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How does a foreigner get a tax ID?

My mother is a foreigner who lives overseas, and is looking to buy a rental property in the US. To avoid the 30% withholding and no write-off, she needs a tax ID to start. When looking up the information from IRS, I can't figure out how she can get it. She currently has no property and no income in the US. The future rental property will be the only investment/source of income. IRS said that the property management needs to provide a statement for her to apply for a tax ID. But, she has not bought a property yet, so there is no property management. Then, after she buys a property, if there is already a tenant paying rents immediately, there will be a gap before she has a tax ID. The gap can cause the property management company to do the withholding. The entire timeline is confusing. Can anyone please help me sort this out? The withholding route is really bad, especially when she can't write anything off. The other route will allow her to write off the expenses, but we can't understand the process. Your help is appreciated. A step by step guide would be perfect. Thanks!
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Level 15

How does a foreigner get a tax ID?

Use IRS Form W-7 to apply for a Taxpayer Identifying Number.  A copy is here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf . Instructions here:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf



The W-7 is mailed to:

Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342




Also:  "You may also apply using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing your information to the IRS in Austin. TACs in the United States provide in-person help with ITIN applications on a walk-in or appointment basis. Applicants outside the United States should contact an overseas IRS office to find out if that office accepts Form W-7 applications. The IRS's ITIN Unit in Austin issues all numbers by mail."