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What Do I Do If My ITIN Number Is Expired?
The process of filing a federal tax return is notoriously difficult and stressful, especially when you do not have the benefit of a permanent Social Security Number to use when filling out your return. Such is the case for many citizens from other countries with income or property interests in the U.S. – circumstances requiring an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in lieu of one from the Social Security Administration. However, those with an ITIN must deal with certain additional concerns above and beyond those faced by U.S. citizens or permanent residents, such as the fact that their ITIN number will expire at some point and needs to be renewed.
It is best to make sure your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number has indeed expired before going through the trouble of renewing it. Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues a release telling people what ITINs are set to expire, as determined by the fourth and fifth digits – those in the middle, between the dashes – of a person’s ITIN. In addition, the IRS will send out what is called a CP48 Notice, letting you know that your number is set to expire this year. If you received one of these letters from the IRS last year or any year before, it means that your ITIN has expired.
Your returns this year
In 2020, ITINs with the middle digits 88, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99 expired, so if you have not already, start the renewal process if your ITIN includes these numbers, as you will not be able to properly file your returns this year otherwise.
In addition to the batches of ITINs that expire each year, the IRS treats these numbers as invalid in another circumstance as well. Those who have not used their ITIN on a federal return in the last three years will also find that their number has expired; if you are unsure whether you fall into this group, check your tax records to see if you used your ITIN within the appropriate time window.
Once you have determined that your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number has expired or is about to expire, it is time to start the renewal process. Regardless of how long it has been since your ITIN originally expired, you can submit the appropriate application to renew your number at any time. The procedure to follow is fairly straightforward. Just as if you were applying for an ITIN for the first time, you must submit IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, either in person or by mail, along with the appropriate identifying documents; unlike with a first-time application, however, you do not need to attach a federal tax return.
When applying to renew your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you will need to include an original (or certified copy) of one or more of the 13 documents accepted as proof of identity and foreign status. A valid passport is the only document that can be used to prove both; otherwise, you will have to submit a combination of two of the following documents:
- A national ID card
- A U.S. driver’s license
- A foreign driver’s license
- A birth certificate
- A U.S. state ID card
- A U.S. military ID card
- A foreign voter’s registration card
- A foreign military ID card
- An immigration visa
- A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services photo ID
- Medical records (only valid for dependents younger than age 6)
- School records (only valid for dependents under 14, or under 18 if they are a student)
Once you have gathered the relevant documents, you will have to turn them over to the IRS with your application. There are, however, some caveats; for instance, some documents require a photo, whereas others do not, and passports require a date of entry to be accepted. We at Allure Accounting can help you figure out what counts as acceptable documentation in your case and ensure that your application goes through without issue.