Moving to the U.S.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) W-7 or SSN

An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).  It is a nine digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN). 

To obtain an ITIN, the taxpayer must complete IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. In July 2012, the IRS announced that they will now only accept original documents to support a W-7 Application.  This has caused considerable trouble, as virtually no one is able to part with their original passport under such circumstances.  The IRS has since modified its position to allow certified copies provided that the copy was made and certified by the foreign government office that issued the passport.  While highly inconvenient and often not reasonably practical, it does offer an alternative method. 

Furthermore, ITINs now issued remain valid for only five years of inactivity, whereby those issued prior to this announcement were presumed to be valid indefinitely.  Therefore, if a taxpayer with an ITIN files some US tax report annually, their ITIN would be valid for at least five years beyond their last filing.

Foreign persons who are individuals and who could qualify for a Social Security Number must apply for one on Form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration. They are not eligible to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on Form W-7.   This applies especially to those who have been identified as “accidental” citizens – often a person born in the US but has never lived here for any length of time, such as cross-border babies between Canada and the US.

Allow HerrickGlobal to help guide you through the very complex considerations you may have. Such as:

  1. Determining Alien Status
  2. Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident
  3. Conditions for a Closer Connection to a Foreign Country (8840)
  4. Closer Connection to Two Foreign Countries
  5. Establishing a Closer Connection
  6. How to Claim the Closer Connection Exception
  7. Effect of Tax Treaties
  8. Taxation of Nonresident Aliens

At HerrickGlobal, we can give you peace of mind that comes with knowing you will not face the unknown alone. Our highly trained advisors can handle all of your tax filing needs quickly and efficiently. Schedule an appointment today - we look forward to meeting you!