Inform your clients: The IRS has begun mailing notices to more than a million taxpayers that their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will expire at the end of this year.
Affected taxpayers are those with ITINs with the middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80. The notice being mailed, CP-48 Notices, “You must renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your U.S. tax return,” explains what taxpayers need to do if the ITIN will be used on their tax returns filed in 2018.
Taxpayers who receive the notice but have already renewed their ITIN don’t need to do anything further unless another family member is affected.
“We urge people who receive this letter to renew their ITIN as quickly as possible to avoid tax refund and processing delays next year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a prepared statement. “Taking steps now and renewing early will make things go much more smoothly for ITIN holders when it comes time to file their taxes.”
Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire Dec. 31.
ITINs with middle digits 78 and 79 that expired at the end of last year can be renewed at any time.
The numbers are used by taxpayers who have tax filing or income reporting obligations under U.S. law but aren’t eligible for a Social Security number. Taxpayers who are eligible for, or who have, a Social Security number should not renew their ITIN but should notify the IRS of their Social Security number and previous ITIN so that their accounts can be merged.
Taxpayers with an ITIN with middle digits 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80 can 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 other than 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.
To renew the ITIN, taxpayers must complete the Revision 9-2016 version of Form W-7 and include all required documentation. They can mail the form and documents or copies certified by the issuing agency to the IRS address listed on Form W-7. The IRS will review the documents and return them within 60 days.
Taxpayers also can work with certified acceptance agents authorized by the IRS to help them apply for an ITIN. The agents can certify all required documents, and certify that an ITIN application is correct before sending it to the IRS. They also can certify passports and birth certificates for dependents, saving taxpayers from having to mail in original documents.
Or, taxpayers can make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center instead of mailing in information.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that it no longer accepts passports that don’t 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 who are overseas.
If the dependent’s passport doesn’t have a date of entry stamp, the following documents to prove U.S. residency are required:
- U.S. medical records for dependents under age 6
- U.S. school records for dependents under age 18
- U.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
ITINs don’t have to be renewed if taxpayers won’t use one with a middle digit of 70, 71, 72, or 80 on their tax return, third parties are only using the ITIN on information returns (such as 1099 forms), or the ITIN owner with the middle digits of 70, 71, 72 or 80 has become a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien and now has a Social Security number.
The IRS also is recruiting Certified Acceptance Agents, and potential candidates can view program changes and requirements here.
About Terry Sheridan
Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.