To file a return electronically, the IRS requires a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for each person(s) listed on your return. If you, your dependent(s) or spouse does not have (and is not eligible to receive) a SSN, then you must list the ITIN instead of a SSN. If you, your spouse, or one of your dependents does not have one of these numbers, one must be applied for.
If you have already applied for one of the approved numbers and have not received it yet, you still cannot e-file your return. You must either wait until you receive the number and then e-file, or you must file on paper and follow the IRS 1040 instructions for this. A SSN or ITIN must be listed for each person on the return to be able to file electronically.
How do I request a Social Security Number?
To obtain a SSN, you will need to complete Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card (PDF). You also must submit evidence of your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status. For more information please see the Social Security web site.
How do I request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number(PDF) . The Form W-7 requires documentation explaining foreign/alien status and actual identity for each individual. You can chose to mail the documentation, along with the Form W-7, to the address shown in the Form W-7 Instructions, present it to IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through an Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS. Form W-7(SP), Solicitud de Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (PDF) is available for use by Spanish speakers.
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