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  • Daniel Gray CPA US Tax Services Toronto Canada

Do I need to take action concerning my ITIN?

While proposed law for ITIN renewal excluded the requirement for those who annually file tax returns, the actual law requires renewal even though one filed US tax returns. There is a schedule for the renewal timing requirement and it is coded to the ITIN middle digits; whose ITINs will first expire is related to year of ITIN issuance.

If you were issued your ITINs BEFORE 2013 those ITINs will no longer be in effect according to the following schedule noting that the ITIN would anyway already have expired if not used in a tax return filing for three consecutive years:

• ITINs issued before 2008 will remain in effect until January 1, 2017.

• ITINs issued in 2008 will remain in effect until January 1, 2018.

• ITINs issued in 2009 or 2010 will remain in effect until January 1, 2019.

• ITINs issued in 2011 or 2012 will remain in effect until January 1, 2020.

If you were issued your ITINs AFTER 2013, it depends on your ITIN middle digits. The first wave of ITINs expiring on October 1, 2016 & no longer in effect beginning January 1, 2017 are those issued after 2013 and whose middle digits are 78 and 79. IRS says it will mail out notices in August 2016 to these taxpayers.

Future waves (expiring later than October 1, 2016) of post-2013 ITINs for taxpayers whose middle digits are OTHER THAN 78 and 79 will expire according to a schedule that IRS has yet to release but says it will announce in the future.

The expiration and renewal schedules for ITINs with middle digits other than 78 or 79 will be announced in future IRS guidance. So, while there is no action required now of taxpayers with ITINs with middle digits other than 78 or 79 since they weren’t “drafted” in the first round, eventually such taxpayers will have to renew, but IRS says they will alert such taxpayers by mailed notice.

Ignore the PATH Act ITIN expiry schedule - that is based on the date that an ITIN was issued and aimed at ITINs issued prior to January 1, 2013 that have been used on a tax return in the last three consecutive years - because IRS has decided to not follow it since many ITIN holders may not know when their ITIN was issued and previously had no reason to keep a record of the date an ITIN was issued.

To simplify the renewal process and allow for the effective administration of the program, the IRS chose to instead administer the renewal of ITINs on a schedule that is different from the schedule in the PATH Act and one that is instead based upon the fourth and fifth digits (middle digits) in the ITIN.

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