Purpose of Form
Use Form W-7 for the following purposes:
- To apply for an ITIN. An ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required for federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who don’t have and aren’t eligible to get a social security number (SSN).
- To renew an ITIN. An ITIN only needs to be renewed if it will be included on a U.S. federal tax return and it is expiring or has expired. See How To Apply, later, for more information on how to renew your ITIN.
- The ITIN is for federal tax purposes only. An ITIN doesn’t entitle you to social security benefits and doesn’t change your immigration status or your right to work in the United States. Also, individuals filing tax returns using an ITIN aren’t eligible for the earned income credit (EIC).
- Social security numbers. Don’t complete Form W-7 if you have an SSN or if you’re eligible to get an SSN. You’re eligible for an SSN if you’re a U.S. citizen or if you have been admitted by the United States for permanent residence or U.S. employment.
- To get an SSN, see Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. To get Form SS-5 or to find out if you're eligible to get an SSN, go to www.socialsecurity.gov or contact a Social Security Administration (SSA) office.
- If you have an application for an SSN pending, don’t file Form W-7. Complete Form W-7 only if the SSA notifies you that you’re ineligible for an SSN.
- If the SSA will not issue you an SSN, you must get a letter of denial and attach it to your Form W-7. This applies whether you’re attaching Form W-7 to your U.S. federal tax return or not.
Who Must Complete this Form
The following individuals must complete Form W-7.
1. Any individual who isn’t eligible to get an SSN but who must furnish a taxpayer identification number must apply for an ITIN on Form W-7. Examples include the following.
- A nonresident alien individual claiming reduced withholding under an applicable income tax treaty for which an ITIN is required.
- A nonresident alien individual not eligible for an SSN who is required to file a U.S. federal tax return or who is filing a U.S. federal tax return only to claim a refund.
- A nonresident alien individual not eligible for an SSN who elects to file a joint U.S. federal tax return with a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- A U.S. resident alien (based on the substantial presence test) who files a U.S. federal tax return but who isn’t eligible for an SSN. For information about the substantial presence test, see Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
- An alien spouse claimed as an exemption on a U.S. federal tax return who isn’t eligible to get an SSN.
- An alien individual eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. federal tax return but who isn’t eligible to get an SSN. To determine if an alien individual is eligible to be claimed as a dependent on a U.S. federal tax return, see Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, and Pub. 519.
- A nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher who is required to file a U.S. federal tax return but who isn’t eligible for an SSN, or who is claiming an exception to the tax return filing requirement.
- A dependent/spouse of a nonresident alien U.S. visa holder, who isn’t eligible for an SSN.
2. Persons who must renew their ITIN to file a U.S. federal tax return.