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The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted on December 18, 2015, included provisions that affect the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) application process.

Most notably, ITIN's are no longer "permanent" numbers, but rather, expire if not used in 3 consecutive years, or after 10 years, whichever is earlier.

The IRS mailed more than 1 million letters to taxpayer households on November 1, 2017, that include an ITIN holder with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80, confirming that these expire 12/31/2017. Affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2018 should submit a renewal application now, to avoid tax refund and processing delays.

Those who must renew their ITIN 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.

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Who Needs an ITIN?

ITINs are used by people who have tax filing requirements under U.S. law but are not eligible for a Social Security number.

Who Should Renew an ITIN?

Taxpayers with ITINs set to expire at the end of the year and who need to file a tax return in 2018 must submit a renewal application.

  • ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72, or 80 (For example: 9NN-70-NNNN) need to be renewed if the taxpayer will have a filing requirement in 2018.
  • Taxpayers whose ITINs expired due to lack of use should only renew their ITIN if they will have a filing requirement in 2018.
  • Taxpayers who are eligible for, or who have, a Social Security number (SSN) should not renew their ITIN, but should notify IRS both of their SSN and previous ITIN, so that their accounts can be merged.
  • Taxpayers whose ITINs have middle digits 78 or 79 that expired 12/31/2016 should renew their ITIN if they will have a filing requirement in 2018.
Who Needs an ITIN?
How is the ITIN Renewed?
How is the ITIN Renewed?

To renew an ITIN, taxpayers must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required original documentation. There are two ways to submit the W-7 application package:

  1. Mail the Form W-7, along with original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency, to the IRS. The IRS will review the identification documents and return them within 90 days. Note this can be very problematic, as taxpayers are reluctant to send in their original passport to the IRS.
  2. Taxpayers can work with a Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) authorized by the IRS to help them apply for an ITIN. CAAs can certify all identification documents for primary and secondary taxpayers and certify that an ITIN application is correct before submitting it to the IRS for processing. A CAA can also certify passports and birth certificates for dependents. This saves taxpayers from mailing original documents to the IRS.

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