Unused ITINs to expire after five years 

July 1:  The IRS announced that individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs), issued to individual persons who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number, will expire if not used on a federal income tax return for five consecutive years.

The IRS release (IR-2014-76, June 30, 2014) states that the IRS will not begin deactivating ITINs until 2016.


Under the prior IRS policy, ITINs issued after January 1, 2013, would have automatically expired after five years—even if used properly and regularly by taxpayers.


Under the new policy:


  • An ITIN will expire for any taxpayer who fails to file a federal income tax return for five consecutive tax years.
  • Any ITIN will remain in effect as long as a taxpayer continues to file U.S. tax returns—including ITINs issued after January 1, 2013. These taxpayers will no longer face mandatory expiration of their ITINs or need to reapply in 2018, as under the prior policy.
  • To ease the burden on taxpayers, the IRS will not begin deactivating unused ITINs until 2016. This grace period is intended to allow anyone with a valid ITIN, regardless of when it was issued, to still file a valid return during the upcoming tax-filing season.
  • A taxpayer whose ITIN has been deactivated and needs to file a U.S. return can reapply using Form W-7. As with any ITIN application, original documents, such as passports, or copies of documents certified by the issuing agency must be submitted with the form.



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