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IR-2017-128, Aug. 8, 2017
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service began mailing letters this month to more than 1 million taxpayers with expiring Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and urges recipients to renew them as quickly as possible to avoid tax refund and processing delays.
ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 are set to expire at the end of 2017. The notice being mailed — CP-48 Notices, You must renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file your U.S. tax return — explains the steps taxpayers need to take to renew the ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return filed in 2018.
The notices will be issued over a five-week period beginning in early August. Taxpayers who receive the notice but have acted to renew their ITIN do not need to take further steps 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. “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, 2017, and as mentioned above, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year. Affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2018 must submit a renewal application.
As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits 78 and 79 that expired at the end of last year can be renewed at any time.
Who Needs an ITIN?
ITINs are used by people who have tax filing or income reporting obligations under U.S. law but are not eligible for a Social Security number (SSN). ITIN holders should visit the ITIN information page on IRS.gov and take a few minutes to understand the guidelines.
Who Should Renew an ITIN?
Taxpayers with ITINs set to expire and who need to file a tax return in 2018 must submit a renewal application. Others do not need to take any action.
Family Option Remains Available
Taxpayers with an ITIN with middle digits 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80 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 other than 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.
How to Renew an ITIN
To renew an ITIN, taxpayers must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation; taxpayers are not required to attach a federal tax return.
The IRS is currently accepting ITIN renewals. There are three ways to submit the W-7 application package:
Avoid Common Errors Now; Prevent Delays Next Year
Several common errors can delay some ITIN renewal applications. The mistakes generally center on missing information and/or insufficient supporting documentation. Here are a few examples of mistakes taxpayers should avoid:
Taxpayers should review the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information and carefully check their package before submitting it.
As a reminder, 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. The dependent’s passport must have a date of entry stamp, otherwise the following additional documents to prove U.S. residency are required:
IRS Encourages More Applicants for the Acceptance Agent Program to Expand ITIN Services
To increase the availability of ITIN services nationwide, particularly in communities with high ITIN usage, the IRS is actively recruiting Certified Acceptance Agents. Applications are now accepted year-round. Interested individuals, community outreach partners and volunteers at tax preparation sites are encouraged to review program changes and requirements.
The IRS continues to work with partner groups and others in the ITIN community to share information about these important changes. To assist taxpayers, the IRS has a variety of informational materials, including flyers and fact sheets available in several languages on the ITIN information page on IRS.gov.