The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program that will require some individuals to renew their ITIN. The IRS will send a letter to taxpayers with expiring ITINs. For more information on ITINs expiring and answers to some common questions about the program changes, visit the ITIN Expiration Frequently Asked Questions page on the IRS website.
The IRS is now accepting ITIN renewal applications and encouraging people to plan ahead so that their ITINs do not expire. 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 Expiration Frequently Asked Questions
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Q1: Which ITINs will expire January 1, 2017?
A1: The following ITINs will expire January 1, 2017:
• ITINs with middle digits of 78 and 79 (e.g. 9NN-78-NNNN). The IRS will send Letter 5821 to taxpayers with these expiring ITINs.
• ITINs that have not been used on a tax return for Tax Year 2013, Tax Year 2014, or Tax Year 2015
Q2: Which ITINs will NOT expire January 1, 2017?
A2: Any ITIN that does not have a middle digit of 78 or 79 and was used on a tax return for Tax Year 2013, Tax Year 2014, or Tax Year 2015 will not expire January 1, 2017.
Q3: What should I do if my ITIN is expiring January 1, 2017?
A3: You will need to renew your ITIN if you will be filing a tax return or claim for refund after the ITIN expires and you will be using the expiring ITIN on that tax return or claim for refund. You should not renew an ITIN if the ITIN holder now has or is qualified to get a social security number (SSN). See Q&A12.
Q4: When may I renew my ITIN that will expire January 1, 2017?
A4: Beginning October 1, 2016, taxpayers whose ITIN will expire on January 1, 2017 can begin the renewal process.
Q5: How do I renew an expiring ITIN?
A5: To renew an expiring ITIN, you must submit a completed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and all required identification documents to the IRS. No tax return is required for a renewal application. Mail the application to Internal Revenue Service, ITIN Operation, P.O. Box 149342, Austin, TX 78714-9342. See Q&A 13 for information if you do not want to mail documents to the IRS.
Q6: Can I submit copies of my identification documents with my Form W-7?
A6: No, only original of identification documents or certified copies of the documents from the issuing agency will be accepted. See www.irs.gov/ITIN.
Q7: Do I need to renew my ITIN if I won’t be filing a tax return or claim for refund?
A7: No, however, in the future if you file a U.S. tax return or claim for refund, the ITIN (including for a dependent) will need to be renewed at that time.
Q8: I only use my ITIN on information returns, like Forms 1099. If my ITIN is expiring, do I need to renew it?
A8: No, if your ITIN is only used on information returns and you will not be filing a tax return or claim for refund you do not need to renew your ITIN.
Q9: If I have an ITIN with middle digits of 78 and 79, can I renew my family member’s ITIN, even if it is not expiring?
A9: Yes, the IRS will accept a Form W-7 renewal application from each member of a family if at least one of the family members listed on a tax return has middle digits of 78 or 79. If one family member has middle digits 78 or 79, all family members who were issued an ITIN may submit a Form W-7 at the same time.
Q10: Can I renew my ITIN even though my ITIN is not expiring, and no one in my family has an ITIN that is expiring?
A10: Because your ITIN is not expiring and there are no tax implications at this time, we ask that you wait and renew your ITIN when it is scheduled to be expired. Only ITINs that are scheduled to expire at the end of the year and need to be included on a U.S. tax return in 2017 should be renewed now. To assist taxpayers and minimize burden as much as possible, we are putting in place a rolling renewal schedule. Please visit www.irs.gov/ITIN for the schedule and anticipated timeframe to renew.
Q11: When will the updated Form W-7 and instructions, which includes the renewal information, be available?
A11: We expect the updated Form W-7 and instructions will be available September 2016. The updated form and instructions when updated can be found at www.irs.gov/W7.
Q12: I have a Social Security Number (SSN) and no longer need my ITIN that will be expiring. Do I need to renew my ITIN?
A12: No, you should not renew your ITIN if you have or are eligible for an SSN. Please notify us that you have obtained a SSN and no longer need the ITIN by visiting a local IRS office or writing a letter explaining that you have now been assigned a SSN and want your tax records combined. If you write a letter, include your complete name, mailing address, and ITIN along with a copy of your social security card and a copy of the CP 565, Notice of ITIN Assignment, if available. The IRS will void the ITIN so it cannot be used by anyone in the future and associate all prior tax information filed under the ITIN with the SSN. Send your letter to: Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0057.
Q13: If I do not want to mail my original documents to the IRS when renewing my ITIN, do I have other options?
A13: Yes, In lieu of sending original documentation, you may be eligible to use an IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) location. To find a local CAA in your area, you can visit www.irs.gov/individuals/acceptance-agent-program or check your local telephone directory for the nearest location. When utilizing a CAA the original or certified documents for a dependent application must still be sent directly to the IRS.
Q14: What kind of passport is acceptable for dependents as a stand-alone identification document?
A14: Effective October 1, 2016, only a passport with an entry date into the US will be acceptable as a stand-alone identification document for dependents from countries other than Canada or Mexico or dependents of military members overseas. Affected applicants will now be required to submit either U.S. medical records for dependents under age 6 or U.S. school records for dependents under age 18, along with the passport. Dependents aged 18 and over can submit a U.S. school records or a rental or bank statement or a utility bill listing the applicant’s name and U.S. address, along with their passport.
