H&R Block Offers Free ITIN Renewals with Tax Preparation
New law means ITINs set to expire for the first time
This continues the H&R Block newsroom’s series on the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, which made dozens of changes to the tax code. The PATH Act series covers its permanent extensions of many tax benefits, the renewal requirements for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), eligibility changes for certain tax credits, its expansion of other tax benefits, its increasing cost of making mistakes, its impact on small business and its delay of millions of refunds until February 15.
The PATH Act tax impact resource guide provides information to help media and consumers.
H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) will offer the millions of taxpayers who use an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) a free ITIN renewal with tax preparation. The 23.1 million ITINs issued since 1996 will start expiring as early as January 2017 due to the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act enacted in December 2015. However, only 16 percent of ITIN holders who received renewal notices have submitted applications. ITIN renewal procedures will most impact two groups of taxpayers this year: those with a “78” or “79” in the middle of their ITIN and ITIN holders who haven’t filed a U.S. tax return for tax years 2013, 2014, or 2015. These taxpayers can renew their ITINs, as well as the ITINs of any of their family members, for free with tax preparation at H&R Block.
“The renewal process is a big change for ITIN holders. It is important that those with an expiring ITIN ensure they renew it in time for this tax season or they may lose eligibility for valuable tax credits,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director and vice president of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Because it can take up to 11 weeks to secure an ITIN, it’s important to renew an ITIN as soon possible.”
Individuals whose ITINs will be expiring should ensure they have current documents showing proof of identity and foreign status. The IRS accepts original and unexpired passports as stand-alone proof of identity and foreign status for primary taxpayers and spouses and for dependents in some cases. Other documents that prove either identity or foreign status include:
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification,
- visa issued by the U.S. Department of State,
- U.S. driver’s license,
- U.S. military identification card,
- foreign driver’s license,
- foreign military identification card,
- national identification card,
- U.S. state identification card,
- foreign voter’s registration card and
- civil birth certificate.
Seek out a Certified Acceptance Agent (CAA) regarding future ITIN renewal procedures
A CAA undergoes specialized training and is approved by the IRS to assist with the ITIN process by preparing the ITIN application, verifying supporting documents and then submitting the ITIN application to the IRS. Because a CAA can verify the supporting documents, the applicant does not need to send their original identification documents to the IRS. CAAs can assist with ITIN applications for dependents. Under new IRS rules taking effect at the same time as ITIN renewals, CAAs can also verify passports and birth certificates for dependents.
In addition to approximately 18,000 bilingual tax professionals and client service professionals, H&R Block has more than 1,600 CAAs located across the country.
Taxpayers can make an appointment online or call 1-800-HRBLOCK.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.
H&R Block does not provide immigration services. CAAs are not available at every location.
Question and Answers with Jeff Jones, incoming president and CEO of H&R Block