Who Needs an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
In general, ITINs are assigned by the IRS to individuals who are required to have a Tax Identification Number but are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other forms of identification.
You may need an ITIN if you are a:
- U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return and are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number
- Non-resident alien filing a tax return and are not eligible to receive a Social Security Number
- Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
- Dependent of a spouse of a non-resident alien visa holder
You can receive an ITIN regardless of your immigration status in the U.S. because both resident and nonresident individuals may have U.S. tax returns and payment responsibilities. Basically, if you don’t have an exception to file taxes in the U.S. and don’t have a social security number, you can receive a ITIN from the IRS.
Can I Apply for a Mortgage with Just My Tax-ID (ITIN)?
Despite what you may have heard, someone without a social security number can in fact own a home. Your Tax-ID (ITIN) can be used to apply for a home mortgage, so you can purchase and own a home.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Not everyone qualifies for a SSN. For example, you might not qualify if you are not a United States citizen or if you do not meet certain government requirements such as the dependent test. Those who do meet the requirements are able to obtain an ITIN by completing a Form W-7, as well as completing supplemental documents that help with the confirmation of being a nonresident in the U.S.
Social Security Number (SSN)
Most likely, you already have a basic understanding of Tax Identification Numbers if you are familiar with the concept of Social Security Numbers. They are the most common forms of TIN’s and are frequently applied for by parents on behalf of their children for the purpose of income taxes. This process is often free, but it can include certain fees for new parents in which they use a SSN to claim the child as a dependent.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
You may have also heard of an EIN. EINs are used by employers, sole proprietors, corporations, LLCs, partnerships, non-profit associations, trusts, estates of decedents, government agencies, certain individuals, and other business entities. Companies use an EIN number for identification when paying taxes. This number does not apply to you for the purposes of obtaining a home mortgage. However, in the future it may be beneficial to obtain an EIN.
Without one you cannot:
- Protect your personal assets such as your home
- Start a business
- Set up a retirement account
Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
An Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number is used as a temporary number for a child with adoptive parents who cannot obtain a Social Security Number.
Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
This is an identification number that a paid tax return preparer uses when preparing U.S. federal tax returns or claims that are to be submitted to the IRS. If you have someone who prepares a substantial portion of your tax return for you and charges you a fee, they must receive a PTIN from the IRS.
1. No Social Security Card Needed
If you are not a United States resident (alien) or if you do not meet certain government requirements for a Social Security number, you are able to still be identified by the government through an ITIN NUMBER. This number will allow you to follow and abide by the U.S tax laws, as well as productively process and account for tax returns and payments for individuals not qualified for Social Security Numbers (SSNs).
- No Green Card Needed
Your ITIN allows you take out a Tax ID loan out without showing legal residency in the U.S.
- Use it to refinance Mortgages
With a proper ITIN you can get a Tax ID loan that allows you to find funds for something once again with a new loan. This is all done by revising an interest rate, payment schedule and terms of a previous credit agreement. Often homeowners tend to refinance mortgages to take advantage of a more beneficial interest rate in which potential savings on debt payment can be created from a brand-new refinancing agreement. Owning a home is expensive enough, but if you want to take advantage of the real estate market interest rates, a Tax ID can do that for you.
Real life example: This often happens in real estate involving mortgages getting refinances due to a change in interest rate environment. As the interest rates for mortgages fall, there is more incentive for homeowners to refinance, as interest rates increase, there is less incentive for refinancing of mortgages to happen.
- You Can Build Credit with an ITIN
Building credit has and always be incredibly important in the prosperity of one’s own personal life. You cannot take out large loans such as a mortgage or student loan without good credit. As a non-U. S citizen/ foreigner you can build up your credit to a good level with the use of an ITIN.
- It is Better than Hard Money Loans
Hard money, now that may sound confusing to some. A hard money loan is a non-traditional loan made through individuals or investors who lend money based on property used as collateral. They are more concerned with the value of the property used as a “guarantee” of money in case you do not pay your loan. However, these loans are incredibly expensive with double digit interest rates. Tax ID loans are the better route when using your ITIN to obtain a long-term loan such as a mortgage. Hard money loans are risky and not as reliable meant for a short-term period of time.
- The Application Process is available online
The whole process can be done online, all you need is a computer and proper internet access to get one step closer to your dream home. The application process for an ITIN is simple and easy and is easily done by filling out the form called Form W-7. In addition, the completion of some supplemental documents that help with the confirmation of being a nonresident in the U.S. are need.
- Living the American Dream
The American dream is evidently most people’s dream goal to achieve in life. It is something almost anyone is able to achieve even as a non-U. S Citizen, with the help advantage of obtaining an Individual tax Identification number and getting a Tax ID loan. Through lending groups, a Tax Id loan can help you become a first-time homeowner.
As great as getting a Tax ID loan is, it is also important to be aware of the disadvantages and consider your own personal circumstance.
- Time Constraints
The process of obtaining an Individual Tax Identification number is quite a simple task through completing the steps on the IRS’s website https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w7. However, it can take up to 4-6 weeks to obtain your official number which can be quite a bit of time if you are in urgent need for an ITIN. Official government forms can be a bit tedious and meticulous to fill out, and the government can refuse to send you an ITIN if there are no misspellings or false information.
- Higher Interest Rates
Loans taken out with Individual Tax ID Numbers tend to have high interest rates which should be taken into consideration.
- Higher Denied Rates
When applying for anything going through the government, it is important to be aware of rejection. We know, rejection is never a fun word to deal with, but we are putting this in so you are fully aware of what can happen when applying for an ITIN, and how it doesn’t happen to you. In 2013 over 300,000 applications were denied, practically 50% of applications. This is mainly since supporting identification documents were not unacceptable and not proper forms of identification. This can be easily avoidable with proper documentation being provided, and if you are unsure, there are many resources and government workers called accepted agents
That can assist with any issues.
- Most Banks are not providing them
Most banks do not offer Tax ID loans using ITINs so it can become a limited service depending on your location.
- Higher Down Payment
When lending loans to illegal immigrants with the use of an ITIN, lenders may require a more expensive down payment due to the risk of deportation even though it may be unlikely.
Overall, when done properly, a Tax ID loan can truly become the most beneficial step you make in your life to further your home ownership dreams.