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-- Music plays in background as the presentation begins -- Hello, I'm Keyuna Roundtree.

And I'm Tim Benningfield, and we work for the IRS.

It's our pleasure to welcome you to the Internal Revenue Service's 2017 ITIN Program Changes presentation, designed specifically for the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, better known as ITIN, program.

During this presentation, Keyuna and I will share valuable information with you.

Our goal is to help you understand recent changes to the ITIN program including: New ITIN expiration policies Use of the passport as a stand-alone identification document for dependents And expanded certification authority for Certified Acceptance Agents or CAAs.

Some of these changes were implemented in September and October 2016.

Additional changes go into effect January 1st, for the 2017 tax filing season.

Before we review today's agenda, we want to thank you for being a partner with the IRS.

You provide clients valuable assistance, advice and guidance to help them understand and meet their tax obligations.

The services you provide help them submit accurate Forms W-7 and required documentation, which helps us issue ITINs faster.

During today's presentation, we'll cover: Application processing New ITIN Expiration Requirements Implementing the new Requirements ITIN Renewals Processing year 2017 filing information 2017 ITIN Policy Changes and finally we'll direct you on how to get more information.

Improving the ITIN program remains a top priority for the IRS.

We've made significant program improvements while we remain vigilant in protecting the integrity of the ITIN program.

As an Acceptance Agent or AA, your role in the ITIN process is important in that you help ensure that ITINs are only issued to eligible individuals.

You assist in this process by conducting interviews, completing form W7, and ensuring required documentation is submitted.

With that said, let's get started.

Before we address the first item on our agenda, let me tell you a little bit about what an ITIN is and why we've made changes to the ITIN program.

Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue code allows IRS to issue taxpayer identification numbers to individuals for tax purposes.

A social security number is a taxpayer identification number.

Individuals who are not eligible to receive an SSN from the Social Security Administration, but still need a taxpayer identification number for U.S. tax purposes, will be issued an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN.

They're used for individuals who have a U.S. tax filing or reporting requirement.

An ITIN is a nine-digit tax processing number used by the IRS that is formatted like an SSN.

Each ITIN begins with the number 9 and has a fourth and a fifth digit that ranges from: 50 to 65 70 to 88 90 to 92 or 94 to 99 Section 203 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 or PATH Act, enacted on December 18, 2015, modified section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code.

This included significant changes to the ITIN program.

The first item on our agenda covers ITIN Application Processing.

Approximately 93% of Form W7 applicants submit their application with a U.S. tax return.

Both domestic and foreign applicants can mail their Form W7, along with their tax return and the required documentation, to the ITIN Operation in Austin, Texas.

They must also provide original documents, or certified copies of original documents from the issuing agency as proof of foreign status and identity.

Applicants may also submit their application in-person to an IRS employee, at a local Taxpayer Assistance Center or TAC, as we refer to them.

Designated TAC locations provide this service, but an appointment is required.

You can make an appointment by calling 1 844-545-5640.

An additional option is for applicants to submit their application through an Acceptance Agent, known as an AA, or a Certified Acceptance Agent known as an CAA.

These individuals may charge a fee for their service.

Both AAs and CAAs are authorized by the IRS to assist resident and non-resident aliens in submitting their Form W7 application.

AAs can help you complete and submit Forms W7.

They will need to submit original documentation or certified copies of the documentation from the issuing agency to the IRS for all applicants.

CAAs can authenticate the identification documents for the primary and secondary applicant, which is generally a spouse, and will return the original documents to the applicant.

They can authenticate the passport and birth certificate for dependents, but must send all other required documents to ITIN Operations along with the completed Form W7 application.

Next we'll discuss the new ITIN expiration requirements The PATH Act mandated that all ITINs not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years would expire.

This rule applies regardless of the ITIN issuance date.

Additionally, the PATH Act mandated the expiration of ITINS issued from 1996 to 2012 based on the year of assignment and in accordance with a 3 year schedule laid out in the legislation.

Now let's talk about how we'll implement the new ITIN expiration requirements.

Any ITIN not listed as the primary, secondary or dependent taxpayer on a tax return in the last three years, expires December 31, 2016.

