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How do I apply for an ITIN number?

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

To apply for an ITIN, you must (1) not be eligible for a social security number and (2) either be filing your own federal tax return or be claimed on someone else's tax return. Below are the fours steps you'll need to take to get an ITIN.

Step 1: Prepare Your Tax Return

Except for nonresidents claiming a tax treaty benefit and certain nonresident students, professors, and researchers, everyone else who applies for an ITIN (including spouses and dependents) must submit a tax return with their application.

Step 2: Fill Out an Application

The application asks about your reason for applying for an ITIN, birth and citizenship information, entry into the US, and identification.

Step 3: Submit Original Documents

You'll need to either (1) mail your original identification documents to the IRS or (2) bring your original documents to a Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) for certification. If you choose the second option, the CAA will examine and return to you your documents within 24 hours. If you mail the documents, the IRS will return them in approximately 90 days.

Step 4: Wait

Expect to wait between 7-11 weeks for the IRS to process your application and issue you an ITIN. This may be longer given the current backlog at the IRS. Once an ITIN is issued, the IRS then transmits your return for processing. Don't be surprised if you do not receive your refund until the end of the year or the following year.


Do you or your loved one need an ITIN? Let us help you. As Certifying Acceptance Agents, we can authenticate your original documents so you don't have to mail them to the IRS.

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Can I apply for an ITIN online?

No; however, the IRS is modernizing the process, so online applications may soon be a reality. Let us help you correctly apply for an ITIN.


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