What is an ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
What is an ITIN used for?
IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security numbers. They are issued regardless of immigration status, because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code. ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.
Here from the IRS
Having an ITIN does not require the holder to file an income tax return.
“For example, in 2014, the IRS reported that roughly a quarter of the 21 million ITINs in circulation, or about 5.25 million, were being used to file tax returns. Five years later, in tax year 2019, the IRS reported that it had received over 2 million returns filed by a primary taxpayer with an ITIN. The IRS did not release any data in the intervening years that may explain the difference of 3 million returns. So while we may presume that some policy changes are likely driving these trends, it is hard to say with certainty what might have caused such a precipitous decline.”
Here from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy
Illegal aliens can and an do obtain ITINs
ITINs do NOT provide legal status or work authorization.
- An ITIN does not provide legal immigration status and cannot be used to prove legal presence in the United States.
- An ITIN does not provide work authorization and cannot be used to prove work authorization on an I-9 form.
Here from the AmericanImmigrationCouncil.org
If the IRS says ITINs do not serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting and banks must verify identity according to the 9/11 – inspired Patriot Act, how can an illegal alien obtain a mortgage loan?
Banks have been allowed to ignore the IRS guidelines on use of ITINs for decades. ITINs are commonly used as a substitute for a Social Security Number by banks that seek out illegal alien customers.
Here is an example from MarketPlace.org.
More to come…