US citizens typically use Social Security numbers to identify themselves and their family members with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Non-US residents who have US tax obligations are not eligible to receive such a social security number. Instead, they can apply for a US tax number, commonly known as an “IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” or ITIN.
As a non-resident of the United States (nonresident alien), you may need to apply for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in specific situations. First, this number can only be assigned to you when you do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN). Second, this request must be made by submitting the W-7 form to the IRS, to which you will have taken care to attach the required supporting documents, including a certified copy of your passport.
In addition, it is important to know that obtaining an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will not change your status with the US tax authorities and will not give you the right to tax credits reserved for US residents.
Why apply for an ITIN?
Obtaining an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number allows the US tax authorities to correctly assign the information associated with your account. For example, without this ITIN, you will not be able to obtain a tax refund to which you are entitled. Although the situations motivating the request for an ITIN are diverse, the main reasons given are:
- the disposition of a property located in the United States;
- the rental of a rental property located in the United States;
- claiming the benefits of a tax treaty.
To know more
If you would like to know more about applying for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or any other related topic, please do not hesitate to contact our tax experts specializing in US tax. They can help you validate whether you qualify for an ITIN and prepare the information you need to apply to the IRS.