2020 Revised Guidelines for ITIN Applications

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has some updated procedures and revised guidelines that affect Individual Taxpayer Identification Number applications. Such amendments have superseded some of the details below, including the documentation criteria for individuals requesting an ITIN. We highly recommend the taxpayers or representatives to review these changes before applying for ITINs.

What are the Revised Guidelines for ITIN Applications #

IRS has announced changes to the ITIN process that require revision to the ITIN application standards. Every person applying to ITIN must now:

  • Apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) through using the current Form W-7,
  • Submit a federal income tax return in Form W-7 or
  • Qualify under an Exception to provision for federal tax filing.

Any applicant who meets an exception regarding the obligation to submit a tax return is required to provide documentation to support the exception (see Form W-7 guidelines).

IRS Updates: Authorization Letter in, ITIN Cards Out #

Why did the IRS need to make such a change? In order to avoid any possible similarities with Social Security Number card, the IRS changed the ITIN card to an authorization letter. Present cards owned by ITIN holders will not be replaced. If they are asked to supply an identification number for tax purposes, they will continue to use the numbers previously issued. 

 The reason why the IRS Updated the ITIN Application Process #

The IRS has updated the application process to help ensure that ITINs are used for the purposes of their planned fiscal administration.

What are the Appropriate Documents as Evidence of Identification and Foreign Status? #

IRS has simplified the number of documents that the department recognizes to receive an ITIN as evidence of identity and international citizenship. There are 13 documents that are appropriate. Every document must be current and have an expiry date. Where no expiry date is usually available, IRS must consider documents released within 12 months of the submission. You must also support your claim of foreign status by providing your name and photograph shown on your documents. Here is the list of documents which are only acceptable:

  • Passport (stand-alone document) *
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only – under 6)
  • School records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)

*Passport is the only document proving both identity and foreign status. The passport must have an entry date as a stand-alone document for dependents if they are not Military Overseas.  If a passport is submitted, a combination of two or more documents must be submitted to meet the document requirements.

What Documents Are Suitable for Dependents Without a Passport Entry Date as Proof of Identity and Foreign Status? #

The passport is no longer recognized as a stand-alone identity document for dependents if the passport has no date of entry (unless the dependent is Military Oversea). Applicants will be asked to apply either (along with the passport):

  • U.S. medical records for dependents under age 6, or
  • U.S. school records for dependents under age 18
  • U.S. school records for dependents age 18 and over or
  • Rental Statement listing the Applicant’s Name and U.S. Address or
  • Utility Bill listing the Applicant’s Name and U.S. Address or
  • Bank Statement with Applicant’s Name and U.S. Address

If you are living abroad, you can also apply for an ITIN. At einitin.com you may start your application process right now!