Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Please be aware that due to Social Distancing guidelines associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, ISS is temporarily suspending assistance with the ITIN process.

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a nine-digit tax processing number issued to nonresident aliens; who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN), but have taxable income from a source other than employment, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  
ITINs are for federal tax reporting only and are not intended to serve any other purpose. The IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

If you currently have a Social Security Number, you are NOT eligible for an ITIN.
Common cases for which ITIN applications are appropriate
  • The student has a scholarship/fellowship/grant which includes any income that would be considered taxable
    • Often includes student athletes or those who receive scholarships which cover anything other than qualifying tuition and fees but are not employed at Texas A&M University.
  • Student or Spouse is a resident for tax purposes and they are filing jointly
    • If either the student or the spouse does not qualify for an SSN the individual would qualify for an ITIN
  • Dependents being claimed on a tax return who are not eligible for an SSN qualify for an ITIN
    • Includes dependents of residents for tax purposes who do not qualify for an SSN
    • Includes dependents of non-residents for tax purposes whose principal visa holder is a citizen of Canada, India, Mexico, or South Korea.
There may be other groups not currently listed who may need an ITIN. If you are unsure if you need an ITIN, please inquire with ISS.

When should I apply for an ITIN?
IMPORTANT!!! ISS recommends that anyone who is aware that they need to apply for an ITIN do so now! The best time to apply for an ITIN is during the fall semester. Waiting until the federal tax filing season (i.e. spring semester) to apply for an ITIN may delay processing of your U.S. federal tax return.

How do I apply for an ITIN?
IRS Form W-7 is used to apply for an ITIN. Click the IRS Form W-7 link to access current and previous year versions of the form and instructions. If you use Sprintax to complete your tax return, and choose to  use Sprintax assistance with ITIN a Form W-7 will automatically be generated for each ITIN applicant. There are 3 ways you can apply for an ITIN:

1.    Apply by Mail
You can submit the ITIN application by mail if you first obtain a certified copy of the passport for each ITIN applicant. This certification must be completed by the applicant’s home country government. You could try contacting your Embassy or Consulate here in the U.S. for assistance. To make your process even easier, I recommend that you contact the Social Security Administration ahead of time and request a document for each ITIN applicant to verify that they are ineligible to obtain an SSN: Include this document with the materials you mail to the IRS. You also have an option to mail the ITIN applicant’s original passport, but this is not recommended. The benefit of applying by mail is that you can file the ITIN applicant(s) and tax return at the same time.
2.    Apply in Person
Please note that in response to the national emergency and to protect their employees, taxpayers, communities and partners, the IRS has temporarily closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers and discontinued face-to-face service throughout the country until further notice.
3.    Apply through ISS
Please be aware that due to Social Distancing guidelines associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, ISS is temporarily suspending assistance with the ITIN process.