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taxes

Year-End Tax Tip: Renew Your Expiring Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

Beat the rush and avoid refund delays by renewing your ITIN before the end of the year.

Now's the time to act if you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that expires in 2019—you need to renew your ITIN as soon as possible! (An ITIN is a tax ID number used by taxpayers who can't get a Social Security number.) Nearly 2 million taxpayers have ITINs expiring this year, so the IRS expects processing delays for people who wait. But you can get your ITIN renewed more quickly and avoid refund delays in 2020 by submitting your renewal application before the end of the year.

Any ITIN with middle digits 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87 expires in 2019, as does any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years. You can also renew ITINs with middle digits 70 through 82 that expired in 2016, 2017 or 2018.

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To renew an ITIN, simply submit Form W-7 to the IRS. Don't forget to include all required ID and residency documents, though. The IRS won't process your renewal application until it receives these documents. Send either original documents or copies of documents certified by the issuing agency.

Also indicate the reason for applying. If Reason B (non-resident alien) is marked, you must also include a complete foreign address.

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Do other members of your family have ITINs, too? If so, the IRS will accept W-7 forms from everyone in the family if at least one family member listed on a tax return has an ITIN expiring at the end of this year. So, in this case, the whole family can apply at the same time.

If you submit a Form W-7 before the end of the year, allow seven weeks for the IRS to notify you of your ITIN application status. You'll have to wait nine to 11 weeks if you mail the form in 2020 or if you're filing from overseas.

Don't want to mail your documents? You may be eligible to use an IRS authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent (CAA) or make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. That way, you can hand-deliver your documents to the IRS. To find a local CAA in your area, go to www.irs.gov/individuals/acceptance-agent-program.

For more information, check out the FAQ page on the IRS website…but don't wait too long!

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