According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), just about 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2019.
ITINs are used by people who have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but who are not eligible for a Social Security number. ITIN holders who have questions can visit the ITIN information page on the IRS website.
ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire Dec. 31, 2019. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 that have not already been renewed will also expire at the end of the year. ITINs with middle digits of 70 through 82 expired in past years. Taxpayers with these ITIN numbers who haven’t already renewed their ITIN can renew at any time. Note: It is important to understand that ITINs with middle digits 83 through 87 will expire whether or not they were used for filing returns in the last three years.
IRS is currently accepting ITIN renewal applications – Taxpayers whose ITIN is expiring and who need to file a tax return in 2020 must submit a renewal application. Federal returns that are submitted in 2020 with an expired ITIN will be processed. However, exemptions and/or certain tax credits will be disallowed, and the taxpayers will be notified by mail advising them to renew their ITIN. Once the ITIN is renewed, any applicable exemptions and credits will be reinstated, and any applicable refunds issued. Therefore, renewing early will avoid these last-minute hassles and delays in receiving refunds.
Family renewal option – Taxpayers with an ITIN that has middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87, as well as all previously expired ITINs, have the option to renew ITINs for their entire family at the same time. Those who have received a renewal letter from the IRS can choose to renew the family’s ITINs together, even if family members have an ITIN with middle digits that have not been identified for expiration. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.
How to renew an ITIN – To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation. Taxpayers submitting a Form W-7 to renew their ITIN are not required to attach a federal tax return. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on the Form W-7. See the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information. An application package can be submitted in one of three ways:
- By mail, along with original identification documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them, to the IRS address listed on the Form W-7 instructions. The IRS will review the identification documents and return them within 60 days.
- Work with Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) authorized by the IRS to help taxpayers apply for an ITIN. CAAs can authenticate all identification documents for primary and secondary taxpayers, verify that an ITIN application is correct before submitting it to the IRS for processing and authenticate the passports and birth certificates for dependents. This saves taxpayers from mailing original documents to the IRS.
- In advance, call and make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center to have each applicant’s identity authenticated in person instead of mailing original identification documents to the IRS. Each family member applying for an ITIN or renewal must be present at the appointment and must have a completed Form W-7 and required identification documents. See the TAC ITIN authentication page on the IRS web site for more details.
Common errors to avoid – There are several common errors that can slow down ITIN renewal applications:
- Mailing identification documentations without a Form W-7,
- Missing information on the Form W-7, and
- Insufficient supporting documentation, such as U.S. residency documentation or official documentation to support name changes.
- The IRS no longer accepts passports that do not have a date of entry into the U.S. as a stand-alone identification document for dependents from a country other than Canada or Mexico, or dependents of U.S. military personnel overseas. A dependent’s passport must have a date of entry stamp, otherwise the following additional documents to prove U.S. residency are required:
- S. medical records for dependents under age 6,
- S. school records for dependents under age 18, and
- S. school records (if a student), rental statements, bank statements or utility bills listing the applicant’s name and U.S. address, if over age 18.
If you have questions or need assistance completing a renewal, please give this office a call.
Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goals at Isler Northwest is to earn our clients trust as their primary business and financial advisors.
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