Individual taxpayer identification numbers

United States Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the cost?
Fees range between NZ $350-NZ $550 plus GST for the application and submission, based on our time and attendance, plus disbursements.

2. What do we do in our role as Certifying Acceptance Agents?

a) We will review and confirm your eligibility for an ITIN.

b) We will review and confirm the method by which you must apply for an ITIN. Some ITIN applications must be accompanied by a United States Federal income tax return; some may be submitted without one. If the correct method is not used the application will be rejected and a new application will be required to be submitted.

c) We will collect information by way of sighting identification, usually your valid passport, for the purpose of discharging our obligations to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify the following information about the applicant:

  1. Foreign status.
  2. Identification.
  3. Reason for request (must meet one of the criteria for applying as set out by the IRS).
  4. The individual is not eligible for a Social Security Number.
  5. Whether the individual has applied for an ITIN before.

d) We will advise you on what third party documentation is required to be submitted with your application. The nature of the documentation is prescribed and specific to the reason for the application. Examples of third party documentation that might be required include:

  1. excerpt from a partnership or LLC agreement displaying the entity's employer identification number and showing that you are a partner in the partnership that is conducting business in the United States, OR
  2. signed letter from the bank requesting an ITIN, on bank letterhead, stating your name, that you have opened a business account, and confirming that you are required to obtain an ITIN for Federal reporting and/or withholding purposes, OR
  3. signed letter from the withholding agent, on official letterhead, stating your name and verifying that an ITIN is required to make distributions to you during the current tax year that are subject to IRS information reporting or Federal tax withholding.

3. How long does it take to obtain an ITIN using a CAA?
Typically 4 to 6 weeks, although the time ultimately depends on the IRS. 

4. What are the benefits in using a CAA?

  1. Convenience, in that the passport can be sent to us, or brought in to us, for certification, and need not be sent to the IRS,
  2.  increased likelihood that the ITIN will be issued by way of accuracy through engaging experienced practitioners to prepare the submission,
  3. shortened time for processing and receipt of the ITIN; and
  4. we have a dedicated department in the IRS that we liaise with on the application where necessary.

5. Are CAAs agents of the IRS?
Beyond our CAA agreement with the IRS, no.

6. Why is there a cost for this service?
There is skill and expertise required in order to successfully obtain an ITIN. This extends beyond rote form completion to the extent that CAAs are now required to undertake forensic document training. It takes just one minor detail, usually an omission on Form W-7, for the IRS to reject an application. We provide value for the investment you make when engaging us, to maximise the likelihood of having the application accepted the first time.


Page last updated 30 October 2014