For example, if an individual applied for and received an ITIN, and did not file a tax return in 2013, 2014, or 2015, your ITIN is now expired.

Due to budget and resource restrictions, the Service made a decision to expire ITINs issued before 2013, based on the middle digits rather than the year they were assigned.

Deactivation by middle digits is more manageable and less burdensome on the taxpayer as ITIN holders may not know, or remember, when their ITIN was issued.

The first group which have middle digits of 78 or 79 are no longer valid as of January 1, 2017.

The remaining groups will expire based on an annual schedule that IRS will announce at a later date.

Individuals with expired ITINs will need to take action to renew them if they will be filing a federal tax return in 2017.

ITIN holders, who don't have a need to file a tax return, don't need to renew their ITIN.

Additionally, an individual with an expired ITIN who has, or becomes eligible for an SSN, should not renew the ITIN.

If they already have an SSN, they should send a letter to notify the ITIN Operation, of their change in status.

They will need to provide their ITIN and the SSN, so IRS can update their tax records.

Also, ITINs used only on third party information returns, such as Forms 1099, don't have to be renewed.

They can continue to be used for this purpose even if they're no longer valid for use on a tax return.

If you're required to file a return at a later date, then you will need to renew the ITIN at that time.

Additionally, the third parties who file and furnish information returns with an expired payee ITIN, will not be subject to information return penalties under I-R-C Sections 6721 or 6722 solely because the ITIN is expired.

Next, we'll discuss ITIN Renewals.

Under the PATH Act, certain ITINs will no longer be in effect unless they're renewed.

Those who have received a renewal letter from the IRS can choose to renew the ITIN of all family members, even if they have not expired.

Family members include the taxpayer, spouse and any dependents claimed on the tax return.

To renew an ITIN, a taxpayer should complete the latest revision of Form W7, which is available on IRS.gov Taxpayers will need to ensure they check the box that says, Renew an existing ITIN, and submit all required documentation.

They must also include original identification documents, or certified copies of documents from the issuing agency, to prove their foreign status and identity.

Taxpayers submitting Form W7 for ITIN renewal do not need to attach a federal tax return.

However, they will need to check a box in the Reason You're Submitting Form W7 section of the form to indicate your tax purpose for the ITIN.

Applicants should not write ITIN renewal in this section of the form.

Refer to the Form W7 instructions for detailed information.

Once the Form W7 renewal application is processed, the ITIN will again be valid for use on a tax return.

It takes 7 weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter, but it can take up to 9 to 11 weeks if you submit Form W7 during the peak season, or from overseas.

To avoid delays, don't wait to renew any ITINS.

As to what's new in Processing Year 2017 Returns filed by individuals whose ITIN is expired will be accepted by the IRS however there may be a delay in processing returns and certain credits.

For instance, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit will not be allowed until the ITIN is renewed.

This could result in a reduced refund or additional penalties and interest.

The IRS will notify filers about the delay and any reduction in refunds and credits claimed.

They will be directed to file Form W7 to renew their ITIN to restore credits originally claimed on the return.

Now, let's take a look at the 2017 ITIN Policy Changes.

First, Proof of U.S. Residency for Dependent Applicants There are new documentation requirements when applying for or renewing an ITIN for certain dependents.

Effective October 1, 2016, only a passport with a U.S. entry date will be acceptable as a stand alone identification document.

Dependents from Canada, Mexico or dependents of U.S. military personnel who are stationed overseas, are exempt.

Dependent ITIN applicants that use a passport without a date of entry must provide additional documentation, along with the passport to prove U.S. residency.

If under age 6, they can provide a U.S. medical record If under age 18, a U.S. school record If age 18 and over, U.S. school records if a student, a rental or bank statement, or a utility bill listing the applicant's name and U.S. address.

Another 2017 ITIN Policy Change involves changes to the CAA program.

CAAs now have expanded certification authority for dependents.

They can authenticate the passport and birth certificate.

However, they must continue to submit, original or certified copies from the issuing agency for all other dependent documents.

CAAs can also continue to certify all 13 acceptable identification documents for primary and secondary applicants.

