WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers affected by recent changes involving the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program that they can now begin submitting their ITIN renewal applications to the IRS.

Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, any ITIN not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid for use on a tax return as of Jan. 1, 2017.

If a taxpayer has an ITIN that is scheduled to expire and needs to file a tax return, it's important not to delay. By submitting the application package in the next few weeks ITIN taxpayers may avoid unnecessary delays and allow for smoother and faster processing.

As part of this effort, the IRS has embarked on a wider education effort to share information with ITIN holders. To help taxpayers, the IRS has prepared a variety of informational materials, including flyers and fact sheets, available in several languages on IRS.gov. In addition to English and Spanish, materials are available in Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian and Vietnamese.

The IRS continues to work with partner groups and others in the ITIN community to share information widely about these important changes.

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. ITIN holders who have questions should visit the ITIN information page on IRS.gov and take a few minutes to understand the guidelines.

Who Should Renew an ITIN

Only ITIN holders who need to file a tax return in 2017 need to renew their ITINs. Taxpayers will need to have a current ITIN in order to file a federal return in 2017. Others do not need to take any action.

  • Taxpayers with ITINs that haven't been used on a federal income tax return in the last three years won't be able to file a return unless their ITINs are renewed.
  • ITINs with the middle digits 78 or 79 (xxx-78-xxxx; xxx-79-xxxx) need to be renewed even if the taxpayer has used it in the last three years. The IRS recently mailed more than 300,000 letters (also available in Spanish on IRS.gov) alerting taxpayers with ITINs with middle digits of 78 or 79 of the need to renew their ITINs.

Taxpayers with an ITIN with middle digits of 78 or 79 have the option to renew ITINs for their entire family at the same time. Those who have received a renewal letter from the IRS can choose to renew the family's ITINs together even if family members have an ITIN with middle digits other than 78 or 79. Family members include the tax filer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.

How to Renew an ITIN

To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer must fill out a Form W-7 and submit all required documentation. The IRS began accepting ITIN renewals on Oct. 1. There are three ways to submit the W-7 application package:

  • Mail the Form W-7 — along with original identification documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them — to the IRS address listed on the Form W-7 instructions. The IRS will review the identification documents and return them within 60 days.
  • Taxpayers have the option to work with Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) authorized by the IRS to help taxpayers apply for an ITIN. CAAs will review all documentation for a taxpayer and certify that an ITIN application is correct before submitting it to the IRS for processing. A CAA can also certify passports and birth certificates for dependents. This saves taxpayers from mailing original documents to the IRS.
  • In advance, taxpayers can call and make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing original identification documents to the IRS.

A federal tax return need not be attached to the Form W-7 application if an ITIN is being renewed. However, taxpayers must still note a reason for needing an ITIN on the Form W-7. See the Form W-7 instructions for detailed information.

IRS Acceptance Agent Program

To increase the availability of ITIN services nationwide, particularly in communities with high ITIN usage, the IRS is actively recruiting Certified Acceptance Agents, and applications are now accepted year-round. Interested individuals, community outreach partners and volunteers at tax preparation sites are encouraged to review all program changes and requirements.

Also, the IRS has developed material in several languages for community outreach partners interested in helping the IRS get this message to all affected taxpayers.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

February 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Certain small employers
File Form 944 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Farm employers
File Form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Federal unemployment tax
File Form 940 for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer Details

February 15 — All businesses
Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2017 Details

February 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.

February 15 — All employers
Begin withholding income tax from the pay of any employee who claimed exemption from withholding in 2017, but did not give you Form W4 to continue the exemption this year.

February 15 — Individuals
If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4, you must file a new Form W-04 by this date to continue your exemption for another year Details

February 19 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Washington's Birthday) Details

February 28 — All businesses
File information returns (for example, Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2017.

February 28 — Payers of gambling winnings.
File Form 1096 along with Copy A of all the Forms W2G you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — All employers
File Form W3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, along with Copy A of all the Forms W2 you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2 electronically, your due date for filing them with the SSA will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — Large food and beverage establishment employers
File Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips. Use Form 8027T, Transmittal of Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, to summarize and transmit Forms 8027 if you have more than one establishment. If you file Forms 8027 electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31.

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