Some taxpayers will need to receive new ITIN numbers in 2016. The new law will mean ITINs that have not been 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 unless renewed by the taxpayer.
ITIN Law Changes
In addition, ITINs issued prior to 2013 that have been used on a federal tax return in the last three years will need to be renewed starting this fall, and the IRS is putting in place a rolling renewal schedule, described below, to assist taxpayers.
Renewing ITIN Number
Processing delays are likely for filers with expired Individual Tax Identification Numbers. There are two reasons an ITIN would expire December 31, 2016. If you have not used your ITIN on a U.S. tax return at least once for tax years 2013, 2014 or 2015 or If your ITIN has the middle digits 78 or 79 (9NN-78-NNNN or 9NN-79-NNNN.
You can renew your ITIN now if it expired and you plan to use it on a U.S. tax return. No action is needed by expired ITIN holders who don’t need to file a tax return next year. There are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents. To avoid delays, ensure accurate W-7 and valid ID documents are submitted. Find more information at IRS.gov/ITIN.
Who Has to Renew an ITIN
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 begins 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 begins Oct. 1, 2016. The IRS will mail 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.
Do I need an ITIN?
You must obtain an ITIN if:
1. You do not have an SSN and are not eligible to obtain one.
2. You identify with one of the following categories.
• Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return.
• U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return.
• Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien.
• Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder.
How to Renew an ITIN
Only ITIN holders who need to file a tax return need to renew their ITINs. Others do not need to take any action.
Starting Oct. 1, 2016, ITIN holders can begin renewing ITINs that are no longer in effect because of three years of nonuse or that have a middle digit of 78 or 79. To renew an ITIN, taxpayers must complete a Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, follow the instructions and include all information and documentation required. To reduce burden on taxpayers, the IRS will not require individuals renewing an ITIN to attach a tax return when submitting their Form W-7. Taxpayers are reminded to use the newest version of the Form W-7 available at the time of renewal which will be posted in September (Use version “Rev. 9-2016”).
There are three methods taxpayers can use to submit their W-7 application package to renew their ITIN. They can:
- Mail their Form W-7 — along with the original identification documents or certified copies by the agency that issued them — to the IRS address listed on the form (identification documents will be returned within 60 days),
- Use one of the many IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agents or Acceptance Agents around the country, or
- In advance, call and make an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing original identification documents to the IRS
You can call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 if you are in the United States or 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) if you are outside the United States. This service allows you to check the status of your application seven weeks after submitting Form W-7 and your tax return.