IRS warns that certain immigrants will be required to renew ITINs

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program that require some individuals to renew their ITINs because they will expire on January 1, 2017.

The IRS will send a letter advising taxpayers whose ITINs are about to expire to submit renewal applications.

The ITIN allows immigrants who are unable to obtain a social security number to file their tax returns in order to comply with U.S. tax law.

Who must renew the ITIN

* Individuals who have not used an ITIN on a federal income tax return at least once in the last three years (2013, 2014 or 2015).
* Individuals who have ITINs issued before 2013. The first ITINs that will expire are those with middle digits of 78 and 79 (example: 9XX-78-XXXX).

Consequences of not renewing ITIN

According to the IRS, if they have an expired ITIN and do not renew it before filing a tax return in 2017, it could cause delays in refunds and they may not be eligible for certain tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit until they renew the ITIN.

It is important that immigrants who wish to obtain permanent residency in the future file their taxes, as failure to file taxes when required may be considered an act of misconduct that could affect their immigration status.

More information on expiring ITINs, how to renew and answers to program changes can be found on the ITINs page of Frequently Asked Questions about ITIN Expiration on the IRS Web site.

The IRS is available to help you obtain or renew an ITIN.

In the United States, call toll-free: 1-800-829-1040 or visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). You can find this information on the website