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ITIN expiry - the details, who is affected & FAQ

October 27, 2016

You May Need to Renew Your ITIN. All ITINs not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid for use on a tax return as of Jan. 1, 2017. Additionally, all ITINs issued before 2013 will begin expiring this year, starting with those with middle digits of 78 and 79 (Example: (9XX-78-XXXX). All expired ITINs must be renewed before being used on a U.S. tax return. No action is needed by ITIN holders who don’t need to file a tax return next year. Also, there are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents.

 

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: Since 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: Ask US Tax Services (www.ustaxservices.ca) , an IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA), to assist you in renewing an expiring ITIN. No tax return is required for a renewal application.

 

Q6: Can I submit copies of my identification documents with my Form W-7 without using a CAA?

A6: No, without using a CAA, only original of identification documents or certified copies of the documents from the issuing agency will be accepted. 

 

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 and will take seven weeks to receive. 

 

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.

 

Q11: Is the updated Form W-7 and renewal information available?

A11: Yes

 

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 IRS 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, use www.ustaxservices.ca ,an IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA).

 

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 2016, 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.

 

If taxpayers have an expired ITIN and don’t renew before filing a tax return next year, they could face a refund delay and may be ineligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, until the ITIN is renewed.

 

 

The IRS emphasizes that no action is needed by ITIN holders if they don’t need to file a tax return next year. There are two key groups of ITIN holders who may need to renew an ITIN so it will be in effect for returns filed in 2017:

  • Unused ITINs. ITINs not used on a federal income tax return in the last three years (covering 2013, 2014, or 2015) will no longer be valid to use on a tax return as of Jan. 1, 2017. ITIN holders in this group who need to file a tax return next year will need to renew their ITINs. The renewal period began Oct. 1, 2016.

  • Expiring ITINs. ITINs issued before 2013 will begin expiring this year, and taxpayers will need to renew them on a rolling basis. The first ITINs that will expire under this schedule are those with middle digits of 78 and 79 (Example: 9XX-78-XXXX). The renewal period for these ITINs began Oct. 1, 2016. The IRS mailed letters to this group of taxpayers starting in August to inform them of the need to renew their ITINs if they need to file a tax return and explain steps they need to take. The schedule for expiration and renewal of ITINs that do not have middle digits of 78 and 79 will be announced at a future date.

Taxpayers can use www.ustaxservices.ca , an IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA)  to submit their W-7 application package to renew their ITIN.

 

Other Steps to Help Taxpayers

To make this renewal effort easier and reduce paperwork, the IRS will be offering a family option for ITIN renewal. If any individual having an ITIN middle digit of 78 or 79 receives a renewal letter from the IRS, they can choose to renew the ITINs of all of their family members at the same time rather than doing them separately over several years. Family members include the tax filer, the spouse and any dependents claimed on their tax return.

The IRS is also working closely with a variety of partner and outreach groups to share information about the ITIN changes and help raise awareness about the new guidelines. The IRS will be providing additional information and material to share with these groups and taxpayers in the near future.

 

Beginning Oct. 1, 2016, the IRS will no longer accept passports that do not have a date of entry into the U.S. 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 six or U.S. school records for dependents under age 18, along with the passport. Dependents aged 18 and over can submit a rental or bank statement or a utility bill listing the applicant’s name and U.S. address, along with their passport.

 

Other information about ITINs

ITINs are for federal tax purposes only and are not intended to serve any other purpose. ITINs that are only used on information returns filed with the IRS by third parties do not need to be renewed. An ITIN does not authorize one to work in the United States or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit. ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system and do not establish immigration status.

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