Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ITIN

Overview

An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues to people who are ineligible for a Social Security Number but need to file a federal tax return, or are required to provide an ITIN for other federal tax purposes.

Using an ITIN to file a state tax return, get a refund or claim credits

Californians without a Social Security Number can use an ITIN to file a state tax return when they have a state filing requirement.

Even if you don't need to file, an ITIN can be used to file a tax return to seek a refund for over-withheld pay, or to claim state tax credits, including three “refundable” credits – the California Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child and Foster Youth tax credits. All state tax credits can reduce taxes, but only a refundable credit can provide a cash refund if no tax is owed, or if your credit more than covers the tax owed.

Applying for an ITIN or checking your ITIN status

The IRS is responsible for issuing and renewing ITINs for tax filers and their spouses and dependents. The IRS’s ITIN webpage includes information on the following: