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    INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS (ITIN) QUESTIONS

 

What is an ITIN? Who needs one?

An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a tax identification number that is only available to individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN), such as non-resident aliens who do not have employment (e.g. receiving scholarships only), or a Short Term International Visitor who is not employed by USC or anyone else in the US.

University Payroll Services will assist an employee, stipend or fellowship recipient, or short term visitor (honoraria, consultant, etc) in this process.

 

Who must apply for an ITIN?

  • A non-resident alien who is receiving an honoraria or payment for professional services and who does not already have a SSN or ITIN and wishes to take advantage of a tax treaty. (An individual receiving an honoraria who cannot or does not wish to take advantage of a tax treaty can only apply for an ITIN from the IRS directly upon filing a US Tax Return (Form 1040NR).

  • A non-resident alien who is receiving payment from USC in the form of a scholarship, award or fellowship and who is not employed at USC, and who does not already have a SSN or ITIN, regardless of whether or not there is a tax treaty covering scholarships between the US and the non-resident alien's country of residence.

NOTE: If a non-resident alien already has a SSN or ITIN number, there is NO need to apply for a new ITIN. Departments: be sure to ask a Short Term International Visitor or scholarship, award, or fellowship recipient if they have a United States issued Social Security Number or ITIN number before making an ITIN appointment with University Payroll Services. (Canadian "Social Insurance Numbers" are similar to a US Social Security Number, but are not acceptable.)

A taxpayer ID number must be present, or have been applied for, in the following situations:

  • A Short Term International Visitor receiving an honoraria, who is eligible to claim a treaty. NOTE: The treaty can only be granted if the visitor either has a SSN or ITIN. However, if the visitor does not already have either of those numbers, but applies for an ITIN through USC, the treaty can be granted.

  • Scholarship or Fellowship (non-employee) recipient. NOTE: The treaty can only be granted if the non-resident alien either has a SSN or ITIN. However, if the person does not already have either of those numbers, but applies for an ITIN through USC, the treaty can be granted.

  • Any payments made are taxed where there is no taxpayer ID number, and no application for such a number has been made. University Payroll Services will not issue a refund. The individual must apply for the refund when filling their tax return with the IRS.

A taxpayer ID number is not required for:

  • Short Term International Visitor receiving an honoraria or payments for professional services who is not claiming a treaty, or receiving reimbursement only.

 

How do I apply for an ITIN?

Remember: An ITIN need only be applied for when:

  • You do not already have an Individual Taxpayer ID Number ("ITIN") or a Social Security Number ("SSN");
  • You are not being employed by USC;
  • You are a scholarship recipient (whether or not you are claiming a tax treaty);
  • Or you are a consultant, independent contractor, or honoraria recipient claiming a tax treaty.

DO NOT apply for an ITIN:

  • If you already have an ITIN or SSN;
  • If you are also employed by USC (in which case you must apply for a Social Security Number instead);
  • If you are a consultant, independent contractor, or honoraria recipient who is NOT claiming a tax treaty;
  • Or if you are a consultant, independent contractor, or honoraria recipient who is receiving a reimbursement only.

Step One:   Access Glacier.

To set up your access, provide your department contact with your email address. The department contact will then generate an email to you which will come from support@online-tax.net. This email will contain a user name and password to Glacier. Complete all questions, and print out all forms.

Step Two:   Make an ITIN Appointment with University Payroll Services (see below).

USC's Certified Acceptance Agents are authorized to assist non-resident aliens and accept applications for ITINs.
IMPORTANT: Applications are handled on an appointment basis only.

Email appointment requests to payroll@usc.edu*, or call us:
University Park Campus:   213-740-8855
Health Sciences Campus: 323-442-2775

* email is the preferred method to schedule an appointment

Step Three:   Bring the following to the appointment:

  1. Honoraria, Consultants, etc, claiming treaty only
    1. Copy of the compensation offer letter or invitation letter to attend a conference or speak at USC, or other evidence of services provided.
    2. Original Form 8233 or W-9 claiming treaty (form will be generated by Glacier)
    3. Completed Form W-7 generated by Glacier
    4. Passport & visa documentation (e.g. F-1, J-1, etc) or visa stamp in passport
    5. Glacier-generated "Tax Summary Form"
  2. Scholarship/Fellowship, claiming a treaty
    1. Copy of a letter or official notification from USC awarding the scholarship or fellowship
    2. Original W-8BEN (if claiming a treaty only, generated by Glacier)
    3. Signed "Designated School Official Letter" from OIS, addressed to the IRS, attesting that you are receiving a scholarship or fellowship and are not employed, or a Social Security "Denial Letter"
    4. Completed Form W-7 generated by Glacier
    5. Passport &visa documentation (e.g. F-1, J-1, etc)
    6. Glacier Tax Summary Form
  3. Scholarship/Fellowship, no treaty
    1. Copy of a letter or official notification from USC awarding the scholarship or fellowship
    2. Signed "Designated School Official Letter" from OIS, addressed to the IRS, attesting that the you are receiving a scholarship or fellowship and are not employed, or a Social Security "Denial Letter"
    3. Completed Form W-7 generated by Glacier
    4. Passport &visa documentation (e.g. F-1, J-1, etc)
    5. Glacier Tax Summary Form

For more information on ITINs, see IRS Publication 1915 at www.irs.gov under "Forms and Publications"

 

I've applied for my ITIN – what happens now?

University Payroll Services mails your ITIN application and supporting documentation to the IRS. The IRS will review the application, and issue the Individual Taxpayer ID Number; this process takes a minimum of 12 weeks. The IRS will send a letter to USC containing your new ITIN, which will be forwarded on to your local address.

 

What happens if I obtain employment?

Upon obtaining employment, you must apply for a Social Security Number and surrender your ITIN back to the IRS at that time. See Publication 1915 at www.irs.gov under "Forms and Publications" for more information.

 

 

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