You are here: American University Student Affairs International Student & Scholar Services Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

International students and their dependents who are not eligible for a Social Security Number may be eligible to apply for an ITIN.

Students who have approved on- or off-campus employment authorization and are being paid should apply for a Social Security Number.

What is an ITIN?

An ITIN does not authorize you to work in the U.S.

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 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.

ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement. ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. 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.

Who needs an ITIN?

The IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number, but who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements. A non-resident alien who is not eligible for a Social Security Number, but is required to file a tax return to claim a refund under a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN.

How do I apply for an ITIN?

See the IRS website for application instructions.