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I'm Howard Griffel, MBA.

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ITIN Application (W7) Questions & Answers Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 13 reviews
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ITIN Application (W7) Questions & Answers

ITIN application tax refundWhat documents must I have and bring to process my ITIN application?

We need following documents to process your ITIN application:

  • W7 form, if you have already filled it in.
  • Copy of the W7 filled in form
  • Original acceptable documents for identity & foreign status listed above
  • Two copies of the acceptable documents
  • Original supporting document to prove the need of the ITIN e.g. tax return, bank letter or any other supporting documentation
  • Copy of the supporting document

Can I send notarized documents directly to IRS for ITIN processing?

No, Starting from June 22, 2012 IRS has stopped accepting notarized documents. Original documents or certified copy by the issueing authority unless your case falls in an exception.

Do I need to submit original documents?

Starting from January 1st, 2013, Original documents are required to be submited to IRS for dependents only. We are required to review original documents for primary and secondary taxpayers but it does not have to be submitted to the IRS. There are some exceptions to this requirement.

What are the exceptions to the original documents submission requirements?

There are four exceptions to this new documentation requirement described above. Applicants who are not impacted by these changes include:

  • U.S. military spouses and U.S. military dependents
  • Non-resident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits
  • Noncitizens that have approved TY 2011 extensions to file their tax returns. These are temporary ITINs.
  • Student Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP) participants

Do I need to be personally present to get ITIN application processed?

Yes and No. Starting from January 1st, 2013, IRS requires face to face interview with the ITIN applicant. In cases when ITIN applicant can’t visit our office, we can fulfill this requirement by a video conferencing interview with the ITIN applicant.

Will the IRS return my original documents to me? How long will it take to get them back?

The IRS currently receives original documents with some applications and they have a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants. The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7.

What is an ITIN?

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range of 70-88 in the fourth and fifth digit, example 9XX-70-XXXX. 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). ITINs 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. Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a valid federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.

What is an ITIN used for?

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 (SSNs). An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Who needs an ITIN?

IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN.

Other examples of individuals who need ITINs include:

  • A nonresident alien required to file a U.S. tax return
  • A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • A dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • A dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder

How do I know if I need an ITIN?

If you do not have a SSN and are not eligible to obtain a SSN, but you have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal income tax return, you must apply for an ITIN. If you have an application for a SSN pending, do not file Form W-7. Complete Form W-7 only if the Social Security Administration (SSA) notifies you that a SSN cannot be issued. To obtain a SSN, see Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. To get Form SS-5 or to find out if you are eligible to obtain a SSN, go to Social Security Administration Website or contact a SSA office. By law, an alien individual cannot have both an ITIN and a SSN. IRS processes returns showing SSNs or ITINs in the blanks where tax forms request SSNs. IRS no longer accepts, and will not process, forms showing “SSA205c,” “applied for,” “NRA,” blanks, etc.

What documents are acceptable as proof of identity and foreign status?

IRS streamlined the number of documents the agency accepts as proof of identity and foreign status to obtain an ITIN.There are 13 acceptable documents. Each document must be current and contain an expiration date.IRS will accept documents issued within 12 months of the application if no expiration date is normally available. Documents must also show your name and photograph, and support your claim of foreign status.Below is the list of the only acceptable documents:

  • Passport (stand alone document)
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • U.S. state identification card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only- under14, under 18if a student)
  • School records (dependents only- under 14, under18if a student)

When should I apply for an ITIN?

You should complete Form W-7 as soon as you are ready to file your federal income tax return, since you need to attach the return to your application. If you meet one of the exceptions to the tax filing requirement, submit Form W-7, along withthe documents that prove your identity and foreign status and the required supplementaldocuments to substantiate your qualification for the exception, as soon as possible after you determine that you are covered by that exception. You can apply for an ITIN any time during the year; however, if the tax return you attach to Form W-7 is filed after the return’s due date, you may owe interest and/or penalties. You should file your current year return by the prescribeddue dateto avoid this.

How and when can I expect to receive my ITIN?

If you qualify for an ITIN and your application is complete, you will receive a letter from the IRS assigning your tax identification number, usually within six weeks. If you have not received your ITIN or other correspondence six weeks after applying, you may call the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040to request the status of your application.

Are ITINs valid for identification?

No. ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system. Since ITINs are strictly for tax processing, IRS does not apply the same standards as agencies that provide genuine identity certification. ITIN applicants are not required to apply in person, and IRS does not further validate the authenticity of identity documents. ITINs do not prove identity outside the Federal tax system, and should not be offered or accepted as identification for non-tax purposes.

Are ITINs valid for work purposes?

No. ITINs are for federal income tax purposes only. Getting an ITIN does not change your immigration status or your right to work in the United States.

Can ITINs be used as proof of identification to obtain a state drivers license?

No. ITINs are not valid for identification outside the tax system. For more information access the DMV communication provided to the state departments of motor vehicles.

What do I do when I am assigned a social security number (SSN)?

Once you receive a SSN, you must use that number for tax purposes and discontinue using your ITIN. It is improper to use both the ITIN and the SSN assigned to the same person to file tax returns. It is your responsibility to notify the IRS so we can combine all of your tax records under one identification number. If you do not notify the IRS when you are assigned a SSN, you may not receive credit for all wages paid and taxes withheld which could reduce the amount of any refund due. You can visit a local IRS office or write a letter explaining that you have now been assigned a SSN and want your tax records combined. Include your complete name, mailing address, and ITIN along with a copy of your social security card and a copy of the CP 565, Notice of ITIN Assignment, if available. The IRS will void the ITIN and associate all prior tax information filed under the ITIN with the SSN. Send your letter to: Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0057

What information is available for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellers?

Foreign buyers and sellers of U.S. real property interests need Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) to request reduced tax withholding when disposing of the property interest, and to pay any required withholding.Individuals who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers may obtain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to meet the requirement to supply aTIN. Click ITIN Guidance for Foreign Property Buyers/Sellersfor more information.

Tax return now a stress-free moment

★★★★★
5 5 1
I am delighted of my experience with Horward. It kept me away from a tremendous source of stress. Since I am a Canadian, my case had some complication from a foreign account which he handled perfectly. I clearly see the benefit of working with Howard rather than of using a big tax filling firm. He is focused on your particular case and gives you a useful feedback for your next year. I am looking forward to work with Howard next year for my tax return.

Great Experience

★★★★★
5 5 1
The first thing I can say was I have had a Great Experience with Howard, I did my Taxes last year using Turbo tax and that same year I had bought a Home. I thought that the program had lacked in asking various Questions that I believed I could use as Deductions. Howard told me he would take the time to go over my return with a Fine Tooth Comb to see if he could increase my Last Year’s return. I have used the other services before to do my Taxes and believed that the preparer’s were looking at me as just a small part of their day, with Howard he takes the time to look at the Big Picture to help guide you into next Year’s Return. His one on one approach is very refreshing. I would Highly Recommend using Howard’s service to do your Taxes in the future.

...one of the most genuine, sincere and dedicated people I know

★★★★★
5 5 1
Howard Griffel, the proprietor of Accurate Tax Service Prep is one of the most genuine, sincere and dedicated people I know. You see, I met Mr. Griffel several years ago, quite by accident, while I was working at one of those big home stores. He was a just another customer that approached me with a question concerning an item he wanted to buy. I don’t exactly remember why, but somehow the question of taxes came up. Howard seemed like a kind enough person. So I shared a confidence with him, quietly so that no one else could hear. I whispered that I had not yet filed my taxes for the current year and, in fact, hadn’t filed the year before either. I explained that my wife had died about 6 months earlier. She was the organized one who took care of all money related matters. I also told him that I couldn’t even find where she had placed the papers I needed to even begin to think about filing. He looked at me with an air of quiet confidence and simply said, I can help you with all that if you’d like. He gave me his card and said to call. I thought about it for a bit and the rest is history. It took a long time and hard work but we got everything we needed to file the prior year’s tax return. Then got the current one finished as well. I will never fall behind again nor with I trust anyone else with getting my taxes done either. In fact, I recently bought property in Florida and plan to move soon. Just to be sure, I’ve checked if Howard can do Florida taxes, too. Accurate Tax Services is open all year round. ATSP is always available to answer questions. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage and or simply can’t find the answer to something you need immediately because you’re on a deadline. Don’t worry, ATSP always has the answers to your tax questions and financial matters even if you don’t. If you are looking for someone with expert knowledge, honesty and integrity who you can always trust with your taxes and other financial concerns, look no further than Accurate Tax Services Prep and Howard Griffel. I stopped looking several years ago and you will stop too. He is the best, hardest working and honest person that I have found for my personal taxes. I no longer have to worry about getting my taxes done correctly and on time. He saved me in a very difficult time in my life and I will be forever grateful.

