Can You File Your Taxes In The US Without A Social Security Number?

Citizens of the US use their Social Security Number as identification when it comes to doing their taxes. However, there are a lot of citizens from other places who do not qualify for SSN, yet earn in the country and are liable to pay taxes. If you are one such citizen, you can use the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN to file your taxes instead of SSN.

ITIN’s Capabilities

The ITIN is designed only to help citizens without an SSN the capability to file taxes and nothing else. The IRS clarifies that the ITIN cannot be used as:

  • An authorization to work in the US
  • Qualification for SSN or other tax credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • A stimulus to impact your immigration status

Who Needs an ITIN?

Anyone who needs to file their taxes and does not have an SSN can apply for ITIN. If you have a dependent and want to claim them in your tax returns and they do not have an SSN, you would need to get an ITIN for them as well.

As per the IRS, resident and non-resident aliens can get ITIN irrespective of what their immigration status is. An easy way to understand is that you would need an ITIN if you need to file your taxes. This is applicable even if you stay in another country.

How To Apply For ITIN?

Getting your ITIN isn’t all that complicated. To apply for ITIN, you need to submit Form W-7 to the IRS. You can either submit the form by mailing it to the IRS or schedule an appointment if you need any helpwith the forms.

To fill the application form, you would need certain basic details such as name, birthdate and mailing address. You would have to mention your US visa number should you have. Also, the form requires you to mention the reason why you want to apply for ITIN.

Expiry of ITIN

An issued ITIN can expire if it has not been used. If you obtain an ITIN and do not use the same for a period of three years, the ITIN will expire on the 31st of December 2019. ITIN that were issued before the year 2013 would also expire on the 31st of December 2019. The middle digits for the ITIN in such cases would be 83 and 84. For example, you ITIN could look like (9XX-83-XXXX).

Renewal of ITIN

In the event your ITIN expires, you do not have to worry about filing your taxes. You can always renew the ITIN using the following measures. You must fill up Form W-7 along with an application form for ITIN. While you are required to submit the required documents, you do not have to submit a tax return in the case of renewal. Unless there is a filing requirement, you do not have to submit your tax returns. If your family members were issued ITINs, you must submit their W-7 forms at the same time.

The renewal process of ITIN is a bit similar to getting a new one. You can use any of the following methods.

  • Mail the forms to the IRS at:

         Internal Revenue Service

         Austin Service Center

         ITIN Operation

        P.O. Box 149342

        Austin, TX 78714-9342

  • Schedule an appointment with the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.
  • Apply for an ITIN in person at any Certifying Acceptance Agent that is authorized by the IRS.

You can file your taxes in the US even if you do not have a Social Security Number. You can apply for ITIN using the methods mentioned above and file your taxes.

Reference:

https://www.taxslayer.com/blog/how-to-file-taxes-without-a-social-security-number/

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/how-do-i-renew-my-itin