All information in this article was prepared pursuant to the IRS W-7 form instructions.
- Form W-7 is used to apply for a new IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or renew an existing ITIN.
- An ITIN is a 9-digit number issued by the IRS so that individuals who do not have a social security number can file taxes. An ITIN can be issued to taxpayers, spouses, or dependents.
- ITIN's that are not used on a federal return in the past 3 tax years will expire.
- For tax years after December 31, 2017 spouses and dependents are not eligible for an ITIN or to renew their ITIN unless they will be claimed for a tax benefit or they need to file their own return.
- If a dependent lives in Mexico or Canada they can be claimed for purposes of the Child and Dependent Care Credit only using an ITIN.
- Taxpayers should not apply for an ITIN if they have a SSN, are eligible to receive a SSN, or they have an application for a SSN pending.
- Taxpayers are eligible for a social if they are a U.S. citizen or have been admitted by the US for permanent residence or U.S. employment. Taxpayers should use Form SS-5 to apply for a Social Security Card.
For information completing a W-7, reference Form W-7.
What Is An ITIN For?
- Provides taxpayers or spouses who are not eligible for a SSN a number so that they can file tax returns
- Allows dependents who are not eligible for a SSN to be claimed on a return
What Is An ITIN Not For?
- Allow a taxpayer to qualify for social security benefits
- Qualify a taxpayer to work
- Change the taxpayer's immigration status
Credits Not Allowed For An ITIN
- Individuals who are filing tax returns using an ITIN are not eligible for EIC
- Dependents with an ITIN can't be claimed for purposes of EIC
- For tax years 2018-2025 children with an ITIN can't be claimed as a qualifying child for the child tax credit or additional child tax credit
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