ITIN Application / Certifying Acceptance Agent
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
An ITIN is an identification number assigned by the IRS to people who do not live in the U.S.
Common reasons for needing an ITIN include the following:
- Recovering the 30% Withholding Tax on Gambling Winnings;
- Avoiding the 30% Withholding Tax on income from U.S. rental property;
- Avoiding or recovering Withholding Tax on Partnership Income from U.S. partnerships;
- Avoiding or recovering Withholding Tax on Shareholder Dividends from U.S. companies;
- Filing a U.S. tax return;
- Being claimed as a spouse or dependent on a U.S. tax return; or
- Opening a U.S. interest bearing bank account subject to withholding or IRS reporting.
While it is possible to apply for an ITIN on your own, many people find the application process complicated and meeting the requirements challenging. The most common issue faced by people trying to apply for an ITIN without the assistance of a Certifying Acceptance Agent is meeting the specific identification requirements. The IRS will not accept notarial copies of your identification from Canadian Notaries who are not also approved IRS Acceptance Agents.
Therefore, the only way to verify your identity and foreign status to the IRS and obtain an ITIN is to:
- forward your original identification to the IRS by mail (and they will return it by mail – we do not recommend mailing your identification under any circumstance);
- visit a U.S. Notary in the U.S.;
- visit a U.S. Consulate (we have, however, assisted clients whose identification was not accepted by the IRS even though they had it certified by the U.S. Consulate); or
- hire a Certifying Acceptance Agent.
David van Leenen, a partner of Sharek & Co., is a Certifying Acceptance Agent for the IRS and has entered into a formal agreement with the IRS authorizing him to assist with the ITIN application process and verify an applicant’s identity and foreign status.
Our ITIN application service includes:
- Reviewing the ITIN application form (Form W-7) for suitability to your circumstances;
- Reviewing the supporting documents required for your circumstances;
- Preparing a Certificate of Accuracy, which verifies your identity and foreign status to the IRS, if appropriate for your application;
- Providing a notarial copy of your identification;
- Submitting the application and supporting documentation to the IRS on your behalf;
- Following up on your application; and
- Reporting to you with your ITIN once it is assigned.