The CAAs must attach Form W7, Certificate of Accuracy or COA for IRS Individual Identification Taxpayer Number, to each Form W7 application submitted.

CAAs will also have to attach copies of all documentation authenticated with the Form W7 COA.

As a reminder, CAAs must conduct an interview with each applicant, primary, secondary or dependent in order to complete the application.

They can conduct interviews with clients either through face to face or video conferencing such as SKYPE, but must have the original identification documents in their possession during the interview to see the security features.

To increase the availability of ITIN services nationwide, particularly in communities with high ITIN usage, the IRS is actively recruiting CAAs.

The IRS is accepting Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, year round.

Interested individuals including community outreach partners are encouraged to review all program changes and requirements.

In addition to completing Form 13551, there are other steps to take when applying to become a CAA.

All CAAs are still required to complete forensic documentation training.

The IRS currently does not endorse any particular vendor.

If you search for forensic document training on the internet, multiple vendors will be listed.

Vendors provide various levels of training.

Some provide up to 7 hours of online training while others provide up to two weeks of classroom training.

You should evaluate the training based on your business needs.

This training will provide the skills needed for effective recognition of security features on identification documents that are accepted by the ITIN program.

Some examples include: Passports Driver's license Birth certificates Visas National identification cards As well as military and US state ID cards.

Certification of completion of this training must be attached to the application when submitted to the IRS.

The certification document must be the original form issued by the vendor for each participant who completed the training.

All persons authorized by a firm to conduct interviews and act as the firm's agent, must complete the required CAA forensic training.

In addition to required CAA forensic training, any other applicants for the IRS Acceptance Agent program must complete the Acceptance Agent Mandatory Training, which can be found online at IRS.gov, by typing: How to become an acceptance agent in the search feature of the IRS home page.

Select the link that says Domestic and International Tax Professional.

The certificates of completion from both the Forensic and Acceptance Agent Mandatory Training must be attached to Form 13551 when submitted.

We've covered a lot of information today.

We encourage you to visit IRS.gov to familiarize yourself with the detailed changes to the ITIN process.

It's also a good idea to print the Powerpoint from this presentation, so you have the information for future reference.

If you still have questions after reviewing all available material, feel free to contact us.

The best way to get a timely response is to contact the right office for your question.

There are four contact points for ITIN questions: The ITIN Policy Section by email The ITIN Operations in Austin for CAAs The number on the IRS ITIN Notice and the IRS toll free number.

You can use the IRS toll-free number, 1 800 829-1040, to get answers to general ITIN questions, and you can give it out to your clients and the public.

International callers should dial 1 267 941-1000.

Contact the ITIN Operation if you or your client receive an ITIN letter or notice, requesting additional information to complete the processing of a Form W7.

If you are not a CAA, then be sure to use the contact information included in the letter or notice.

The special phone number for CAAs can be found in your agreement.

This number is for CAAs only and must not be given to clients, or the public.

If you call with a question about one of your clients, be prepared to provide: The applicant's first and last name Date of birth Country of citizenship And the date you submitted the Form W7 with a brief description of your issue.

Acceptance Agents may contact the ITIN Policy Office, if they have questions about: Their agreement The acceptance agent program, Need technical assistance, or have a change of address, phone or email.

Our contact information is on the Powerpoint.

Please provide identifying information in your email and an explanation of what's needed.

Remember, it takes 7 weeks to receive an ITIN assignment letter, but it can take up to 9 to 11 weeks if you submit Form W-7 during the peak tax filing season, or from overseas.

We want to stress that the IRS will continually monitor and work with interested stakeholders on the ITIN process.

We intend to make appropriate adjustments to ensure the process works in a fair and equitable manner that meets the needs of taxpayers and tax administration.

More information is available on IRS.gov/ITIN This concludes our presentation.

We hope you have a better understanding of what we expect from you, and the significant role you play as an acceptance agent.

Our goal is to guide and assist you through these changes, and as your partner, to be available when you need us.

Thanks for joining us for the 2017 ITIN Program Changes presentation.

If you have a question about today's presentation, contact the ITIN Policy Section through the previously provided email address.

We hope you continue to have a successful filing season!

-- Music fades as the presentation ends --