Q15: What happens if I file a tax return prior to receiving notification that my expired ITIN has been renewed?
A15: Until the ITIN is renewed, a return with an expired ITIN will be processed and treated as timely filed, but it will be processed without any exemptions and/or credits claimed and no refund will be paid at this time. The taxpayer will receive a notice from the IRS explaining the delay in any refund and that the ITIN must be renewed. Once the ITIN is renewed, any exemptions and credits will be processed and any allowed refund will be paid. If the ITIN is not renewed, the taxpayer may be subject to interest and penalties for any tax owed as a result of disallowed exemptions and credits.
Q16: How long will it take for an expired ITIN to be reactivated?
A16: For renewal applications received prior to January 1, 2017, the IRS will conduct a preliminary review of the application and return identification documents within 60 days. We will begin processing renewal applications in order of receipt on January 1, 2017. Taxpayers should allow 7 weeks from January 1, 2017 or the mailing date of the Form W-7, whichever is later, for the IRS to notify you of your ITIN application status (9 to 11 weeks if you submit the application during peak processing periods (January 15 through April 30) or if you’re filing from overseas).
Q17: What if an ITIN holder submits a renewal and then files a tax return before receiving confirmation that their ITIN has been renewed?
A17: IRS encourages taxpayers to wait and submit their tax return after receiving confirmation the ITIN has been renewed. Waiting for confirmation will prevent delays in processing the tax return. Though we will process the return filed with an expired ITIN, any exemption and/or credits claimed applicable to the expired ITIN will not be allowed until the ITIN is renewed.
Q18: How will the taxpayer know that their ITIN is renewed? Will they receive a letter? If so, what is the notice number?
A18: CP565 will be issued to the applicant, Confirmation of your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, when an ITIN is renewed.
Q19: If someone files a return in tax season without renewing, what kind of correspondence will they receive?
A19: A return filed with an expired ITIN will be processed, but any exemptions and/or credits claimed applicable to the expired ITIN will not be allowed. The taxpayer will receive a notice from the IRS explaining the change(s) made to their tax return and that the ITIN must be renewed. Once the ITIN is renewed, any exemptions and/or credits previously not allowed will be reconsidered at that time. Until the ITIN is renewed, the taxpayer will be subject to interest and penalties for any tax owed as a result of disallowed exemptions and credits.
Q20: If a non-filer (ITIN owner without middle digits 78/79 in their ITIN who hasn’t filed tax year 13, 14, or 15 returns) submits at least one of those returns between now and December 31, will they still be asked to renew their ITIN?
A20: If a non-filer submits a tax year 2013, 2014, or 2015 return, and the return completes processing before the end of December, the non-filer will not need to renew the ITIN to file a return in 2017.
a. Is there a cut-off date to cure by filing a tax return?
The IRS encourages non-filers that have a tax filing requirement for tax year 2013, 2014, or 2015 to file their tax returns as soon as possible. For a non-filer to prevent their ITIN from expiring, the non-filer will need to submit a tax year 2013, 2014, or 2015 tax return prior to December 1, 2016 to ensure the return has completed processing before the end of December 2016. Processing delays of the tax return may result in the ITIN expiring.
Q21: When an individual renews their ITIN will they retain the same ITIN or receive a new one?
A21: Once an ITIN is assigned, it belongs to that taxpayer, unless the ITIN has been revoked. When an individual renews their ITIN, the previously assigned number is renewed.
Q22: When will letters be sent out to individuals who need to renew their ITINs for the upcoming filing season?
A22: Letter 5821 was mailed between 8/15 and 9/20/2016 to all ITIN holders with middle digits 78 or 79 that were currently being used on a tax return letting them know their ITIN would expire on January 1, 2017.
Q23: Will only one letter be sent per tax return or will a separate letter be sent to each ITIN holder on a return that needs to renew?
A23: When multiple ITIN holders with middle digit 78 or 79 were identified as currently being used on the same tax return, one Letter 5821 was mailed to the primary and secondary taxpayer on the last return the ITINs were present.
Q24: Will it be a general letter (i.e. you or someone in your household) or a personalized letter?
A24: It is a general letter advising them that according to our records, the ITIN for them or someone listed on their tax return is set to expire on January 1, 2017. The letter also explains what they need to do to renew the ITIN.
Q25: Will the IRS accept an older version of the W-7 that has Renew an Existing ITIN written on it?
A25: The IRS encourages taxpayers to use the 9-2016 version of the Form W-7; however, we will accept older versions where the taxpayer indicates they are trying to renew an existing ITIN. The applicant must indicate they are renewing the ITIN, must provide the ITIN number and name under which it was issued, and must indicate the reason for applying (tax filing purpose or claiming one of the Exceptions to a tax return). If the applicant applies for the ITIN for an Exception reason, they must attach the appropriate supporting documentation. Renewing an ITIN is not an Exception reason.
Q26: What type of documents are CAAs and TAC offices authorized to authenticate for dependents?
A26: CAAs are authorized to authenticate the passport and birth certificate for dependents. TAC Offices are authorized to authenticate the passport, birth certificate, and national ID cards for dependents.