The IRS is warning a new set of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number holders that their numbers are set to expire at the end of 2017, and that they’ll need to renew them before they next file a return.
In the second year of the renewal program, the IRS has made changes to make the process smoother for taxpayers. The renewal process for 2018 is beginning now, more than three months earlier than last year.
Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, ITINs that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire on Dec. 31. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 will also expire at the end of the year.
“We want to emphasize that not everyone with an ITIN needs to take action. These rules only apply to two specific groups,” said Kenneth Corbin, commissioner of the Wage & Investment Division of the IRS. “It’s critical to renew ITINs as soon as possible this summer. If taxpayers have an expired ITIN and they don’t renew before filing, they may have refund delays, and they may be ineligible for certain credits, like the Child Tax Credit.”
The IRS is waiving the requirement to attach a return to the Form W-7, the renewal form submitted with all required documentation. A “family option” lets filers, spouses and dependents all renew at the same time.
The IRS expects 1.3 million people to be affected by the new rules. As of the end of April 2016, the IRS had about 3.2 million ITIN returns; they expect this year’s number to be about the same.
Affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2018 must submit a renewal application. The agency urges taxpayers affected by changes to the ITIN program to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible to avoid the rush.
As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits of 78 and 79 already expired last year. Taxpayers with these ITIN numbers can renew at any time.
“Our numbers show the same number of ITIN returns from year to year,” Corbin said. “We know that there are ITIN filers who no longer have a filing requirement, and of course there are new ITIN filers.”
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