Sprintax FAQs

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Who must apply for an ITIN?

A non-resident alien who is receiving payment in the form of a scholarship, award or fellowship and who is not employed in the US, and who does not already have a SSN or ITIN, regardless of whether or not there is a tax treaty covering scholarships between the US and the non-resident alien's country of residence.

A non-resident alien who is receiving an honoraria or payment for professional services and who does not already have a SSN or ITIN and wishes to take advantage of a tax treaty.

Should I apply for an ITIN if I have a SSN?

If a non-resident alien already has a SSN or ITIN number, there is NO need to apply for a new ITIN.

If a scholarship, award, or fellowship recipienthas a United States issued Social Security Number or ITIN number, this number must be provided in order to receive their payments from the University.

Do F-1 students need an ITIN?

An F-1 visa holder who is not working but receiving a non-service fellowship, scholarship, or grant, in excess of tuition and fees, must apply for an ITIN. To determine if an ITIN, SSN, or nothing at all is needed, please refer to the diagram below:

What does Exception 2 mean?

Exception 2.

  • Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants with Tax Treaty Benefits Claimed.
  • Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants – No Tax Treaty Benefits Claimed.
  • Honoraria Payments with Tax Treaty Benefits Claimed.

Individuals present in the U.S. who are receiving honoraria payments only, do not have to apply for a SSN or submit letter of denial from the SSA. A letter from the Authorized School Official who extended the invitation will suffice.

A certification letter is required for each Form W-7 application.

Scholarship, Fellowship or Grant Income. IRS information reporting and/or tax withholding is required by law and will apply to third parties who will request a Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN or ITIN) from you to enable them to comply with U.S. Treasury Regulations. Students on a F-1, J-1 or M-1 visa who will not be working while studying in the U.S., will not have to apply for a SSN.

Honoraria Payments - Tax Treaty Benefits claimed. IRS information reporting and tax withholding is required by law and applies to third parties who will request a TIN from you to enable them to comply with U.S. Treasury Regulations. To obtain an ITIN under this exception, you must attach a letter from the SSA denying your request for a Social Security Number.

Why may I need an ITIN?

There are a number of circumstances why someone may require an ITIN. Any one that is in one of the following categories and does not have, never has had or is ineligible for a U.S. Social Security Number, may require an ITIN

A Nonresident alien required to obtain an ITIN to claim a tax treaty benefit.

A Nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for an SSN.

A Nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund.

A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for an SSN.

Can an ITIN be obtained and used for any other purpose?

No. It is only used by an individual for identity purposes with the IRS.

It cannot be used for employment purposes.

It cannot be obtained for the sole purpose of opening a bank account.

It cannot be obtained for the sole purpose of rental agreements (credit search).

When can a taxpayer file for an ITIN?

A taxpayer can apply for an ITIN at any stage during the year.

How long does an ITIN last?

Since the new program changes in 2013, the ITIN will now expire after five years. Taxpayers may reapply at the end of their expiration period.

What is a CAA?

Certified Acceptance Agents are individuals specifically authorized by the IRS to review original documents and certify copies of the same. This service is critical to taxpayers who are legitimately concerned about sending original documents to the IRS (such as a passport) that may get lost. NOTE: We recommend that you DO NOT put your original documents in the mail.

How long does it take for the IRS to process an application?

It can take 6 to 8 weeks and sometimes longer to obtain an ITIN. The IRS is generally efficient in informing the taxpayer of any issues with the application.

What are common reasons for rejecting ITIN applications?

The most common errors in ITIN applications are as follows:

  • Inadequate or insufficient identifying documentation
  • Wrong signature of applicant
  • Applicant has a SSN or applicant has already been assigned an ITIN
  • Applicant did not attach a tax return as required OR did not attach certification letters from the school or organization, where Exception 2 applies
  • No entry date.
  • No entry date.

If a W-7 is rejected, the taxpayer should read the notice carefully to understand why the application was rejected. The taxpayer should then make sure the documents are correct, send IRS any information they requested, and provide it in the form requested.

In order to avoid your application being rejected, please review your pdf package and follow strictly the instructions and ensure that ALL necessary document are attached before you submit your ITIN application to the IRS.

What documents are acceptable as proof of identity and foreign status?

IRS has streamlined the number of documents the agency will accept as proof of identity to obtain an ITIN. There are now 13 acceptable documents. An original, or a certified copy, of an UNEXPIRED passport is the only document that is accepted for both identity and foreign status. If you do not have a passport, you must provide a combination of current documents that contain expiration dates

The IRS will accept documents issued within 12 months of the application if no expiration date is normally available. The documents must also show your name and photograph, and support your claim of foreign status. IRS will accept certified copies of a combination (two or more) of the following documents, in lieu of a passport:

  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver's license
  • Civil birth certificate
  • Foreign driver's license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter's registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents - under 14 years old - only)
  • School records (dependents and/or students - under 25 years old - only)

Who can certify my supporting documents: