tax filing

It's ITIN Renewal Time!

Beat the rush and avoid refund delays by renewing your ITIN before the end of the year if it's about to expire.

Now's the time to act if you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) that expires in 2020—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.) More than 1 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 2021 by submitting your renewal application before the end of the year.

Any ITIN with middle digits 88 (e.g., 9NN-88-NNNN) expires in 2020, as does any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 or 99 that were assigned before 2013 and have not already been renewed will also expire at the end of the year. You can also renew ITINs with middle digits 70 through 87 that expired in 2016 to  2019 if you expect to have a filing requirement in 2021.

How to Renew Your ITIN

To renew an ITIN, simply submit Form W-7 to the IRS. Don't forget to include all required ID and residency documents, though. Send either original documents or copies of documents certified by the issuing agency. If you're submitting a Form W-7 to renew your ITIN, you're not required to attach a federal tax return. Also note that the IRS no longer accepts passports that don't have a date of entry into the U.S. as a stand-alone identification document for dependents from a country other than Canada or Mexico or dependents of military members overseas.

Spouses and dependents only need to renew their ITIN if filing an individual tax return, or if they qualify for an allowable tax benefit (e.g., a dependent parent who qualifies the primary taxpayer to claim the head-of-household filing status). If that's the case, a federal return must be attached to the Form W-7 renewal application.

Also indicate the reason for applying. There are eight different options, including an "Other" option. If Reason B is marked (non-resident alien filing a U.S. federal tax return), you must also include a complete foreign address.

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.

Families Can Renew All Their ITINs Together

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.

Alternatives to Mailing ITIN Application Form

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 the IRS's CAA program webpage. You can also find a Taxpayer Assistance Center near you on the IRS website.

For more information about ITIN renewals in general, check out the FAQ page on the IRS website…but you don't want to wait too long!

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