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What is a W-7 and who needs to file one?

Form W-7

Form W-7, ‘Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.’

Form W-7 needs to be completed by any individual who is not eligible for a Social Security Number but who must furnish a taxpayer identification number for U.S. tax purposes.

This will be all nonresident aliens who do not have the right to work in the US and resident alien spouses who do not have the right to work in the US.

Examples of who need an ITIN: 

  1. Nonresident alien individuals who are claiming reduced withholding under an applicable income tax treaty for which an ITIN is required.
  2. Nonresident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a US federal tax return or who is filing a US federal return only to claim a refund (e.g. FIRPTA refund).