Do I need an ITIN to apply for a Bank of America account/credit card? How can I obtain one?

ITIN needed for Bank of America account/credit card? How to get one?

In the United States, when filing taxes, an identification number or tax number is required. This is also necessary when applying for a bank account or credit card in the United States.

There are three types of U.S. tax numbers:

SSN (Social Security Number)

ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)

EIN (Employer Identification Number)

At the same time, U.S. tax status is also divided into three types:

U.S. citizens

Resident aliens (RAs)

Nonresident aliens (NRAs)

Most of us are nonresident aliens (NRAs), so applying for an ITIN is the choice for the vast majority of people.

So how do you apply? Who can apply?


****What are ITINs? SSNs? EINs?****

Many people cannot distinguish between the three, so we will distinguish them one by one below:

ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number):

The so-called ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a personal tax number established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States specifically for non-U.S. residents who have tax filing requirements.

It consists of nine digits, the first digit must be 9, and the fourth and fifth digits are between 70-88. Since the U.S. individual tax declaration in 1996, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has required tax filers without a Social Security Number (SSN) to provide a personal tax number for tax filing. Therefore, the ITIN number is an important basis for filing U.S. nonresident individual taxes (1040NR). Having an ITIN has no negative impact on applying for non-immigrant or immigrant visas.

SSN (Social Security Number):

The 9-digit number on the Social Security card is the “Social Security Number”, abbreviated as SSN. The Social Security number is generally written in the format of 818-89-9988. It is a set of nine digits issued by the Social Security Administration to U.S. citizens, U.S. green card holders, and temporary (work) residents.

SSN is used for individuals to open bank accounts and track tax situations in the US. Nowadays, it is being expanded to include distinguishing personal identity, similar to the role of “resident identity card number” in China, and is tied to personal credit.

EIN, also known as federal tax identification number, is a tax number assigned by the federal government for tax purposes to companies. It is required to have this number when opening a bank account and employing staff.

However, is it necessary to apply for a tax number when registering a US company? As a citizen residing outside the US, if you register a company in the US, you must apply for an EIN in principle, otherwise you cannot conduct business, open a bank account, or file taxes at the end of the year. Therefore, applying for an EIN is an important step for non-US citizens to set up a company in the US.


****Common situations where ITIN tax numbers are required****

For the US government or the IRS, the function of ITIN is only for tax reporting.

It is only some banks and financial institutions in the US that voluntarily support and recognize ITIN numbers as part of credit authentication to facilitate customers who do not have SSN.

However, most domestic partners who apply for ITIN are actually applying for US bank accounts or credit cards.

So, what are the specific uses of ITIN when applying for it?

Foreigners in the US who have rental income need to file federal and state taxes;

Foreigners in the US who sell houses and generate capital gains;

Foreigners in the US who have withholding tax and need to apply for tax refunds;

Foreigners who need to open bank accounts or apply for US credit cards;

Dependents or spouses of US citizens/resident aliens.

Non-resident foreigners who hold visas and have dependents or spouses.

Note: If you are eligible for an SSN, you are not eligible to apply for an ITIN; ITIN is prepared for taxpayers who are not US citizens or permanent residents.


****ITIN application cycle and required materials****

There are many ways to apply for an ITIN, but many of the processing conditions are not realistic for mainland residents, and in the end, most end in failure.

Choose a reliable overseas business agency to apply for an ITIN, and a professional consultant will assist in the whole process, with simple materials and high efficiency.

Materials required:

Passport (scan copy)

ID card (front and back scan copy)

We assist in providing and assisting in filling in other materials (as below)

Applicant’s identity document (original passport within the validity period) or identity authentication copy (passport copy certified by the US Embassy);

The applicant needs to fill out Form W-7 (ITIN application form, which can be downloaded from the IRS website);

Attach non-resident tax form (Form 1040NR) and other related data forms with W-7;

If there is Form 1042-S, that is, “foreigner’s US income subject to withholding tax”, this form summarizes the income and tax deducted by foreigners in the US tax year;

If there is Form 8805, this form is submitted by a US partnership and is used for the income and withholding tax of foreign partners in this enterprise.

Processing cycle:

About 10-15 weeks


****Process and methods of ITIN application****


Applicants can apply by mail, and need to mail Form W-7, non-resident tax form, original passport or a copy of identity proof, and other relevant materials to the IRS, but applicants need to bear the risk of loss of mail items themselves.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in person application:

This method is suitable for applicants who are in the United States. They can bring the application form and other required materials such as original passport to the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center for application. They need to make an appointment by phone in advance.

Entrust a reputable accounting firm to apply:

This method is the most convenient and efficient.

The entrusted accountant must be a certified designated agent (Certifying Acceptance Agent, hereinafter referred to as CAA) authorized by the IRS. CAA represents the IRS to certify the applicant’s passport or other documents and help the applicant complete the ITIN application. The application materials certified and signed by CAA do not need to submit the original passport and can be sent to the tax bureau for approval.


**** Validity and Renewal of ITIN Tax Numbers ****

1. Validity of ITIN Tax Number:

The general validity period of ITIN Number is five years (issued before January 1, 2013, without expiration date, and after that, the validity period is five years). The expiration date of ITIN Number is December 31st of each year, regardless of the date of issuance.

In addition to the five-year deadline, the ITIN Number that has not been used for tax reporting for three consecutive years will also expire and become invalid automatically after three years of no use.

For example:

If the ITIN Number has not been used to report taxes for 2015, 2016, and 2017, then this tax number will expire on December 31, 2018. Here is a specific explanation: although the example involves four years, the tax for 2015 was reported in 2016, which means that if the tax number has not been used consecutively for 2016, 2017, and 2018, it will become invalid on the last day of the 2018 calendar year.

2. About updating ITIN number

ITIN number can be updated by filling out Form W-7, checking “Renew an Existing ITIN” in the matter column, and providing identification proof (usually with a passport). Like the application, the completed tax form can be mailed to the IRS. In addition to mailing, you can also choose Taxpayer Assistance Center and ITIN Acceptance Agent for help.

Taxpayer Assistance Center Office Locator ( zllp.myyrpp._=w._ckbyrppykff=o?Lkorlkwy=sv?j_u.p) can find nearby TAC offices by entering a zip code.

If you have obtained an SSN, you do not need to update your ITIN number. You need to go to the IRS office or send a letter to inform them that you have an SSN, and they will merge your tax number and cancel the ITIN number you previously used (others cannot use this tax number in the future). The letter should include your full name, correct mailing address, a copy of your ITIN and SSN card, and a copy of CP 565 (Notice received with ITIN number).

Mail address: Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0057

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