TSS - What is an ITIN?

What is an ITIN?

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First Published  :Wed Nov 25 16:12:42 GMT 2015
Last Modified  :Wed Mar 06 20:56:48 GMT 2019
Last Published  :Wed Mar 06 20:56:48 GMT 2019
Summary :  Describes what the ITIN is used for and how to apply.


Primary Information

    An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service and is for the sole purpose of filing federal taxes. It is a nine digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, example 9XX-7X-XXXX.

    Any individual who is not eligible to obtain an Social Security Number (SSN) but who must furnish an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number must apply for an ITIN on IRS Form W-7. A federal income tax return must be included with the application so appointments can only be made once the tax return has been prepared. OR Individuals who can claim a tax treaty benefit can get an exemption from the tax return requirement and can instead submit other required documentation rather than with the tax return.  Instructions can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf. In order to qualify for tax treaty benefit, individuals should see if “scholarship and fellowship grants” are listed under their tax country here. You can then apply for the ITIN as soon as you are receive payment for your scholarship. At this time, you can make an appointment
    Applicants should bring to their appointment with a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) at TSS: 
    1. Original Passport
    2. I-20 or DS-2019
    3. I-94
    4. I-94 history
    5. Scholarship award letter
    6. W-8 Ben
    7. Federal Tax Return (unless they can claim a tax treaty benefit in which case this is not needed)

    Most nonresident students and scholars cannot claim family members as dependents. Any family member who can be claimed as a dependent must have an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN). Family members who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) can apply for an identification number on Form W-7.  

    Although Tufts strongly recommends non-residents obtain a U.S. tax identification number, payment can be made without one.  Such payments are fully taxed at a 30% rate.  Reduced rates and/or exemption under a tax treaty are not allowed.  An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is obtained by completing IRS Form W-7.  By having the ITIN you may be taxed at a lower rate and/or can file a tax return and potentially get the money back.


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