Foreign National Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ITIN used for?
ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose.
Who needs an ITIN?
Anyone that is in one of the following categories and does not have, never has had, or is ineligible for U.S. Social Security Number:
- A Nonresident alien required to obtain an ITIN to claim a tax treaty benefit
- A Nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for a SSN
- A Nonresident alien filing a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund
- A U.S. resident alien (based on days present in the U.S.) filing a U.S. tax return and not eligible for a SSN
- Nonresident alien student, professor, or researcher filing a U.S. tax return
When should a nonresident alien apply for an ITIN?
If a nonresident alien wishes to obtain an ITIN to claim tax treaty benefits, the individual should complete the W-7 application as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the individual will need to submit original document (passport) unless they are able to go to a Taxpayer Assistance Center to have their document certified. The individual will also need to obtain supplemental documents to submit with the application.
If a nonresident alien needs to obtain an ITIN for tax reporting or filing, the individual should complete the W-7 application and submit the application with their federal income tax return.
Can an ITIN be obtained from abroad?
Yes, but with difficulty. IRS Offices outside the United States that can assist in the process are located in:
- Bonn, Germany
- London, England
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Paris, France
- Rome, Italy
- Tokyo, Japan
How long does it take to receive an ITIN?
It may take up to six weeks after the application is received by the IRS for the nonresident alien to receive correspondence (and original documents) in regards to the status of their application. In some cases, applications have to be resubmitted so it is recommended that the individual make copies of all documents sent to the IRS to speed the application process in the event they have to resubmit an application.
Do I need to obtain a SSN or ITIN for travel reimbursements?
Most travel expenses of international visitors are covered under KSU's accountable plan and the reimbursements are generally neither taxable nor reportable provided the expenses are substantiated with adequate documentation. A social security number or ITIN is NOT needed.
Can an international visitor be reimbursed per diem for their travel expenses?
Per diem can be reimbursed as a nontaxable and nonreportable reimbursement for international visitors who are covered under KSU's accountable plan up the amount of expenses the individual incurred. Any unused per diem should either be returned or should be treated as taxable compensation.
Does an international visitor have to wait until the visit is over to be reimbursed for their travel?
Some grants require that travel expenses (such as per diem) be provided to the international visitor upon arrival. In these situations departments may request an Imprest request to provide immediate payment to the visitor. Please contact Division of Financial Services for additional information.
Are payments to nonresident aliens for services performed outside the United States subject to U.S. tax withholding or reporting?
No. Payments to a nonresident alien for services performed entirely outside the United States are considered to be foreign source income and are not subject to U.S. tax withholding nor reporting requirements.