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Avoid Delays: Renew ITINs Expiring in 2018 Now

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) that have not been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years will expire December 31, 2018. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81 or 82 will also expire at the end of the year. These affected taxpayers who expect to file a tax return in 2019 must submit a renewal application as soon as possible.

ITINs are used by people who have tax filing or payment obligations under U.S. law but who are not eligible for a Social Security number. With more than 2 million ITINs set to expire at the end of 2018, taxpayers should submit renewal applications for Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number soon to beat the rush and avoid refund delays for next year’s tax returns.

While spouses or dependents residing inside the United States should renew their ITINs, spouses, and dependents residing outside the United States do not need to renew their ITINs unless they anticipate being claimed for a tax benefit (for example, after they move to the United States) or if they file their own tax return. That’s because the deduction for personal exemptions is suspended for tax years 2018 through 2025 by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Consequently, spouses or dependents outside the United States who would have been claimed for this personal exemption benefit and no other benefit do not need to renew their ITINs this year.

To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must complete a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation. Taxpayers submitting a Form W-7 to renew their ITIN are not required to attach a federal tax return. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on the Form W-7.

Federal tax returns that are submitted in 2019 with an expired ITIN will be processed. However, certain tax credits and any exemptions will be disallowed. Once the ITIN is renewed, applicable credits and exemptions will be restored, and any refunds will be issued.

As a reminder, the IRS no longer accepts passports that do not 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 U.S. military personnel overseas. The dependent’s passport must have a date of entry stamp, otherwise additional documents to prove U.S. residency are required.

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