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What is an ITIN, and Do I Need to Renew it?

Here at Polston, we accommodate our vast tax expertise to any situation our clients might face. Today's blog post is for any of our clients that don't have a Social Security Number, and instead have an ITIN. ITIN stands for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and is used by the IRS to identify taxpayers who are obligated to pay taxes but do not have, and cannot legally obtain, a SSN. If you're an ITIN holder and you need to file a tax return in 2017, you may need to renew your ITIN.

You Do Not Need to Renew If:  

  • You are a US Citizen, (or have recently become one).
  • You only intend to use your ITIN on an information return (such as a 1099) that is filed with a third party.
  • You won't use the ITIN with middle digits of 78 or 79 on a U.S. tax return.

You Do Need to Renew If:

  • If you're filing a tax return in 2017, and your ITIN hasn't been used on a federal income tax return in the last three years, you need to renew.  In addition, if you've received a letter from the IRS, labeled 5821, you need to renew. 
  • If your ITIN contains the middle digits 78 or 79 (for example: xxx-78-xxxx; xxx-79-xxxx), you need to renew even if you've already renewed within the last three years. The good news though, is that you can renew for your entire family at the same time.  If you've received your 5821 letters from the IRS, then you'll be able to renew family members together even if their ITINs don't contain the middle digits 78 or 79. (Family members are defined as the tax filer, spouse, and any dependents claimed on a return.)

If you do not renew, your ITIN will expire January 1, 2017. 

How Can I Renew my ITIN?

In order to renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must fill out a Form W-7, an ITIN application form. In addition to your form, include any required documents, such as a passport, driver's license, or USCIS documentation. Any documentation you send must be official and current.  Once you have filled out and attached everything you need, there are three ways to submit your W-7 application: 

First, you can mail it in, along with any identification documents you need. The recipient address will be listed on the W-7 instruction sheet, and any documents you send will be returned to you within 60 days. 

Or if you prefer, you can work with a Certified Acceptance Agent (or CAA), third-party organizations that the IRS has authorized to assist taxpayers with their ITIN applications. CAAs will review all ITIN application documents for the original taxpayer, and any passports or birth certificates for dependents. The CAA will verify that all information is correct, and submit it to the IRS. 

Lastly, you can always reach out to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, instead of reaching out to the IRS directly. 

Or, you can always speak with the attorneys at Polston. If we're unable to help, we will guide you towards someone that is. Be sure to browse our services page and fill out the form for a free consultation. Or give us a call at 844-841-9857.



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