Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
If you do not have access to a Social Security number (SSN) when completing your taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will issue you an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Without a SSN, an ITIN is required in order for you to process your taxes and file your tax returns.
Apply for an ITIN
There are three options for applying for the ITIN:
Option 1 - In-Person (highly recommended)
You may visit the nearest IRS- Tax Payer Assistance Center or Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent Please note: you will need to schedule your visit for mid-March to the beginning of April. The reason for this time frame is because you must provide a copy of your U.S. federal tax return when applying for the ITIN and most students cannot complete their tax return until they receive the 1042-S form from Stanford, which is sent in mid March. Do NOT mail your tax returns to the IRS prior to your ITIN appointment.
This will be a very busy period and appointments will be very limited. We recommend you contact the IRS- Tax Payer Assistance Center or Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent months in advance to make a March/April appointment.
An IRS Authorized agent will assist you in completing your application and submitting it to the IRS. This option is the most effective and is highly recommended by the Bechtel International Center
- Form W-7
- visa documents (passport, I-20/DS2019, I-94)
- Letter of No Employment. You can request this in Bechtel Connect in "My Student Home" and select "Letter of No Employment".
- U.S. federal tax return
- You can use Sprintax to apply for your federal tax return. You will need to print the tax return and bring it to your ITIN appointment. Do NOT mail your tax returns to the IRS prior to your ITIN appointment. Students receiving funding from Stanford in the form of fellowships or financial aid cannot complete the tax returns until they have received the 1042-S from Stanford, which is sent in mid March.
*If you are unable to make an appointment before the tax deadline (April 15) you should apply for a tax extension using Sprintax
You may choose to file your federal tax return and your W-7 ITIN application simultaneously. While this seems like a convenient option, we do caution against it. In this option, you must also submit your original passport or a copy of your passport certified by your home country’s consulate which can be difficult to obtain. Please do not send the IRS your original passport. Instructions for filing in this manner can be found through Sprintax Tax Prep. You may need to complete a Letter of No Employment request available from 'My Student Home' in Bechtel Connect.
You may obtain an ITIN from abroad and you can obtain specific information of this process through the IRS ITIN Abroad. We cannot issue letters of no employment for J1 scholars or their dependents.
When to Apply for an ITIN
We recommend you contact the IRS- Tax Payer Assistance Center or Authorized Certified Acceptance Agent months in advance to make a March/April appointment.
Many countries have tax agreements with the United States which could exempt some of your income from federal taxes. This link to Publication 901 will provide you with information on any tax treaty your country may have with the US. The IRS also has the exact text of each tax treaty of each country. Tax treaties are only applicable to those who are nonresidents for tax purposes.
Learn More about Tax Treaties
Obtain a SSN after an ITIN
IRS regulations do not allow an individual to have both an ITIN and an SSN. Once you receive your SSN, you have to request that your ITIN be rescinded. To request that your ITIN be rescinded, contact the IRS (ITIN unit) after you have received the SSN and inform them of your new SSN.