What is an ITIN?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to non-resident aliens who are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) but will receive taxable payments through the A/P system, such as fellowships, scholarships, awards, and honorariums. [Note: non-resident aliens paid through the payroll system must obtain an SSN]. The ITIN is a 9-digit number that starts with the number “9” and has either the number “7” or “8” as the fourth digit. Examples: 9XX-7X-XXXX or 9XX-8X-XXXX.
An individual who needs an ITIN number must complete and submit IRS Form W-7. Additional supporting documentation is also required to be submitted with Form W-7. Please see the instructions for completing the W-7 form and which types of documentation are acceptable at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf. One of the items that typically needs to be submitted is a letter showing you applied for a SSN and were denied. However, If you're a student on an F1, J1, or M1 visa who won't e working while studying in the United States, you won't have to apply for a SSN. You will be permitted to provide a letter from teh Designated School Official (DSO) or Responsible Officer (RO) stating that you won't be securing employment in the U.S. or receiving any type of income from personal services. This letter is available from the International Center.
Although Tufts strongly recommends non-residents obtain a U.S. tax identification number, payment can be made without one. Such payments are fully taxed at a 30% rate. Reduced rates and/or exemption under a tax treaty are not allowed. An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is obtained by completing IRS Form W-7. By having the ITIN you may be taxed at a lower rate and/or can file a tax return and potentially get the money back.