An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to Canadians or other non-U.S. citizens who are:
- required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number, or
- required to file a U.S. tax return and do not have an IRS social security number, or are not eligible to obtain one.
A Canadian requiring an ITIN for filing U.S. income tax returns needs to file IRS Form W-7 along with a document or documents proving their identity.
How to Apply for an ITIN
There are three options for applying for an ITIN:
1 By Mail
Mail your W-7, tax return, proof of identity, and original foreign status documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
We do not recommend this option due to the increased time it takes for the IRS to receive the documents, and also because of the risk of your documents being lost.
2 In Person
If you currently live in or regularly visit the U.S., you can visit the nearest IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center to submit your application. You can find the nearest center here: https://apps.irs.gov/app/officeLocator/index.jsp
3 Using the Services of an IRS Certified Acceptance Agent
When you use a Certified Acceptance Agent such as Platinum Bookkeeping and Tax, you won’t be required to mail your proof of identity and foreign status documents or visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center, as we are authorized to authenticate the documents. This will expedite and simplify the process for you.
Can You Apply for an ITIN Number Online?
If you’re applying on your own, you can complete Form W-7 in a fillable form on the IRS website, and save the completed form to your computer.
The application itself, however, cannot be submitted electronically. As stated above, it must be done by mail, in person, or through an IRS Certified Acceptance Agent.
Form W-7 Instructions
Following is a summary of the Form W-7 instructions. For detailed instructions, refer to the IRS Instructions for Form W-7.
1 Select Your Application Type
You must indicate whether you are applying for a new ITIN or to renew an existing ITIN.
2 Indicate the Reason for Submitting Form W-7
Some of the more common reasons for Canadians to submit Form W-7 are that they:
- Need to file a U.S. federal tax return
- Are Canadian dependents of U.S. citizens
- Are Canadian spouses of U.S. citizens
These are some of the situations requiring you to file a U.S. tax return:
- Taxable income in the U.S. from employment
- Taxable trade or business income in the U.S.
- Taxable rental income from U.S. real estate
- Royalties received from U.S. sources
- Winnings from lotteries, gambling, or prizes
- The sale of U.S. property under The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA)
- Applying for an exemption from U.S. withholding taxes under FIRPTA
- Selling U.S. real estate or U.S. real property interests
3 Documents Required to Obtain an ITIN
You are required to submit original or certified copies of documents proving your identity and foreign status to obtain an ITIN.
If you are applying by mail, you can get a certified copy of your passport from a Service Canada Centre and Passport Services office.
We can save you the trouble of getting a certified copy of your passport since, as an IRS Certified Acceptance Agent, we are authorized to verify your passport.
If you do not have a valid passport, you will need to provide two other documents to prove your identity and foreign status, such as your driver’s licence, military identification card, and birth certificate.
4 Other Required Information
Some of the other information you need to provide include:
- Full name
- Mailing address
- Birth information
- Country of citizenship
- Identification documents submitted
- Previous ITIN number, if any
Our ITIN Fees:
$300, plus GST/HST, for an ITIN application (per applicant), plus disbursements to overnight courier the application to the IRS.