New Guidelines for obtaining U.S. tax ID numbers

AS OF JUNE 28, 2012 - THE IRS HAS ISSUED NEW GUIDELINES FOR OBTAINING ITIN NUMBERS. THESE GUIDELINES WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2012 AT WHICH TIME THE IRS WILL ISSUE NEW PERMANENT GUIDELINES FOR 2013.

An individual is now required to present him or herself to a Social Security Administration (SSA) office (located in most USA towns and cities) and apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Note: the individual must be in the USA for at least 10 days prior to applying, and must have at least 24 days left on their I-94 Arrival/Departure cards. If one can provide a U.S. contact address, having to be in the U.S. for the 24 days after interview is not an issue. If not, the individual best plan to stay longer, arrive sooner, whatever is necessary. 

To apply for a SSN the individual(s) must complete Form SS-5 and apply in person at a Social Security Administration (SSA) office in the U.S. Anyone with an "O" or "P" work visa is eligible for a SSN.

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Only if you receive a rejection letter from the SSA can you then apply to the IRS for an Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN). This is done by filing a W-7 application for an ITIN number when filing tax return for the year. With the W-7 must be the SSA rejection letter and either:

a copy of the passport that is certified by the government agency that issued it
or
2 of the following - these documents must also be certified by the government agency that issued them:

  • a current national ID card (that includes the individual's name, address, photgraph, date f birth and expiration date)
  • a foreign voter registration card
  • a civil birth certificate