Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)


What is an ITIN?

Am I eligible for an ITIN?

When should I apply for my ITIN?

How do I apply for an ITIN?

If you are filing your ITIN application shortly after arrival in the US

If you are filing your ITIN application with your tax return

How do I get a Certification Letter?

What should I do once I get my ITIN?

 


What is an ITIN?

An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit number assigned to you by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The IRS is the United States agency responsible for tracking income and collecting taxes. 

The ITIN is used as a way to identify individuals who have to file a tax return, but are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) because they are not employed.

Am I eligible for an ITIN?

  • If you are an F-1/J-1 international student who does NOT have a Social Security Number (SSN) and who is NOT working, but will be receiving income from a US source (scholarship, fellowship, grant, stipend), then you need an ITIN
  • If you have an F-2/J-2 dependent and are from a country that allows dependents to be claimed on your income tax return, then they will also need an ITIN

When should I apply for my ITIN?

  • You can apply for your ITIN shortly after you arrive in the US, once your immigration record has been activated in the SEVIS system (i.e. after you have registered full-time at SU)
  • You can wait and file your ITIN application when you file your tax return.  Dependents (F-2/J-2) must apply for an ITIN when the primary (F-1/J-1) files their tax return.

NOTE: J-1 sponsored students (Fulbright, IIE, LASPAU, etc.) should check with their program sponsor about how and when they should apply for an ITIN

If you receive a scholarship, fellowship, grant, stipend:

  • Complete IRS Form W-7 (Application for ITIN)
    • click here for detailed instructions on how to complete the form
  • Complete IRS Form W-8BEN and submit it to Payroll (keep a copy for your records) 
    • click here for detailed instructions on how to complete the form
  • Obtain a Certification Letter from the Slutzker Center
  • The Slutzker Center will mail your ITIN application to the IRS
  • You should receive your ITIN within 6-8 weeks
  • If, after waiting 6-8 weeks, you have still not received your ITIN, you can call the IRS to find out the status of your application.
    • Call 1-800-829-1040 if you are in the United States
    • Call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) if you are outside of the United States

If you are filing your ITIN application with your tax return: 

  • Complete your federal tax return 
    • The Slutzker Center offers SU international students and scholars free access to specialized tax software.  For more information, visit the Glacier Tax Prep section of our website.
  • Complete IRS Form W-7 (Application for ITIN);
    • click here for detailed instructions on how to complete the form
    • If you utilize the Glacier Tax Prep software, it will automatically fill in Form W-7 for you
  • Complete IRS Form W-8BEN and submit it to Payroll (keep a copy for your records) 
    • click here for detailed instructions on how to complete the form
  • Obtain a Certification Letter from the Slutzker Center
  • Assemble your application in the following order:
  1. Certification Letter
  2. Completed Form W-7
  3. Copy of completed W-8BEN
  4. Copies of passport and visa
  5. Copy of I-20/DS-2019
  6. Your completed US tax return
  • Make a copy of your application to keep for your own records
  • Mail your application to:

Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342

  • The IRS will process your ITIN application and then send it to the tax return processing unit
  • You should receive your ITIN within 6-8 weeks
  • If, after waiting 6-8 weeks, you have still not received your ITIN, you can call the IRS to find out the status of your application. 
    • Call 1-800-829-1040 if you are in the United States
    • Call 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) if you are outside of the United States

How do I get a Certification Letter?

  • You may obtain a Certification Letter during walk-in hours (M-F, 11-3) or call 315-443-2457 to schedule an appointment with a Slutzker Center advisor
  • Bring the following with you to your appointment:
  1. Completed Form W-7
  2. Copy of completed Form W-8BEN
  3. Passport and visa
  4. I-20/DS-2019
  5. Award letter for your fellowship, scholarship, or grant

NOTE: You may obtain an ITIN without first obtaining a Certification Letter from SCIS, however that requires that you mail your original passport and other supporting documentation to the IRS, and we strongly recommend against mailing your passport. 

What should I do once I get my ITIN?

  • Submit a copy (along with your SUID) to the Slutzker Center
  • Complete the Non-Resident Alien Information Form
    • This form allows Payroll to know how to properly deduct taxes from your payments
    • To obtain access to the form, email Payroll at payroll@syr.edu with your SUID number
    • Any questions about this form should be directed to Payroll