The IRS began mailing letters this month to more than 1 million taxpayers with expiring ITINs, urging recipients to renew quickly to avoid refund and processing delays.

ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72 or 80 expire at the end of 2017. The notice being mailed, CP-48 Notices, explains the steps to renew the ITIN if it will be included on a U.S. tax return filed in 2018.

IRS building entrance

ITINs that have not been used on a federal return at least once in the last three consecutive years will also expire Dec. 31. Taxpayers whose ITINs expired due to lack of use should only renew their ITIN if they will have a filing requirement in 2018.

The notices will be issued over a five-week period beginning in early August. Taxpayers who receive the notice but have acted to renew their ITIN do not need to take further steps unless another family member is affected.

ITINs with middle digits 78 and 79 that expired at the end of last year can be renewed at any time; taxpayers with these ITINs should renew if they will have a filing requirement in 2018.

Taxpayers who are eligible for, or who have, a Social Security number should not renew their ITIN but should notify IRS both of their Social Security number and previous ITIN so their accounts can be merged.

Taxpayers with an ITIN with middle digits 70, 71, 72, 78, 79 or 80 also have the option to renew ITINs for their entire family at the same time. Those who have received a renewal letter from the IRS 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 return.

To renew, taxpayers must complete a W-7 and submit all required documentation; taxpayers are not required to attach a federal return. To submit the W-7 application package, mail the W-7 with original identification documents or copies certified by the issuing agency to the IRS address listed on the W-7 instructions; or work with Certified Acceptance Agents to help them apply for an ITIN.

Common errors that can delay some ITIN renewal applications generally center on missing information or insufficient supporting documentation. More is on the IRS ITIN information page.

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Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.