If you are a US nonresident alien and have filed a US income tax return, you most likely have an IRS issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This is a number, assigned by the IRS, to those individuals who are not eligible for a US Social Security Number. As the holder of an ITIN, you may be affected by some recent changes in the ITIN administration program and may need to take action in order to keep your number.
In 2015, the US Congress mandated that the IRS expire inactive ITINs and all ITINs issued between the years of 1996 and 2012. In order to meet this mandate in a timely and systematic manner, the IRS has implemented a system where ITINs will expire over a series of years. For 2017 and 2018, the following ITINs are scheduled to expire:
- ITINs with the middle digits of 78 or 79 – expired on January 1, 2017
- ITINs with the middle digits of 70, 71, 72, and 80 – will expire on January 1, 2018
- ITINs not used on a US federal income tax return for the past three years.
If an ITIN is scheduled to expire, it can be renewed by completing a Form W-7 and providing a certified copy of a foreign passport. The Form W-7 can be submitted with the next-filed tax return, or it can be renewed in advance of filing.
US tax returns that are filed with an expired ITIN will still be processed by the IRS, however all personal exemptions claimed on the return will be denied. The taxpayer will receive a notice from the IRS citing a “math error” on the return. At that point, the taxpayer will have to file a Form W-7 to renew the ITIN and file an amended US income tax return to reinstate any denied exemptions.
We encourage taxpayers with an expiring ITIN to apply for renewal now, before the upcoming 2017 tax filing season. Doing so will reduce the processing time of your 2017 US income tax return. If you would like assistance with the ITIN renewal office, please contact Cadesky US Tax Ltd. at (416) 594-9500.
The above information is not intended to be “written advice concerning one or more federal tax matters” subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230. The contents of this document are intended for general information purposes only.