Wednesday, February 18, 2004

New IRS rule says people requesting individual taxpayer ID number must file tax return first

People without social security numbers, including legal and illegal immigrants, need an individual taxpayer ID number (ITIN) to identify themselves to the Internal Revenue Service when they pay their taxes.

"The ITINs have been used by Tennessee residents who are otherwise ineligible for social security numbers, such as people on temporary working visas."

"In addition, many illegal aliens in Tennessee have applied for the ITIN to establish bank accounts and get insurance, said Jose Gonzalez, co-founder of Conexion Americas, which provides assistance and resources to Hispanics in Middle Tennessee."

"Conexion American estimates that 65 percent of the approximately 120,000 Hispanics in Middle Tennessee are undocumented."

"About a quarter of the ITINs issued for tax return purposes never actually find their way onto a return, said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. He announced recently that from now on, all W-7 forms that are used to apply for ITINs must be accompanied by a tax return."

"The IRS also will change the appearance of the ITIN from a card to an authorization letter to avoid any possible similarities with a social security number card. An ITIN always starts with the numeral 9."

"Gonzalez said his organization supports the move."

"'Our organization is about the promotion of integration and that's what we preach to our constituent base, that you are in this country and regardless of your immigration status, you need to participate, and there's some mechanisms for you to do it,' he said."

Nashville City Paper

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