What is a Certifying Acceptance Agent

Certifying Acceptance Agent

As a Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA), Francesco Arcieri, EA, CAA. is authorized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to assist alien individuals and other foreign taxpayers who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) with applying for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Francesco Arcieri, EA, CAA. offers this service to its clients and foreign nationals to assist in the compliance with IRS tax filings and withholding regulations. Our formal agreement under Section 301.6109-1(d)(3)(iv)(A) of the U.S. Treasury Regulations with the IRS allows us to:

  •  Prepare the IRS Form W-7, Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). As ITIN specialists, we take the time to fully understand your situation so that we submit your Form W-7 application in accordance with the set rules and procedures, significantly helping to reduce any likelihood of your ITIN application being delayed or rejected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Following significant recent changes to the applications procedure, the IRS now requires individual applicants to provide either original identity documents (such as a valid passport or birth certificate) or a certified copy of acceptable ID documents from the original Issuing Agency.  Furthermore, the IRS no longer accepts notarized copies of such documents for the purposes of obtaining an ITIN.
  • Review the required supporting documentation to verify the applicant’s identity and foreign status.
  • Issue a Certificate of Accuracy to the IRS that the ITIN application is complete, accurate and that the documentation provided to us for review is authentic. This is limited to primary and secondary applicants. Applications for dependents will still require that originals documentation or certified copies from the issuing agency be mailed to IRS.
  • Submit the application on behalf of the foreign individual to the IRS ITIN Operations office for processing.
  • Receive the ITIN directly from the IRS and communicate directly with the IRS on behalf of the applicant with respect to the issuance of the ITIN.
  • Offer expedited ITIN application service with the IRS, who processes ITIN applications submitted by Certifying Acceptance Agents before processing ITIN applications submitted directly by ITIN applicants.

Why Use A Certifying Acceptance Agent Over An Acceptance Agent?

Both an IRS Acceptance Agent and an IRS Certifying Acceptance Agent help eligible individuals to apply for an IRS ITIN number.

There are, however, two main differences that make it much more convenient to utilize the services of a Certifying Acceptance Agent as compared to the services of an Acceptance Agent when applying for an IRS ITIN number.

First, a Certifying Acceptance Agent can certify an applicant’s identification documents whereas an Acceptance Agent cannot. Individuals applying through an Acceptance Agent must either submit their original identification documents, or submit a copy certified by the issuing agency, a State Department employee at a US Embassy or Consulate, or a foreign notary authorized under the Hague Convention.

Second, a Certifying Acceptance Agent can receive the IRS ITIN number whereas an Acceptance Agent cannot.

What is an ITIN?

An ITIN is a nine-digit tax processing number issued by the IRS to foreign nationals and others who are not eligible for a US Social Security Number (SSN).  Generally, you can obtain a SSN if you are a US citizen, lawful permanent resident (i.e. green-card holder) or have a valid work permit.  If you are eligible for a SSN, then you may not apply for an ITIN.  You will need to have a valid reason for obtaining an ITIN and must be able to prove both your residency status and identity.

Who needs an ITIN?

ITIN’s are only available to individuals who are required to have a taxpayer identification number for tax purposes, and do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

ITIN’s are issued regardless of immigration status. Both resident and nonresident aliens who have United States tax return and payment responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code are qualified to be issued an ITIN. If you are required to file a U.S. tax return, or must file a U.S. tax return to claim a refund of over-withheld.

Benefits of using our services

As a CAA, we are able to certify to the IRS that an application is complete and, perhaps more importantly to the applicant, verify that original identity documents are authentic, thereby eliminating the requirement of having to submit original documents to the IRS (or having to obtain the necessary certified copies from the Issuing Agency).

Using our services will help avoid the burden of you having to be without your original identity documents (e.g. passport) for up to 8 weeks and remove the potential risk of your document(s) being lost, as they would otherwise normally need to be mailed overseas to the IRS, duly processed and then mailed back to you.

Reasons for Requiring an ITIN

The main reasons for applying for an ITIN include the following:

• You need to file a US Tax return (e.g. Form 1040 or 1040-NR)

• You have received US Sourced Income

• You are a Non-Resident Spouse or Dependent of a US Citizen or Resident

• You are making a claim for a US tax refund (e.g. reclaiming US taxes withheld on dividends or royalties)

• You have a US Bank or Investment account

• You have a US Mortgage

• You have sold (or intend to sell) US Real Estate

• You are expecting a Scholarship or Fellowship Grant

If you are required to file a US tax return, the ITIN application must be filed along with the tax return. We will sign your completed Form W-7 and provide you with a Certificate of Accuracy, and these will both need to be attached to your tax return and submitted to the IRS.

Alternatively, you might meet one of the few exceptions under which an ITIN will be issued without an attached US tax return. An example is if you expect to receive certain types of US income which is subject to US tax withholding or information reporting in the tax year.  In this case, the payer will often demand an ITIN in order to facilitate the withholding and remittance, or to apply for full exemption of the withholding.