Some Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) are Expiring – Is Yours?

October 26, 2016 | Authored by Jill E. Colombo CPA

October 26, 2016 – Changes to the Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN) program are required as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act enacted by Congress in December 2015.  Some ITINs will begin expiring as of January 1, 2017.

Which ITINs are affected?

  • ITINs that haven’t been used on a federal income tax return for the past three years (years covering 2013, 2014 and 2015) will no longer be valid for use in filing federal income tax returns.
  • ITIN number holders with middle digits of 78 or 79 should have received Letter 5821 from the IRS explaining that the ITIN will expire and outlining what steps need to be taken to renew the ITIN.
  • If the taxpayer does not plan on filing a U.S. tax return, there is no need to renew the ITIN.

What is the renewal process?

As of October 1, 2016, ITIN holders could begin renewing ITINs that are no longer in effect as a result of the three years of non use or that have a middle digit of 78 or 79.

In order to renew the ITIN, the taxpayer needs to submit a completed Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and all required documents to the IRS. The form can be filed stand-alone; no tax return filing is required for a renewal application.  Required documents include original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency. A few examples of the 13 acceptable documents include passports, visas, foreign military identification card, etc. For taxpayers who do not want to send in original documents, they may be eligible to use an IRS authorized Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) or make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) location.

Can you renew now so you don’t have to later?

At this time, the IRS is asking for renewals of only those ITINs that are currently expiring. They will begin rolling out letters as other ITINs come up for renewal.

If you are unsure whether or not this applies to you, please contact Jill Colombo at or your Dopkins Tax Advisor for insight, explanation, and assistance.

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About the Author

Jill E. Colombo CPA

Jill specializes in corporate tax compliance and preparation services for businesses and individuals. She has significant experience with multi-state tax corporate issues, employee benefit plan compliance and international tax matters. Her projects include tax planning, international compliance and tax structure consulting services.

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