top of page


News & Tips from an ITIN Acceptance Agent

ITIN vs IRSN - what is the difference?

Just Breve - ITIN vs IRSN - what is the difference?

What is the difference between an ITIN and an IRSN?

Both are tax ID numbers issued by the IRS for tax processing of US 1040NRs.

One is permanent and one is temporary.

PERMANENT - An ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is a permanent number issued by the IRS to all individuals who have a tax filing or tax reporting requirement.

TEMPORARY - IRSN (Internal Revenue Service Number) is a temporary number used to log a 1040NR into the system by the IRS. It is issued after a tax return has been received with no valid taxpayer identification number i.e. an ITIN was not present. It can also be issued when an ITIN application has been rejected and a tax return had been attached to the application.

When an IRSN is issued, a letter will be mailed to the taxpayer requesting them to file a Form W-7 ITIN application to obtain an ITIN.

Separately, no refund will be issued (and credits will be denied) until an ITIN has been issued.

How do I apply for an ITIN?

- by completing Form W-7 - using the correct reason code for your circumstances (reason codes a to h)

- attaching all supporting documents (e.g. a tax return or other supporting documents if not filing a tax return)

- ensuring the correct identity documents are attached

- signing and dating the application

- mailing all items to the ITIN processing unit in Austin, TX

How can Just Breve assist with my ITIN application?

As an ITIN certified acceptance agent (CAA), Just Breve can check and certify your identity documents for ITIN purposes. We will then complete a W-7(COA) - certificate of accuracy - and attach this to the application.

As a CAA, we are licensed to assist and complete all applications relating to an ITIN application (new and renewal). We sign both the Form W-7 and the W-7(COA).

Your original identity documents can then be kept with you instead of being sent to the USA.

How long does an ITIN application take to be processed?

ITIN applications for international applicants take 7 to 11 weeks* to be processed. An assignment notice is mailed to both the applicant and the ITIN certifying acceptance agent.

* Due to Covid19 - the ITIN unit (and IRS) were closed for approximately 10 to 12 weeks - currently (as of July 2020), all clients are being advised that the processing will take up to 4 to 6 months, due to a large backlog that accumulated during the closure, as well as reduced staffing on their sites due to social distancing. Unfortunately, this cannot be sped up by us or any other CAA. We will of course provides updates as and when we have them, as to the progress of the application.

Once I receive the ITIN, what do I do?

If the IRSN was listed on the W-7 application, the new ITIN will be linked to the tax return. The copy tax return that was attached to the application will also have been forwarded for processing.

If the IRSN was not listed, you can respond to the letter from the IRS assigning the IRSN. You simply send them a copy of the letter with the IRSN listed and a copy of the ITIN notice. If you have questions, the letter also provides a contact number for you to call and discuss.

Have more questions?

Please contact us today and we will be happy to assist:

Tel: 0208 1444632


bottom of page