The IRS has announced that it is changing its policy regarding Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) issued to aliens. Formerly ITINs were to expire automatically after five years. Under the new policy, ITINs will only expire if not used on a federal income tax return for five consecutive years.
ITINs are issued by the IRS to alien individuals who aren’t eligible to obtain Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for use in connection with tax filing requirements. An alien individual is an individual who isn’t a U.S. citizen or national. ITINs are needed because the Social Security Administration limits its assignment of SSNs to individuals who are U.S. citizens and alien individuals legally admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence or under other immigration categories that authorize U.S. employment.
The new policy will ensure that anyone who legitimately uses an ITIN for tax purposes can continue to do so, while at the same time resulting in the likely eventual expiration of millions of unused ITINs. To ease the burden on taxpayers and give their representatives and other stakeholders time to adjust, the IRS will not begin deactivating unused ITINs until 2016. This grace period will 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. Further details, including information on how and when taxpayers with expired ITINs will be notified, will be posted on www.IRS.gov at a later date.
AND ONE MORE THING. In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has held that, as applied to closely-held corporations, regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that contained the so-called “contraceptive mandate” violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Under the regulations at issue, specified employer group health plans were required to make certain types of contraception, including four types that the corporations’ owners objected to for religious reasons, available to their female employees at no cost. If you want to discuss this in more detail, please contact Matt Stokely at 937-223-1130 or Mstokely@pselaw.com