The United States will usually consider you a tax resident if:
- You are an F-1 or J student and you entered the U.S. for the first time as an F or J student in 2017 or earlier. (This means that you have been in the U.S. as an F-1/J-1 student for more than five “calendar years.”
- You are a J-1 Scholar (the category on your DS-2019 is professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, or specialist) and you entered the U.S. for the first time as a J-1 scholar in 2020 or earlier.
Reasons you may need an ITIN: You may need an ITIN if you have U.S. source income, but are not eligible for a social security number. Your F-2 or J-2 dependents may need ITINs if you plan to include them in your federal (national) income tax return.
ITIN Application Procedure for tax residents
You may find it easiest to have an “acceptance agent” prepare your ITIN application. Costs vary – ask first! The IRS website has a list of acceptance agents in Michigan. There are several in Ann Arbor. If you prefer not to use an acceptance agent, follow the instructions below.
If you are a tax resident, read the instructions for Form W-7 and fill out and print Form W-7. Then:
- Request a "rejection letter" (also called a letter of ineligibiltiy) from the Ann Arbor Social Security Administration office. Fill out Form SS-5 and write “Letter of Ineligibility” at the top of the form. Mail the form to: Social Security Administration, 3971 Research Park Drive Suite A, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. No additional documents are required; just the form. The Ann Arbor Social Security Office will mail your Letter of Ineligibility to you in approximately three weeks.
- If the ITIN application is for your dependent, the dependent must follow the same procedure to request the “rejection letter.” The rejection letter shows that you (or your dependent) are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN).
- If you are unable to obtain a copy of your (or your dependent’s) passport picture page that has been certified by the issuing agency (your embassy or consulate), you can visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center and submit your tax return form, including Form W-7, in person. Make sure that the Taxpayer Assistance Center you visit can review your documents. The Detroit Taxpayer Assistance Center does offer this service.
Visiting the Detroit Taxpayer Assistance Center
- To visit the Taxpayer Assistance Center, you must call 844-545-5640 to make an appointment. Take your printed, signed tax form (including the ITIN application(s) and your original documents to the Taxpayer Assistance Center in Detroit, Michigan. Remember to keep a copy of your signed form for your records.
- The Taxpayer Assistance Center will verify your documents, return them to you, and accept your tax return and ITIN application.
- If you are applying for an ITIN for one or more dependents, your dependents must also go with you to the Taxpayer Assistance Center with their original documents.
- Once the IRS processes your ITIN application, the IRS will send you an ITIN authorization letter and you will receive more information regarding the processing of your tax return. Please note that if you are filing your ITIN application at peak tax processing times (March or April), this process can take months, although usually you will hear from the IRS within 6 weeks.
- If you are a J-1 student or scholar, do not apply for an ITIN for yourself. Apply for a Social Security Number.