What if You Can't Get a Social Security Number?

If you are not eligible to get a Social Security number but have to file a tax return, you will need to use Form W-7, "Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" to get this number, known as an ITIN.

An ITIN is a 9-digit number issued by the IRS, beginning with the number "9." It may look a bit like a Social Security number, but an ITIN is used only for federal income tax purposes and has no effect on your work or immigration status in the U.S.

Each person who files a federal tax return or is listed as a spouse or dependent must have a valid SSN or ITIN. This will ensure prompt processing and receipt of any refund. If a person does not use a valid number, this will delay any refund due and exemptions for spouse or dependents will be denied until a valid number is presented.

You can apply for an ITIN by completing and submitting a Form W-7 with appropriate documents to the IRS.

For more information about ITINs, check out Publication 1915, "Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number," or download Form W-7.


This daily Tax Tip has been provided by the IRS

Note: These tips are provided to help trigger ideas on ways to minimize your tax burden, not as a substitute for professional advice. There is no "one-size-fits-all" answer - each taxpayer's situation is different. You should contact your tax preparer to determine together how this may affect your unique situation.

You may like these other stories...

Smaller companies slow to adopt new rules for internal controlsSmaller companies are not keeping up with larger rivals in adopting new internal controls as the Dec. 15 deadline approaches, John Kester of the Wall Street...
Ryan to chair tax panel, a possible 2016 platformHouse Republican leaders chose Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday to head the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for the next two years, giving him a high-profile platform...
For the most part, when you donate monetary gifts to charity, whether it’s in cash, by check or credit card charge, you can deduct the full amount on your tax return as long as you meet IRS substantiation requirements...

Already a member? log in here.

Editor's Choice

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Nov 24This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Dec 3The materials discuss the concepts and principles in the AICPA’s new special purpose framework.
Dec 9A key component to improving your firm’s workflow efficiency while enhancing your profitability at the same time is how you leverage emerging technologies.
Dec 9Kristen Rampe will cover how to diffuse the tension in challenging situations in this one-hour webinar.