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Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Old Jan 8th 2015, 10:20 pm
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Default Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

So...having a weird situation - in order to submit my tax returns need ITINs for the kids (wife and I have SSN - we are here on L1/L2 visas) - in order to get THOSE i need certified copies of the passports.

The tax people tell me the British consulate needs to do it, the consulate tells me the local IRS office needs to do it - and the IRS office say they can't certify the passports without the tax return itself, which I don't think can be submitted without the certified passports...

I'm pretty sure that I'm just being very dense about this but...wtf? How have people got around this? Is it catch 22 or just rtfm???

Thank you!

Confused of the Bay Area
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

we were told we had to get ITINs for the kids and I was supposed to go to the tax office to do it and leave the passports (not certified BTW) with them - I guess what they wanted to see were the relevant visas. No mention of needing the passports certified though.

Turns out that they didn't need ITINs in the end because we have green cards and I just got them SS numbers instead. Can't you get SS numbers for the kids?
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 2:07 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Turns out that they didn't need ITINs in the end because we have green cards and I just got them SS numbers instead. Can't you get SS numbers for the kids?
With most non-immigrant status, including L2 dependent, children cannot normally get Social Security Numbers.
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Can't you get SS numbers for the kids?
No, because they aren't eligible for a EAD.

As for the question, possibly try another office?
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 2:20 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by mrlion View Post
So...having a weird situation - in order to submit my tax returns need ITINs for the kids (wife and I have SSN - we are here on L1/L2 visas) - in order to get THOSE i need certified copies of the passports.

The tax people tell me the British consulate needs to do it, the consulate tells me the local IRS office needs to do it - and the IRS office say they can't certify the passports without the tax return itself, which I don't think can be submitted without the certified passports...
Who are the "tax people". Is that your CPA?

As far as I understand, the IRS needs to see the original passport. The standard process is that you bring the completed tax return, plus completed W-7 forms, plus children's passports, etc. to a participating IRS office. They copy the passports, return them to you, and forward your tax return with forms to the relevant IRS campus.

Alternative approach. There are approved Acceptance Agents who can certify copies of passports. The British Consulate is not one of these, but there are details on the IRS website.

If taking one of these options, you may wish to extend the deadline to complete your tax return using form 4868.

By the way - you can file your tax returns without ITINs for the children. It just means you can't claim them as dependents. Occasionally, this makes no difference to the federal tax you pay, if you are affected by Alternative Minimum Tax. If you are planning to get green cards soon, there may also be the option of amending your federal tax return later on when the children have Social Security Numbers. However, there are time limits to do this and amended tax returns are always best avoided, wherever possible. Discuss in more detail with your CPA, if you want to understand the option further, and also consider how any decision affects State taxes.
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

JAJ - that makes sense! Thank you very much. I think i was misunderstanding what happens with the certification...so what you're saying if I understand correctly is...someone can certify a copy, in which case I don't need to send the passports along with the completed W7 forms - OR I have to send the passports themselves, along with the forms - then they get returned once the IRS has certified that they're correct?
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Whatever you do, don't send your children's passports away to the IRS. Applying in person at a participating IRS office may instead be recommended.
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by mrlion
if I understand correctly is...someone can certify a copy, in which case I don't need to send the passports along with the completed W7 forms
That is what I did. Took the passports into a "notary public" office (there are loads of them around) who for about $20 made a copy and stamped it and I sent those copies off to the IRS.

Caveat - that was 10 years ago - the rules may have changed since then.
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 3:50 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

We had to sort this out in October 2014 and we were not given the option of a certified copy of a passport to send. Even going to the local tax office meant leaving the passport with them and they would send it back to us. This is why I queried it with our accountant.

This is a copy of the form we received and you'll see it doesn't have "certified copy" as an option. If you can do this then great but as JAJ says I wouldn't send off the childrens' passports if you can avoid it.
http://www.irs.gov/pub/notices/cp566_english.pdf
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Old Jan 9th 2015, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Ok. Looks I'm well out of date here. Sorry for giving false hope
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Old Jan 11th 2015, 5:09 am
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by fozzyb View Post
Ok. Looks I'm well out of date here.
Rules changed in 2013.
Obtaining an ITIN from Abroad


Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
We had to sort this out in October 2014 and we were not given the option of a certified copy of a passport to send. Even going to the local tax office meant leaving the passport with them and they would send it back to us. This is why I queried it with our accountant.
Sounds unusual. I would expect most participating IRS offices to either certify documents straight away (although you might have to wait) or let you come back the next day or so to collect the documents. List of offices from the IRS website:
Taxpayer Assistance Center Locations Where In-Person Document Review is Provided

IRS offices overseas also provide document verification:
Contact My Local Office Internationally

Although in your case - where the children had green cards - they should never be applying for ITIN. Where someone is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, or otherwise has the right to work in the U.S., that person should always have a Social Security Number.

There's also the Acceptance Agent program:
Acceptance Agent Program
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Old Jan 12th 2015, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

JAJ is correct, but Certified Acceptance Agents cannot certify passports for children; you'll have to take the package to an IRS office.
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Old Jan 12th 2015, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
but Certified Acceptance Agents cannot certify passports for children; you'll have to take the package to an IRS office.
Really? The IRS says that Certified Acceptance Agents can certify documents for both primary and secondary applicants.
2013 ITIN Updated Procedures Frequently Asked Questions
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Old Jan 13th 2015, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by JAJ View Post
Really? The IRS says that Certified Acceptance Agents can certify documents for both primary and secondary applicants.
2013 ITIN Updated Procedures Frequently Asked Questions
The IRS say here that CAAs can deal with primary and secondary applicants but not dependents:
Updated ITIN Procedure Changes Announced
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Old Jan 13th 2015, 11:39 pm
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Default Re: Getting ITINs for the kids..conflicting advice

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
The IRS say here that CAAs can deal with primary and secondary applicants but not dependents:
Updated ITIN Procedure Changes Announced
Interesting. So a "secondary applicant" is defined as a spouse, where he or she is not filing a tax return? And a CAA can certify this person's passport, but not that of a child or other dependent?

Unless, of course, the child/dependent is filing his or her own tax return or needs an ITIN for another stand-alone reason. In which case the child/dependent could presumably then become a primary applicant.
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