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IRS Issues New Procesures for Issuance of ITIN


IRS is reviewing its procedures for issuing new Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) as part of a comprehensive review of the ITIN processing procedures. Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, submitted during the interim period beginning June 22, 2012 through the end of the year must include original documentation such as passports and birth certificates, or copies of these documents certified by the issuing agency. During this interim period, notarized copies of documentation will not be accepted. Some categories of applicants are not impacted by these interim changes, including spouses and dependents of U.S. military personnel who need ITINs. People who should follow the current procedures outlined in the Form W-7 instructions include: • Military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN (Military spouses use box “e” on Form W-7 and military dependents use box “d”). Exceptions to the new interim document standards will be made for military family members satisfying the documentation requirements by providing a copy of the spouse or parent’s U.S. military identification, or applying from an overseas APO/FPO address. • Nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits (use boxes “a” and “h” on Form W-7). Non-resident alien applicants generally need ITINs for reasons besides filing a U.S. tax return. This is necessary for nonresident aliens who may be subject to third-party withholding for various income, such as certain gambling winnings or pension income, or need an ITIN for information reporting purposes. While existing documentation standards will be maintained only for these applicants, scrutiny of the documents will be heightened. ITIN applications of this category that are accompanied by a U.S. tax return will be subject to the new interim document standards. A certified document is one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the Agency. These documents will be accepted. A notarized document is one that the taxpayer provides to a public notary who bears witness to the signing of the official document and affixes a seal assuring that the document is legitimate. These documents will not be accepted for ITIN applications. The IRS is instituting these interim changes while conducting a review of the program designed to strengthen and protect the integrity of the ITIN process. These are interim changes that have been put in place during a comprehensive review of ITIN processing procedures. Any permanent changes will be issued before the start of the 2013 filing season when most requests for ITINs come in. These changes will be effective for all new applications submitted on or after June 22, 2012 and will remain in effect until the final rules are issued later this year. If a taxpayer had a pending application on file with IRS before June 22, 2012, the processing will continue with the notarized copies already submitted. But those applicants submitted applications after June 22, 2012 may be required to furnish additional documentation including original documents or certified copies directly to the IRS. However, no additional action is required for people who have already filed ITIN requests unless they are contacted by the IRS. IRS will continue to process pending applications that include original or certified documentation. Since these are interim changes, publications, forms and instructions will not change. Once IRS has determined the appropriate changes, these and other appropriate instructions will be updated to reflect the new policy. During this interim period, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will accept original documentation or copies of these documents certified by the issuing agency and forward the documents to the Austin Submission Processing Center. The instructions to W-7 list 13 acceptable documents. The IRS currently receives original documents with some applications and has a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants. The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7. If you do not receive your original documents within 65 days of mailing to the IRS, allowing 5 days for postal mail receipt, you may call 1-800-908-9982 (U.S. only) or for international, call 1-267-941-1000 (this is not a toll free number). Unless you are one of the exempt applicants described above, this change requires the submission of original or certified copies of documentation from the issuing agency in order to obtain an ITIN. You may be able to request a certified copy of your passport or similar international identification (e.g., Matricula Card) at your local consulate’s office. If you qualify for a social security number, you should not be applying for an ITIN. You may be able to request a certified copy of documents at an embassy or consulate. However, services may vary between countries, so we recommend that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for specific information. If the consulate or embassy needs to know why you need a certified document, please refer the consulate or embassy to the information on or that you download and copy that information and provide it to them. During this interim period, the IRS is only accepting original documentation or copies of documents certified by the issuing country or agency. An Apostille does not meet these requirements since it is similar to the U.S. Notary, which IRS is currently not accepting. It is very important that you should comply with the tax laws of United States even if you are not a permanent resident or U. S citizen or a non immigrant visa holder. Even if you are an alien and if you receive income from United States, you should file U. S tax returns and pay income tax for your income derived in United States. You need a tax identification number ITN for which you should submit W-7 with the original or certified copy of documents from the issuing authority in order to file your tax returns. If you are not familiar with the procedure for obtaining ITN, you may contact a CPA or Attorney in United States, who will be able to guide you through the process for a nominal fee. You do not need to pay any fee to the IRS for obtaining ITN and you are also advised not to fall victim to any agencies or persons who take advantage of this kind of situations by making false advertisements. ITN numbers do not give any legal status to stay or remain in United States or work in United State and they are only used for tax purposes.

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