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Understanding the ITIN Renewal Process

5 min read

5 min read

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 1, 2017. 

As part of recent changes in tax laws, some individuals who have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, will be required to renew their ITIN for the first time.

Your ITIN is an identifying number issued by the IRS if you need to file your taxes but do not qualify for a Social Security Number. ITINs can also be issued for your dependents claimed on a tax return that do not qualify for a Social Security number.

Is it time for your ITIN renewal in 2019?

If one of the following applies, you will need to renew your ITIN this year:

  • If the middle digits of your ITIN are 83, 84, 85, 86, or 87, they will expire at the end of this year: The IRS will send a CP48 Letter to you if you are affected by this change. The letter will explain how to renew your ITIN. In the coming years, the IRS is expected to announce other groups of taxpayers who will be affected.
  • If your ITIN hasn’t been used at least once on a tax return in the last three years, it. This means that if you did not use your ITIN on a return at least once for tax years 2016, 2017, or 2018, your ITIN will expire at the end of 2019.
  • If the middle digits of your ITIN are 70 through 82, and you have not renewed already, your ITIN is expired. You can renew any time if you need to file a tax return.

New Identification Requirement for Some Dependents

New requirements will also affect dependents claimed on a return. The IRS will no longer accept passports without a date of entry for dependents as stand-alone proof of identity and foreign status. However, dependents of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas will not be affected.

In the past, passports were used as a standalone identification document for dependents from Canada and Mexico. An ITIN application requires documents proving your identity and foreign status. You can still use passports with an entry stamp to continue proving these things.

However, since passports without an entry stamp are not accepted for dependents, additional documents listing the applicant’s name and U.S. address will be necessary to prove U.S. residency. These additional documents include:

  • U.S. medical records, school records, or U.S. state identification card for dependents under age six,
  • U.S. school records, U.S. state identification card, or U.S. driver’s license for dependents under age 18, and
  • U.S. school records, rental statements, bank statements, U.S. state identification card, U.S. driver’s license or utility bills, if the applicant is age 18 or older.

For more information on proving identity and foreign status, see Pages 8-9 of IRS Publication 1915.

What should you do next to submit your ITIN renewal?

You don’t have to file a tax return along with an ITIN renewal. However, applications for new ITINs will still only be accepted when submitted with a return (with some exceptions).

If you plan on filing your tax return in 2020 and your ITIN expires at the end of 2019, then you can begin sending in your paperwork for ITIN renewal for 2019 as soon as the IRS notifies you that your ITIN is expired.

To renew an expiring ITIN, send a completed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and required identification documents to the IRS. If you received a CP48 or Letter 5821, attach it to the renewal when you submit the ITIN renewal application.

In addition to visiting an H&R Block office for help with ITIN application and renewal, there are three methods taxpayers can use to submit their W-7 application package:

  1. Mail your Form W-7 and original identification documents or certified copies of the documents to the IRS address on the Form W-7 Instructions. (Identification documents will be returned within 60 days).
  2. Use one of the many IRS authorized Acceptance Agents or Certified Acceptance Agents around the country.
  3. Call to make an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center.

To make this renewal process easier, the IRS is offering a family option for ITIN renewal. If you receive a renewal letter from the IRS, you can choose to renew ITINs for other members of your family at the same time. Family members include: the tax filer, spouse and dependents.

Affected taxpayers must use the most current version of the Form W-7 and check the box that says “Renewal.” Refer to the Form W-7 and ITIN renewal instructions for guidance.

Additional information about ITIN renewal and expired ITINs

If you do not renew your ITINs and file a U.S. tax return using an expired ITIN, there may be a delay in processing your tax return. If not renewed by the return due date certain tax benefits may also be denied.

Taxpayers should take action to renew their ITINs in order to avoid delays or denials of items on tax returns.

Also, ITINs that are only used on information returns filed with the IRS by third parties do not need to be renewed.

While these changes won’t affect everyone with an ITIN, if you are affected, taking action to renew your ITIN will ensure you get your potential future refund without delay!

Keep in mind: if you are not required to file a return, then even though your ITIN is expiring, no current action is necessary. However, if you need to file a tax return in the future (or you would like to include a dependent on your tax return) and your ITIN is expired, your ITIN will need to be renewed when you file that future return.

Concerned about ITIN renewal costs? You should know the IRS does not charge for an ITIN. Additionally, there are no ITIN renewal costs from H&R Block if you file a federal return with us.

H&R Block is here to help with your ITIN renewal!

Applying for an ITIN for you, your spouse, and your dependents can be completed when you prepare your tax return with H&R Block, so visit an H&R Block office today. With more than 9,000 bilingual tax professionals, we can offer a helping hand for your ITIN needs.

Additionally, with H&R Block’s Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA), you can apply for an ITIN and keep your original documents, so you can apply for an ITIN and have a Certified Acceptance Agent verify your supporting documents at a participating H&R Block office. You can even keep the supporting documentation: your CAA will submit document copies along with your application.

Get help with your ITIN application at an H&R Block office today!

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