Certifying Acceptance Agent

Certifying Acceptance Agent, what does it mean to you?

An Acceptance Agent is a person or an entity (business or organization) who, pursuant to a written agreement with the IRS, is authorized to assist individuals and other foreign persons who do not qualify for a Social Security Number, but who still need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to process a Form 1040 and other tax schedules.  The Acceptance Agent facilitates the application process by reviewing the necessary documents and forwarding the completed forms to IRS.

Certifying Acceptance Agents review applicants’ documentation, complete a certificate of accuracy, and forward the certificate and application to the IRS for processing.  If an Acceptance Agent cannot complete the certificate of accuracy, the original identification documents must be mailed to IRS.  Certifying Acceptance Agents do not act as agents of the IRS, nor are they authorized to hold themselves out to be agents of the IRS.

What is an ITIN?

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 from the Social Security Administration.

ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have U.S. tax return and payment responsibilities 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 documents are acceptable as proof of identity and foreign status?

IRS has streamlined the number of documents the agency will accept as proof of identity to obtain an ITIN.  There are now 13 acceptable documents.

An original or certified copy of an unexpired passport is the only document that is accepted for both identity and foreign status.  If you do not have a passport, you must provide a combination of current documents that contain expiration dates.  The IRS will accept documents issued within 12 months of the application, if no expiration date is normally available.  The documents must also show your name and photograph, and support your claim of foreign status.

IRS will accept certified copies of a combination (two or more) of the following documents, in lieu of a passport:

  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • U.S. driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate
  • 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 – under 14 years old – only)
  • School records (dependents and/or students – under 25 years old – only)

What this means to you

Without an Acceptance Agent, you are required to either send the IRS original documents such as you passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, etc. (which we would never recommend because who knows if or when you would ever get them back), or you must have an officer at an overseas U.S. Embassy or Consulate provide certification and authentication services (this is typically an impractical solution because of the time and travel that may be required).

Cross Border Tax & Accounting (CBTA) can help

CBTA is a Certifying Acceptance Agent and for a modest fee, we can certify your documents, complete the IRS form W-7 and send everything to the IRS for approval.  The IRS says you are to expect 4-6 weeks before you receive your ITIN.

If you would like for us to help you, contact at info@cbta.net or call toll-free at 800-394-9462.

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