Great Service

★★★★★
5 5 1
I needed help on a Sunday, I goggled services, Howard called me right away to set up an appointment.Howard is knowledgeable, quick. I would highly recommend Accurate Tax and I will be using them again next year.

Couldn't be happier

★★★★★
5 5 1
I wish I had come around his services sooner. I'm 27 and this whole tax season is new and intimidating. There was no need for him to sit in front of me and just do my taxes with little to no small talk. We went through the information togerher, he did them, and met up the next day to explain all the numbers, the math, any questions I had, and what I can change in the future. He knows what he is talking about and it helps he is vey personable. I left feeling relieved, a little wiser and well taken care of.

Good Tax Prep

★★★★★
5 5 1
Howard is Very Knowledgeable on finances, the way taxes work and business in general. His value is so much higher than the price of his services. I definatly recommend his services.

Do yourself a favor, use Accurate Tax Services Prep

★★★★★
5 5 1
Accurate Tax Services Prep has done my taxes for the 3rd year now. I have found Howard Griffel to be one of the most diligent Tax Accounts in the business. What makes Accurate Tax Services Prep/ Howard stand out? His vast knowledge of the business. Willingness to go the “extra mile” for getting my taxes done correctly. His courteous manner, getting back to me in a timely, and taking time to go over any questions I have in detail. I highly recommended Howard Griffel to Family Members and Friends, and will continue to use Accurate Tax Services Prep. Do yourself a favor, use Accurate Tax Services Prep once and you will use them for years to come.

He drove to meet me.

★★★★★
5 5 1
I was impressed with Mr. Griffel accuracy and proficiency in his work. He also provides door to door service which now days is a tremendous asset.

Thank you Accurate Tax Services Prep

★★★★★
5 5 1
I have been a client of Accurate Tax Services Prep since Mr. Griffel open his office in 2012. Mr. Griffel is a down-to-earth, courteous professional who makes his customers feel comfortable and takes the time to answer and explain any questions you may have. I highly recommend ATSP to all my family and friends. Thank you Accurate Tax Services Prep.

Tax season has always been a very difficult time for me.

★★★★★
5 5 1
I would like to take this time to express my appreciation for Accurate Tax Services Prep. Tax season has always been a very difficult time for me. In my position as a cook at the V.A Medical Hospital I usually work my regular 40­hour work plus many hours of overtime. It's very challenging to make sure that I understand my taxes and where I stand with deductions. In prior years, I have gone to tax services that I was not completely satisfied with. Accurate Tax Services Prep renewed my hope in tax season again. I have found Mr. Griffel to be courteous and truly professional. Over the last 3 years, he has helped me file my 1040 and Schedule C for a small business I own and run. He is knowledgeable about all the tax laws and takes the time to make sure my tax return is done correctly. I would recommend Accurate Tax services to anyone who values great customer service. Tax season is a time that you should have peace of time, and I have found just that. I look forward to being a long term customer for years to come.

Amazing Help with Amended Returns

★★★★★
5 5 1
I have been a client of Accurate Tax Services Prep since 2012. That was the year I was introduced to ATSP. At our first meeting, they uncovered that a granddaughter that had been living with me for a number of years was a dependent that I never claimed. After allowing Accurate Tax Services Prep to file my 2012 taxes, they went back 3 years and filed an Amended Returns for each year. Because they were so thorough, I got back additional refunds for each of the years missed by other tax preparation services. I feel very confident with Mr. Griffel. Every time I meet with him, I am very impressed with his professionalism. This is the only place I will trust to prepare my taxes. I love the fact that they are open year-round and are available to answer any questions I may have. Thank you Accurate Tax Services for all you have done for me.

How Do I Claim My Dependents As A Resident Alien

★★★★★
5 5 1
Howard knows the rules inside out and keeps calm in difficult situations.His background with both the FBI and a tax preparer give him a unique perspective and presence.He is the kid of guy you want on your side in difficult situations.

About Howard

★★★★★
5 5 1
Howard is very detail oriented and caring! It's a great combination.