International students face numerous challenges when they come to the United States. They have to navigate the US tax system, find ways to fund their education and access basic services such as banking. However, obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) can make things easier for them. Here are some ways that international students can use an ITIN:
1. Filing Taxes: ITINs enable international students to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The US tax system is complex, and international students are often unsure about what forms they need to file and how to claim tax deductions. However, with an ITIN, they can file their taxes accurately and efficiently.
2. Obtaining a Driver’s License: In many states, international students need an ITIN to obtain a driver’s license. A driver’s license is important for transportation, especially in rural areas where public transportation is limited.
3. Accessing Banking Services: Many financial institutions require a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to open a bank account or apply for a credit card. However, international students who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) cannot obtain a TIN. An ITIN can serve as an alternative to a TIN, enabling international students to access banking services and manage their finances more effectively.
4. Renting an Apartment: Landlords often require tenants to provide a TIN or SSN when signing a lease. International students who do not have a TIN or SSN may face difficulties in renting an apartment. However, an ITIN can be used as an alternative to a TIN or SSN.
5. Establishing Credit: International students who plan to stay in the US after completing their studies need to establish a credit history. A good credit history is important for obtaining loans, renting an apartment, and obtaining a credit card. However, international students who do not have a TIN or SSN may find it difficult to establish credit. An ITIN can serve as an alternative to a TIN or SSN, enabling international students to establish a credit history.
6. Receiving Scholarships and Grants: If international students receive scholarships, grants, or monetary awards from their university, they may require proof that they have applied for an ITIN before they can receive their check.
7. Completing an Application for an Educational Loan: International students may need to complete part of an application for an educational loan using their ITIN.
8. Accepting One-time Payments: International students can use their ITIN to accept one-time payments such as honorariums for delivering a lecture.
9. Filing Annual US Federal Tax Return: International students who have received taxable money in the US can use their ITIN to file their annual federal tax return.