provide an identification number for them — an ITIN may be used in this situation.
To apply for an ITIN, aside from a completed Form W-7, documents that confirm your identity and foreign status are required. A valid passport proves both. If you do not have a passport, here are the documents you may submit:
- Photo ID card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- Visa issued by the State Department — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- U.S. of foreign driver’s license — Confirms identity.
- U.S. military ID card — Confirms identity.
- Foreign military ID card — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- National ID card from a foreign country — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- Non-driver ID card issued by a U.S. state — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- Foreign voter registration card — Confirms foreign status and identity.
- Foreign birth certificate — Confirms identity; if the document is from a foreign country, it confirms foreign status and identity.
- Medical records for children under 6 — Confirms identity; if the document is from a foreign country, it confirms foreign status and identity.
- School records for children under 14 or under 18 if still a student — Confirms identity; if the document is from a foreign country, it confirms foreign status and identity.
You must submit original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency. The original documents will be returned to you at the mailing address shown on your Form W-7. Mail the completed Form W-7 and the supporting documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
How to Fill Out Form W-7?
Form W-7 is a one-page form that requires your personal information.
First, check the applicable boxes to determine if you are applying for a new ITIN or renewing an existing ITIN and the reason you are submitting Form W-7.
Name asks your full legal name as it appears on your identifying documents. Provide your name at birth if applicable.
Applicant’s Mailing Address asks for your complete mailing address. This is the address that the IRS will use to return your original documents and send a written notification of your ITIN application status.
Foreign (non-U.S.) Address asks for your complete foreign, non-U.S. address where you permanently reside.
Birth Information asks for your date of birth, country of birth, and gender.
Other Information asks for information relevant to your application, such as your countries of citizenship, foreign tax ID number, type of U.S. visa and its number and expiration, details of the submitted identification document and its information, your ITIN application information, name of school or company and its location and your length of stay in it.
Sign Form W-7 and provide your name, date the form was completed, and your contact information.