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The Importance of Renewing Your ITIN


Anticipating that as many as two million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) will expire by the end of this year, the IRS is encouraging affected taxpayers to file their renewal applications as soon as possible. Failing to take this step could result in a delayed refund next year, so if you believe that your own ITIN is set to expire, or you have renewal-related questions, it is critical to contact experienced Florida tax return preparation attorney Ronald Cutler who can address your concerns.

Expiring ITINs 

Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, are assigned to individuals who do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), but who need a taxpayer identification number, or must file a federal tax return. Millions of these ITINs are set to expire on December 31st of this year under the terms of The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which applies to all ITINs that haven’t been used for tax return purposes at least once in the past three years. Other ITINs that could be affected by this law, include all numbers with the middle digits 83 through 87, even if the taxpayer has used the number in the last three years. Individuals who expect to file a tax return next year and whose number falls under one of these categories must renew their ITINs as soon as possible or risk the delay of their refund.

Filing a Renewal Application  

There are a number of different ways to renew an ITIN, although all taxpayers who wish to do so must complete and submit Form W-7. Most applicants do not need to include a copy of their tax return with their application, although spouses and dependents who live outside of the U.S. and who qualify for a tax benefit, or have decided to file an individual tax return must attach this documentation prior to submission.

Once completed, the Form W-7 application can be sent to the IRS in one of three different ways:

  • By sending the application through the mail, as long as the original identification documents submitted to the IRS when applying for the ITIN are included;
  • By working with agents who have been authorized by the IRS to assist taxpayers in renewing ITINs and who can authenticate identification documentation and verify that ITIN applications were completed correctly before submitting them to the IRS; or
  • By meeting with an authorized agent at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, who is equipped to authenticate an applicant’s identity in person and so avoid the mailing of original documents to the IRS.

While taxpayers who fail to take this step and who file a federal tax return in 2020 will still have their returns processed by the IRS, certain exemptions and tax credits will be disallowed. Once an ITIN is renewed, however, these credits and exemptions will be applied and any refunds sent to the taxpayer. Even taxpayers who do submit ITIN renewal applications could face refund delays if they make certain errors, including: submitting identification documents without attaching a Form W-7, failing to include all necessary information on their application, or providing insufficient supporting documentation.

Call Today for Legal Assistance  

To find out more about renewing your own ITIN, please contact one of the dedicated Florida tax return preparation attorneys at the office of Ronald Cutler, P.A. You can reach a member of our legal team at 386-490-9949, or by completing one of our brief online contact forms.