The IRS has announced changes to the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) program that will require some taxpayers to renew their ITINs in order to file their tax returns in 2017. Outdated ITINs will expire January 1, 2017, and the IRS will accept renewal applications beginning October 1, 2016.
Failure to renew an expired ITIN could delay a tax return refund or render the taxpayer temporarily ineligible for tax credits including the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit until the renewal has been completed.
Who Will be Affected?
Not all immigrant or alien taxpayers will immediately be affected. However the following categories of ITINs must be renewed immediately:
- – ITINs that have never been used to file a tax return
- – ITINs not used in at least one tax filing in the last 3 years (2013, 2014, or 2015)
- – ITINs issued in 2012 or earlier
ITINs with the “middle” digits of 78 or 79 (i.e. XXX-78-XXXX or XXX-79-XXXX) will also need to be renewed this year, as they have been selected by the IRS to expire in accordance with their rolling ITIN expiration plan that immediately impacts these specific ITINs, but will later impact ITINs with other “middle” digits.
The IRS will also be notifying those affected by these changes by mail.
Renewing an ITIN
The IRS has stated that an ITIN should only be renewed by taxpayers planning to file a 2017 return.
To renew an ITIN, the taxpayer should:
- – Complete a W-7 form. (Use the newest version “Rev. 9-2016”)
- – Follow the directions and attach original or certified copies of the required documentation to the form (please pay special attention to the list of changes made on October 1, 2016) *Original documents will be returned through the mail within 60 days.
- – Mail the packet to the IRS or use an IRS authorized acceptance agency to complete the process in person (the process cannot be completed online)
- – A tax return in NOT required to be included in this application packet (although it is usually required as per the IRS instructions)
Additionally, the IRS is allowing those with expiring ITINs to complete the ITIN process for their entire family (including spouse or any dependents claimed on the tax return) at the same time to make the process less cumbersome on the applicant.
Note: ITINs are for tax purposes only and do not establish immigration status, imply an authorization to work in the United States, or denote eligibility for Social Security benefits.