If you must file a U.S. tax return or you are listed on a tax return as a spouse or a dependent and you do not have, and cannot obtain, a valid Social Security Number, you must apply for an ITIN. The IRS no longer accepts "SSA205c", "applied for", "NRA", blanks, or previously issued IRS temporary numbers. Include your ITIN on the return to ensure prompt processing and receipt of any refund. New Internal Revenue Regulations require including a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) on all U.S. federal income tax returns. Each person listed on the return must have a valid TIN (either an SSN or an ITIN). If a return requesting a refund is filed without an SSN or ITIN for the primary filer and spouse, the refund will be delayed until they obtain the identification number. If a dependent SSN/ITIN is missing, the exemptions will be denied and refunds will be adjusted accordingly. If you are previously issued a temporary IRS Number, you must now apply for an ITIN.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.