Many come to the United States on various work Visas and eventually bring their spouse and children to join them. Now these family members may not qualify for Social Security Numbers (SSN) and they have to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The member of the family here on the work visa and consequentially an SSN can claim dependency credits and also be able to file jointly on their U.S. tax return with their spouse if conditions have been met and they qualify.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act now requires all applicants for Employer Identification Numbers to have either a Social Security Number or an ITIN. Non-resident individuals doing business in the US as a partner in a US partnership also require an ITIN to file their US tax returns and to be able to claim back taxes paid on their behalf by the US partnership.
An ITIN is a very important nine-digit number starting with a 9, therefore an individual who has an ITIN needs to be aware of the rules and regulations governing it. The last big change that was made to the ITIN Rules was back in August of 2016 with the PATH Act. The PATH Act ITIN provisions were detailed in Notice 2016-48 here.
So What’s New On The ITIN Front For 2019?
All ITIN’s not used on a federal income tax return at least once for tax years 2016, 2017 or 2018, will expire on December 2019. Additionally, all ITIN’s with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 will expire at the end of 2019.
The Internal Revenue Service will send out a CP48 notice that you need to renew your ITIN if you have previously filed a tax return with an ITIN with the above middle digits but not renewed it.
What To Do If You Or A Family Member Has An ITIN With Middle Digits 83, 84, 85, 86 Or 87?
You can immediately take action to renew your ITIN if you or your family member has to file a tax return for 2019 in 2020. You do not have to wait to receive the CP48 from the IRS. If you happen to receive the notice after you have initiated the renewal, the IRS asks that you ignore the notice.
Currently Expired ITINs
Tax Year Middle Digits
2016 78 and 79
2017 70, 71, 72 and 80
2018 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81 and 82
If you have an ITIN with the above middle digits, and expect to have a filing requirement in 2020, you can renew your ITIN at any time.
ITIN Used Only For Informational Purposes: ITINs used by third-parties to report information to the IRS but which are not used to file a tax return need not be renewed. If the person with this ITIN needs to file a tax return, the ITIN needs to be renewed.
Spouses And Dependents With Expired ITINs: Spouses or dependents who reside outside the US must renew their ITIN only when filing an individual tax return or when they are claimed on someone else’s tax return as an allowable tax-benefit. Hence, the Form W-7 will have to be attached to the federal tax return at the time of filing.
Process To Renew ITIN: Use One Of The Following Methods
- Mail Form W-7 long with original identification documents or copies certified by the agency issuing them to the IRS address in the form instructions. The IRS will review and send all identification documents within 60 days. OR
- Use one of the many Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) who are authorized by the IRS to apply for an ITIN. CAAs can certify original documents including birth certificates for primary taxpayers, secondary taxpayers and dependents. This can save the applicant from the rather risky need to send original documents to the IRS. There are many CAAs located around the world. Information can be found on the IRS’ website. OR
- Call and make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center located nearest you.
Note: The IRS will not accept passports without a date of entry into the US as a stand-alone identification document for a dependent from a country other than Canada or Mexico or dependents of military members overseas. Additional documents can be provided along with the passport to prove US residency such as US medical records or US school records.
If you have more questions regarding applying for or renewing your ITIN, please contact our office. We do not recommend doing this on your own without a tax professional’s guidance.
Have a question? Contact Manasa Nadig