What Should You Do If You Lose Your ITIN Number? - Tax Help USA

Navigating the complexities of tax identification can be daunting, especially when you misplace something as important as your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This comprehensive guide is designed to alleviate your concerns and provide clear, step-by-step instructions on what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Whether it’s retrieving a lost ITIN or understanding the renewal process, we’ve got you covered.

What Is an ITIN and How Does It Work?

An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number issued by the IRS. It’s assigned to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). 

ITINs are a vital part of the tax system, allowing the IRS to efficiently process tax returns and payments for a diverse group of taxpayers, including non-resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents.

How to Find My ITIN Number?

If your ITIN is not readily available, here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Check Previous Tax Documents: Your ITIN should be on any tax return you’ve filed. Look for any copies of previous years’ tax returns.
  2. Examine Other Tax-Related Documents: If you’ve received any official IRS correspondence or other tax-related documents, your ITIN might be listed there.
  3. Contact the IRS: If you can’t find your ITIN on any documents, you can call the IRS directly for assistance. The IRS helpline number is 1-800-829-1040. Be prepared to answer security questions to verify your identity. This is to ensure that your ITIN is given only to you for security reasons.
  4. Consult with a Tax Professional: If you’re working with a tax preparer or a professional accountant, they may have records of your ITIN.

Remember, your ITIN is confidential and should be kept secure. Only share it with trusted individuals and professionals.

I Lost My ITIN Number: What Should I Do?

Losing your ITIN can be a source of anxiety, but it’s important to stay calm and methodical.  Initially, avoid submitting a new W-7 ITIN application form to the IRS. This common initial reaction can lead to complications later on.

Your primary action should be to contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to request a copy of your ITIN number. During this call, you’ll be required to respond to a series of security questions. This step is crucial for confirming your identity and safeguarding your sensitive information against unauthorized access.

Why Won’t the IRS Send Me My Missing ITIN?

There are instances where the IRS might be unable to provide your ITIN. The most common reason is that your ITIN has expired. ITINs expire if they haven’t been used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three consecutive years. In such cases, you’ll need to apply for a renewal.

What Should I Do If My ITIN Has Expired? 

An expired ITIN can lead to delays in tax processing and potential issues with your tax return. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to initiate its renewal by engaging in the W-7 renewal procedure.

TaxHelpUSA is here to assist you through the renewal process. Our team will help you fill out the necessary Form W-7, ensuring all your documentation is correctly submitted to the IRS. We simplify the process, making it less daunting and more efficient.

Documents Needed to Renew Your ITIN

Renewing your ITIN requires specific documentation to prove your identity and foreign status. The list of acceptable documents includes:

  • Passport (the only stand-alone document): Proves both foreign status and identity.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification: Verifies foreign status and identity.
  • Visa issued by the U.S. Department of State: Demonstrates foreign status and identity.
  • U.S. driver’s license: Establishes identity only.
  • U.S. military identification card: Confirms identity only.
  • Foreign driver’s license: Used for identity verification only.
  • Foreign military identification card: Shows foreign status and identity.
  • National identification card (must include name, photograph, address, date of birth, and expiration date): Validates foreign status and identity.
  • U.S. state identification card: For identity verification only.
  • Foreign voter registration card: Proves foreign status and identity.
  • Civil birth certificate: Indicates foreign status and identity (required for dependents under 18 years of age).
  • Medical records (for dependents under age 6): Confirms foreign status and identity.
  • School records (for dependents under age 18, if a student): Establishes foreign status and identity.

Freaking Out About Lost ITIN Number? We Can Help 

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you lose an important document like your ITIN. But there’s no need to worry. TaxHelpUSA specializes in providing expert assistance in retrieving or renewing ITINs. Our team is equipped to handle the intricacies of the process, ensuring you can file your taxes without any hassle or delay.

My ITIN Number Is Lost. Should I Apply for a New One?

No, if your ITIN is lost, you should not apply for a new one. Instead, try to find it on previous tax documents or contact the IRS for assistance.

How Can I Get a Copy of My ITIN Number Online?

Currently, there is no online system to retrieve your ITIN. You must contact the IRS directly or check previous tax documents.

Can I Renew My Lost ITIN Number Myself?

Yes, you can renew your ITIN yourself by filling out Form W-7 and submitting it to the IRS. However, TaxHelpUSA can make this process easier by handling the paperwork and ensuring everything is in order.