An individual tax identification number (ITIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required for U.S. federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to get, a Social Security number (SSN). Failure to renew an ITIN in a timely manner can delay one’s ability to file a tax return.
- Who Needs to Renew Their ITIN?
- Failure to Renew Can Affect Tax Filings and Refunds
- Family Renewal Option
- Three Ways to Renew
- Avoiding Common Errors and Delays
Who Needs to Renew Their ITIN?
- Taxpayers whose ITIN is expiring or whose Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) includes the middle digits listed below and who need to file a tax return must submit a Form W-7 renewal application.
- ITINs with the middle digits 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82 (for example 9NN-73-NNNN) need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years.
- Other ITIN holders do not need to take any action.
- The IRS has begun sending the CP-48 Notice, “You Must Renew Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to File Your U.S. Tax Return,” in early summer to affected taxpayers. The notice explains the steps to take to renew the ITIN. Taxpayers who receive this notice after taking action to renew their ITIN do not need to take further action unless another family member is affected.
- ITINs with middle digits of 70, 71, 72, 78, 79, or 80 have previously expired. Taxpayers with these ITINs who haven’t previously gone through the renewal process can still renew at any time.
- Spouses or dependents residing inside the United States should renew their ITINs. However, spouses and dependents residing outside the United States do not need to renew their ITINs unless they anticipate being claimed for a tax benefit (for example, after they move to the United States) or unless they file their own tax return. That’s because the deduction for personal exemptions has been suspended for tax years 2018 through 2025 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Consequently, spouses or dependents outside the United States who would have been claimed for this personal exemption benefit and no other benefit do not need to renew their ITINs this year.
Family Renewal Option
Taxpayers with an ITIN that has middle digits 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82, as well as all previously expired ITINs, 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 their family’s ITINs together, even if family members have an ITIN with middle digits that have not been identified as expiring. Family members include the tax filer, the filer’s spouse, and any dependents claimed on the tax return.
Three Ways to Renew an ITIN
To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation.
Taxpayers submitting a Form W-7 to renew their ITIN are not required to attach a federal tax return. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on Form W-7. See the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information. There are three ways to submit the W-7 application package. Taxpayers can:
- Mail the Form W-7, along with original identification documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them, to the IRS address listed on Form W-7’s instructions. The IRS will review the identification documents and return them within 60 days.
- Work with Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) authorized by the IRS to help taxpayers apply for an ITIN. CAAs can authenticate all identification documents for primary and secondary taxpayers, verify that an ITIN application is correct before submitting it to the IRS for processing and authenticate the passports and birth certificates of dependents. This saves taxpayers from mailing original documents to the IRS.
- In advance, call and make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center to have each applicant’s identity authenticated in person, instead of mailing original identification documents to the IRS. Applicants should bring a completed Form W-7 along with all required identification documents. See the TAC ITIN authentication page on the IRS website for more details.
Avoid Common Errors and Delays Next Year
Federal tax returns that are submitted with an expired ITIN will be processed. However, certain tax credits and any exemptions will be disallowed.
Taxpayers will receive a notice in the mail advising them of the change to their tax return and of their need to renew their ITIN. Once the ITIN is renewed, applicable credits and exemptions will be restored, and any refunds will be issued. Additionally, several common errors can slow down and hold up some ITIN renewal applications. These mistakes generally center on missing information or insufficient supporting documentation, such as name changes.
The IRS urges any applicant to check over their form carefully before sending it to the IRS. As a reminder, the IRS no longer accepts passports that do not have a date of entry into the U.S. as a standalone identification document for dependents from a country other than Canada or Mexico as well as for dependents of U.S. military personnel overseas. The dependent’s passport must have a date-of-entry stamp; otherwise, at least one of the following documents to prove U.S. residency is required:
- U.S. medical records for dependents under age 6.
- U.S. school records for dependents aged 6 to 17.
- U.S. school records (if a student), rental statements, bank statements, or utility bills listing the applicant’s name and U.S. address, if age 18 or over.
Act Now to Renew Your ITIN
Acting now to renew ITIN numbers will help you avoid delays that could affect your tax filing and refunds. 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, as well as ITINs with specified middle digits (see below), expired in 2018. Those affected must submit a renewal application as soon as possible.
If you have questions related to a need for an ITIN or the renewal process, please give us a call.