Form W-7 Checklist
(Rev. December 2012)
This brochure is a tool to assist Acceptance Agents or Tax Professionals
complete their client’s Form W-7 with the required supporting identification
and supplemental exception documentation if applicable, and to ensure
taxpayer understanding of the requirements for obtaining an ITIN. See
Publication 1915, Understanding Your IRS ITIN, for specific details and
examples of completed/filled out Forms W-7.
(Do not attach the checklist to the W-7 but keep it for your information).
If you are an Acceptance Agent (certifying or non-certifying) or Tax
Professional, it is important to inform all applicants of the following ITIN
restrictions before completing a W-7 application:
• The ITIN cannot be used to claim the earned income tax credit as defined
under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code, nor for non-tax purposes
such as to obtain a driver’s license.
• The assignment of an ITIN does not change the applicant’s immigration
status or entitle them to legal employment in the United States.
• The ITIN does not take the place of an SSN or qualify the applicant for
Social Security benefits.
• The applicant who may be eligible for an SSN presently or in the future
must apply for one from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If they
are assigned an SSN, the ITIN if assigned will be revoked and can no
longer be used.
You must also explain the information required by Form W-7 and that IRS
may communicate information about the applicant to the acceptance agent
or to a representative with a valid power of attorney. Point out that Form
W-7 is signed under penalties of perjury and the consequences for making
false statements or providing incorrect or false documentation.
The following is a list of items to help you complete Form W-7 with
quality and accuracy:
Use the most current version of Form W- 7. The instructions can
change with each revision and may contain new exhibits or criteria for
Determine if the applicant is eligible for an SSN. Direct them to apply for
one at the SSA if they are eligible, or have them obtain a denial letter to
attach to Form W-7 if the SSA determines they are not.
Ensure there is a federal tax purpose for obtaining the ITIN, such as
filing a federal tax return. An ITIN must not be used outside the tax
system as a form of personal identification.
Attach a federal tax return to Form W-7 or supplemental exception
documentation in lieu of a tax return. See Instructions for Form W-7 or
Publication 1915 for examples.
Ensure the number of completed Forms W-7 matches the number of
dependent exemptions claimed on the federal tax return. For example, if
you complete three dependent applications you should list three
dependents on the federal tax return.
Discuss with the applicant or their authorized representative, what is
acceptable Form W-7 supporting identification and/or supplemental
Accept only supporting identification documentation that are on the list
of acceptable documents described in Instructions for Form W-7 and in
Publication 1915. Ensure they are original or certified copies by the
Accept only supporting identification documentation that prove the
applicant’s identity and foreign status. A passport is the only document
that can be used to prove both. Otherwise, you must submit two
documents of which one must have a recent photograph; except for
applicants under 18 years of age.
Attach supplemental exception documentation when the applicant
meets an “exception” to filing a federal tax return. See Form W-7
instructions or Publication 1915 for examples.
Ensure that a Form 2848 Power of Attorney or evidence of Court-
Appointed Guardian is attached, if applicable.
Attach the Certifying Acceptance Agent’s required Certificate of
Accuracy for each W-7 completed. This does not apply to non-certifying
agents or other tax professionals.
Complete the Acceptance Agent’s portion of Form W-7 applicable to all
acceptance agents. This does not apply to all others completing Form
W-7 unless they are approved as an acceptance agent.
Verify that Form W-7 is appropriately signed by the applicant, or a
parent if applicant is under 18 years of age, or a court-appointed
guardian or valid power of attorney.
For more information on Form W-7 and requirements, visit
search ITIN. Look for helpful Frequently Asked Questions and Answers.
Spanish-speaking applicants can find the same information at
and search ITIN.
Comments and Suggestions
We value and appreciate your comments and suggestions. Send them by
or write to IRS ITIN Policy Section MS
97WI, 401 W. Peachtree St NW, Atlanta GA 30308.
(Rev.12-2012) Cat. No. 55178N Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service