What is a Certifying Acceptance Agent CAA?
A Certifying Acceptance Agent is an individual or business that has entered into formal agreement with the IRS that permit them to assist alien individuals and other foreign persons with obtaining TINs.
Latin Tax Services is a Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA). In all cases, we are required to review original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency from applicants, spouses, and dependents. Latin Tax Services will be able to certify and then forward proof to IRS that we have verified the authenticity of the documents supporting the ITIN application for applicants and spouses. This means Latin Tax Services will not need to mail original documents such as passports to the IRS, a step previously required under the interim procedures. However, ITIN applications for dependents submitted to the IRS by Latin Tax Services will continue to require original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency.
Certifying Acceptance Agents, or CAAs, play an important role in the ITIN process. We serve a unique role in ensuring accurate documents are used for ITIN applications, while allowing taxpayers to retain those documents.
The ITIN cannot be used to claim the earned income tax credit as defined under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code, nor for non-tax purposes such as to obtain a driver’s license.
The assignment of an ITIN does not change the applicant’s immigration status or entitle them to legal employment in the United States.
The ITIN does not take the place of an SSN or qualify the applicant for Social Security benefits.
The applicant who may be eligible for an SSN presently or in the future must apply for one from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If they are assigned an SSN, the ITIN if assigned will be revoked and can no longer be used.
The following is a list of items to help you complete Form W-7 with quality and accuracy:
Use the most current version of Form W- 7. The instructions can change with each revision and may contain new exhibits or criteria for applying
Determine if the applicant is eligible for an SSN. Direct them to apply for one at the SSA if they are eligible, or have them obtain a denial letter to attach to Form W-7 if the SSA determines they are not.
Ensure there is a federal tax purpose for obtaining the ITIN, such as filing a federal tax return. An ITIN must not be used outside the tax system as a form of personal identification.
Attach a federal tax return to Form W-7 or supplemental exception documentation in lieu of a tax return. See Instructions for Form W-7 or Publication 1915 for examples.
Ensure the number of completed Forms W-7 matches the number of dependent exemptions claimed on the federal tax return. For example, if you complete three dependent applications you should list three dependents on the federal tax return.
Discuss with the applicant or their authorized representative, what is acceptable Form W-7 supporting identification and/or supplemental exception documentation.
Accept only supporting identification documentation that are on the list of acceptable documents described in Instructions for Form W-7 and in Publication 1915. Ensure they are original or certified copies by the issuing agency.
Accept only supporting identification documentation that prove the applicant’s identity and foreign status. A passport is the only document that can be used to prove both. Otherwise, you must submit two documents of which one must have a recent photograph; except for applicants under 18 years of age.
Attach supplemental exception documentation when the applicant meets an “exception” to filing a federal tax return. See Form W-7 instructions or Publication 1915 for examples.
Ensure that a Form 2848 Power of Attorney or evidence of Court-Appointed Guardian is attached, if applicable.
Attach the Certifying Acceptance Agent’s required Certificate of Accuracy for each W-7 completed. This does not apply to non-certifying agents or other tax professionals.
Complete the Acceptance Agent’s portion of Form W-7 applicable to all acceptance agents. This does not apply to all others completing Form W-7 unless they are approved as an acceptance agent.
Verify that Form W-7 is appropriately signed by the applicant, or a parent if applicant is under 18 years of age, or a court-appointed guardian or valid power of attorney.
What is a Certifying Acceptance Agent CAA?