If you’re a not a citizen of the United States but are required to pay taxes, you’re going to want to fill out a W7 Form. This form is used to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. Typically, U.S. taxpayers use a Social Security number to file federal taxes, but if you’re not eligible to receive a Social Security number you have no way to legally file your taxes. A W7 form is also necessary if you plan on listing any non-citizen spouses or dependents.
An individual taxpayer identification number will allow you to file your taxes without any issues. It will also enable you to be eligible for a federal refund.
Before you jump right in to filling out a W7, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. To receive an ITIN (individual tax identification number) you’ll need a valid form of ID, proving the foreign status of the individual in need of the ITIN. You will also need to have a current tax return that needs the number. It’s recommended to not apply until you have said tax return. Once you have everything you need, you can get started and actually submit your W7 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Filling Out Your W7 Form
In order to fill out your W7, you’ll need some specific information. First, you need to be aware of the reason you’re submitting the form. This reason will depend on your residency status. You should fall into one of seven categories. If, for some reason, you can’t find the appropriate category, you do have the option of checking the “other” box. This is generally only used if a third party requests an ITIN Number from you for their own federal purposes.
Once you’ve determined your residency status, you will have to go through the exception portion of the W7 form. The W7 has five possible exceptions for which you may qualify. These exceptions are important to read through, so be sure to take your time going over this section.
When filling out a W7 form it is of utmost importance to be thorough and specific. Each line requires a response, even if said response is simply “not applicable.” It’s also important to make sure the name you enter on line one of the W7 form is exactly the same as the name you enter on your tax return. This will prevent any delays in getting your tax returns processed.
The lines of the W7 form will cover all of the information necessary to qualify for an ITIN. The information you’ll need to fill out will range from the date you entered the United States to the type of documents you’ll be submitting to prove your residency status. If you are employed by a U.S. company, but have never actually entered the country, you will still be required to fill out a W7 form, but you will have to specify that you’ve never entered the United States.
The final thing you’ll have to fill out on the W7 form is the signature. Like everything, there are specific rules about who can legally sign the form. Generally speaking, applicants are able to sign the form on their own. However, this might not always be the case. If, for some reason, you are unable to sign your W7 form, you will be required to provide some kind of mark such as an “X” or a thumbprint. This will have to be done in front of a witness, and the witness will be required to provide his or her signature.
Possible Forms of ID
Your W7 form is now completely filled out, but before you submit it you’ll want to identify valid forms of ID to accompany it. In order to receive your ITIN, you’ll need identification that proves both your identity and your foreign or non-resident status. The number of identifying documents required depends entirely on the types of documents you’re submitting. If you have a valid passport or even just a certified copy of your passport, this will be sufficient to prove both identity and foreign status. If you don’t have a passport, however, you will be required to provide at least two valid forms of ID.
Valid ID can include, but is not limited to, a valid foreign voter registration card, a birth certificate, or a national ID card from your country of residence. There is a somewhat extensive list of acceptable valid ID options, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your options.
Submitting a W7 Form
A W7 form must be submitted in person or by mail. If you choose to submit it in person, you can do so at any IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. Submitting your form in person will give you the benefit of upfront document review. This is a good option if you’re not completely confident that you filled the form out correctly. After the document is reviewed, the assistance center will submit it for processing.
According to the IRS, once a W7 form is reviewed and approved it should take between six to ten weeks for you to obtain your ITIN. This is why it’s recommended to send in your tax return along with your W7 form. It ensures that your tax return is filed on time. Plus, if the IRS has your tax return and your W7 application has been approved, they will fill in your ITIN and immediately process your tax return.
Additional W7 Form Notes
Tax laws, like any laws, are subject to change, so you should make sure you are up-to-date on any laws applicable to you. If, for example, you haven’t filed a tax return for five years in a row, your ITIN will be cancelled. If you need to file taxes after this point, you will be required to fill out a new W7 form and apply again.
As a non-resident, you may be concerned that filing for an ITIN will result in your removal from the country. However, the IRS is forbidden by federal law to share any information with Homeland Security or other federal agencies, so you have nothing to worry about.
A W7 Form, like any tax form, can be confusing to fill out. Should you have any questions, you can always call the toll free IRS number. You may also visit one of the numerous Taxpayer Assistance Centers, which are located in every U.S. state. Remember to take your time and be patient. This is an important document and it’s worth spending plenty of time on it to fill it out correctly.