International Tax Accountants, Cross Border Tax Accountants, Canada US Tax Treaty, US & Canadian Tax Return Preparation

Renewing Your US Tax ID (ITIN)

November 6, 2017

Renewing Your U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

For 20 years, the IRS has required a nonresident alien to apply for, and use, a US Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when filing a US income tax return, and certain other US tax documents. The application procedure can be wearisome for many, especially because of the verification requirements for supporting documentation, such as a passport.

ITINs contain nine digits in the format 9xx-xx-xxxx. Unlike US social security numbers, ITINs expire! And, the IRS and Congress continually introduce new wrinkles. Under the present rule, you must renew your ITIN when either one of two conditions are met:

  1. If your ITIN has middle digits 70, 71, 72, or 80, your ITIN will expire at the end of 2017. In this case, if you will be filing a 2017 income tax return in 2018, you, and anyone who will be listed as a dependent on your return must renew your ITINs.

  2. If you have not used your ITIN on a U.S. federal income tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years, it will expire. For example, if you did not file a US income tax return for 2014, 2015, or 2016, you, and anyone listed as a dependent on the tax return must renew your ITINs to file for 2017.

ITINs with middle digits 78 or 79 expired at the end of 2016, unless, of course, they have since been renewed.

Tax returns filed with expired ITINs will be processed by the IRS with a delay, and the taxpayer will be denied exemptions and/or certain tax credits until the ITIN is renewed. When you renew your ITIN, the actual number will remain the same.

For those taxpayers whose ITIN has, or will, expire, but who will not be filing a US income tax return in 2018, no action is required at this time.

These rules change constantly. We will continue to keep you updated via our free "International Tax Alert".

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