IRS suspends issuing ITINs without original documentation

BY SALLY P. SCHREIBER

Beginning June 22, 2012, and continuing until the IRS issues new rules (which it says it will do by the beginning of the 2013 filing season), the IRS will not issue individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) unless the applicants provide original documents such as passports or birth certificates, or certified copies of those documents from the issuing agencies (IR-2012-62). Previously, ITINs could be issued based on notarized copies of the required documents. In addition, ITINs will not be issued based on applications submitted through certified acceptance agents unless they attach original documentation or copies of original documents certified by the issuing agency.

To obtain an ITIN, taxpayers complete Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. ITINs are issued for taxpayers who are not eligible for Social Security numbers (SSN). ITINs are used by, for example, foreign taxpayers who have to file income tax returns in the United States.
  
These interim rules do not apply to military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN, or nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits. Although some nonresident aliens may still be subject to the previous documentation standard, the IRS warns that their applications will face heightened scrutiny.

Taxpayers who submitted Forms W-7 before June 22, 2012, will not be subject to the new requirements and do not need to take any action unless the IRS contacts them.

Sally P. Schreiber ( sschreiber@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

SPONSORED WHITE PAPER

Preparing the statement of cash flows

This instructive white paper outlines common pitfalls in the preparation of the statement of cash flows, resources to minimize these risks, and four critical skills your staff will need as you approach necessary changes to the process.

RESOURCES

Keeping you informed and prepared amid the COVID-19 crisis

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.