Will My Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Expire?

Moving to the United States and maintaining a job there can be very beneficial, but also very stressful – not least because of the convoluted tax payment and reporting requirements imposed by the U.S. tax code. Even those who choose to stay in their current country of residence may need to deal with these requirements; for instance, buying property in the U.S. from anywhere in the world will trigger certain reporting requirements with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). First, however, you need to make sure you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If you already have an ITIN registered in your name, you might be wondering, “Will my Individual Taxpayer Identification Number expire? And if so, what does it take to renew my ITIN?” Here, the international tax accountants at US Tax Help will discuss this important topic and answer any questions you might have.

Who Needs an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number?

Whether you’re a foreigner investing in U.S. real estate who needs an accountant for handling FIRPTA requirements or a nonresident alieen with a job in the U.S. who doesn’t qualify for a Social Security Number, getting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a must. This nine-digit number will be used to confirm your identity with the IRS, so anyone who doesn’t have a number from the Social Security Administration needs one if they plan to file a tax return. While you might assume that because you’re not a U.S. citizen you don’t need to comply with the country’s tax laws, the truth is that the U.S. taxes everyone who makes money in the country or makes real estate transactions there, and they take foreign account tax compliance very seriously.

However, an ITIN is only required if it’s part of your particular tax filing process. For example, a foreign citizen selling U.S. property will have to get one, but once the property is sold, you won’t need that number anymore – provided you don’t earn income from the U.S. or plan to sell more property there. Before you go through the trouble of applying for or renewing your ITIN, make sure you actually need it.

How to Tell If Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Will Expire

Like most forms of government identification, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers will expire after a set amount of time or once certain conditions are met. Each year, the IRS sends out a document called a CP48 Notice to taxpayers with an ITIN that is set to expire during that year. If that taxpayer plans to submit a return the following year, they will need to renew their ITIN before then to successfully meet their U.S. tax filing obligations. Below, we’ll look at what Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are set to expire in 2020.

What ITINs Are Expiring This Year?

The expiration of ITINs happens in batches each year, and whether a particular taxpayer will need to worry about an expiring Individual Taxpayer Identification Number will depend on the two middle digits of their ITIN – those enclosed by dashes. At the end of 2020, anyone with an ITIN that has the middle numbers 88, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99 will need to file for renewal if they haven’t done so already. Last year, ITINs with the middle numbers 83 through 87 expired, and those with 73 through 77, 81, and 82 expired in 2018. If you have an ITIN that expired, and you didn’t realize it, know that you can still renew at any time.

Are Other ITINs Expiring?

Yes. In addition to the ITINs set to expire as part of the group outlined above, any Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that has not been used to file a federal tax return in the last three years will expire at the end of the year as well, regardless of the middle digits of that ITIN.  If you haven’t used your ITIN to file any taxes in recent years but anticipate needing it in the near future, you may want to check your tax records and see if your ITIN is set to expire for this reason.

Renewing Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

If your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is going to expire this year, don’t worry; renewing isn’t all that complicated. To ensure your ITIN stays up to date, you’ll need to file IRS Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, once again, along with the necessary forms of identification; the IRS website has all the acceptable documents listed. While an initial application to receive an ITIN may require attaching a federal tax return, renewals do not.

While this process can be initiated at any time, it should be noted that the IRS does not want people to renew their ITIN until the year it would expire. However, the IRS does offer a family renewal option: If your ITIN is set to expire but those of your family members are not, you can still renew all of your family’s ITINs together, bringing them all up to date regardless of whether expiration was on the horizon.

Get Worldwide Access to Tax Experts Today with US Tax Help

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen, foreign-born resident, or not a resident at all, figuring out your obligations to the IRS can be tough, but know that the team of experts at US Tax Help is available to assist you anywhere in the world as your virtual accountant for U.S. tax filing. Learn more about how we can aid you in handling your American tax obligations or set up a consultation with an experienced international tax accountant by visiting us online to learn more about taxes for U.S. expats or calling (541) 362-9127 today.