TAS Tax Tip: Renew Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers before they expire

November 9, 2020


Earlier this year, the IRS issued a reminder to certain Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) holders whose ITINs expire on December 31, 2020. An individual taxpayer’s failure to timely renew an ITIN may result in a delay of a refund claimed on a 2020 federal income tax return.

The renewal process can take up to sixty days or more, so it is critical to begin the process of renewal now.

Who needs to renew?

  • Taxpayers who expect to file a federal tax return during 2021 and whose ITIN contains the middle digits 88 (For example: 9NN-88-NNNN) or 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99.

Note: Taxpayer ITINs need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years.

The IRS may have already sent you a notice about this, but if you did not take action yet, please do so to avoid problems later.

How do I renew an ITIN?

  • To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation. Taxpayers submitting a Form W-7 to renew their ITIN are not required to attach a federal tax return. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on the Form W-7. See the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information.

  • Taxpayers with an expiring ITIN 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 that have not been identified for expiration. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.

See our Getting An ITIN help page or the IRS’s reminder page for more information about ways to submit the Form W-7 application package.

How do I avoid errors?

  • Double check your Form W-7 for missing entries.
  • Ensure you attach all required documentation (e.g., medical records, school records, identification documents like a valid passport, etc.).
  • Ensure all required signatures are on the Form W-7.

Resources

Taxpayer Advocate Service Help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is uniquely positioned to assist all taxpayers (and their representatives), including individuals, businesses, and exempt organizations. If you qualify for our help, an advocate will be with you at every turn and do everything possible to assist through the process.

Currently, TAS is open to virtually serve taxpayers who find themselves in hardship situations or dealing with IRS tax problems they’ve been unable to resolve directly with the IRS. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.

You can also follow the Taxpayer Advocate Service across social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for the latest news