The IRS has announced that, under a new policy, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) that go unused will expire after 5 years. Previously, all ITINs expired after 5 years whether or not they were used. Now, the ITIN expires only after not being used on a tax return for 5 consecutive years. This new policy will go into effect in 2016.
ITINs are issued to foreign nationals and others who have to pay U.S. tax but are not eligible for a Social Security number. Upwards of 21 million ITINs have been issued since 1996 with only one quarter being used on tax returns. Those with expired ITINs must reapply using Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
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