Anyone needing an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) must now provide original documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate. The new rule is effective immediately and will stand until the IRS issues new rules, which are promised by 2013.
Designed specifically for tax-administration purposes, ITINs are only issued to people who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number.
The IRS this summer will gather feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on what permanent procedures are appropriate as it reviews procedures for the ITIN program. The IRS will look to make long-term improvements to the program while minimizing barriers to individuals reporting their income and filing their tax returns.
Meanwhile, people who need ITINS to get their tax return processed can do so by submitting by mail their original documentation or certified copies of their documentation.
More information is available at irs.gov.