What is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
Individuals who are not eligible for a Social Security number but have tax-filing or payment obligations according to U.S. law are given ITINs.
If you need to file a return in the upcoming filing season and your ITIN is expiring then it is very important that you file a renewal application promptly so that you don’t have to experience refund and processing delays. It would be a shame to possibly lose out on tax benefits during this upcoming tax season.
An ITIN renewal application filed before the end of the year can be processed as fast as 7 weeks as long as it’s complete and all the information is correct. Applications handed in during the height of tax season, January and February, can take as long as 11 weeks to be processed. Make sure to include original supporting and required identification documentation, or certified copies from the issuing agency to prove your foreign status and identity.
- Congress recently passed that any ITIN that has not been used at least once in the last 3 years will expire on January 1, 2017. Also ITIN’s with middle digits 78 or 79 will also expire on that date.
- Applicants must be aware that only a passport with a U.S. entry date are acceptable as a stand-alone identification document for dependents. Which means that if a dependent is presenting a passport without a date of entry then additional documentation must be provided. Children under age 6 can provide a U.S. medical record, children under 18 can provide a U.S. school record. If the dependent is at least age 18 then a U.S. school record for anyone who is a student. For anyone over 18 a rental or bank statement or a utility with the applicant’s name and U.S. address is sufficient. Dependents from Canada, Mexico, or dependents of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas are not required to present this additional documentation
Which form is used for the renewal application? Form W-7
It is wise to carefully go over your application to avoid common errors made, since errors made means a slowing down and holding up your renewal application from being processed. The IRS provides instructions as to how to properly fill out the form. Be sure to check that your ITIN renewal application is the latest Form W-7, revised September 2016. When filling out the application check the box that says “Renew an existing ITIN” on the top of the form. In the section “Reason you’re submitting Form W-7,” every applicant must check ONE of the eight boxes. Check the option that best describes the tax purpose for filing the application. An applicant who is living outside the United States should enter their foreign address on Line 3, if it is different from the mailing address on Line 2. If applicant is now living in the U.S. make sure to enter the foreign country of last residence.
Here are a few helpful options that can give you the assistance you need with your ITIN renewal process:
- Utilizing the IRS website, IRS.gov/ITIN, is a great way for renewal applicants to get the help they need. The website provides the W-7 form along with instructions in several different languages. Once forms have been filled out you can send them to the IRS along with all the supporting documentation. All documents are returned to the applicant via U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the W-7 form.
- Applicants can consult with a Certified Acceptance Agent or an Acceptance Agent who will submit W-7 forms on behalf of their client to the IRS for processing. IRS authorized CAA’s review all the necessary and supporting documentation required for taxpayers, their spouses, and dependents. Acceptance Agents fill out the W-7 form and send it in with the supporting documentation to the IRS.
- Designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers provide document authentication services. An applicant can submit their W-7 form with original documentation to a TAC employee. At these designated centers one can have their passports and certified copies of passports, national ID cards and birth certificates certified. One must schedule an appointment by calling 844-545-5640.