How to Retrieve a Lost ITIN: Everything You Need to Know

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, is an essential piece of information for any immigrant to the Unities States. Put simply, the ITIN is an IRS-issued identification number given to taxpayers that cannot apply for a Social Security Number or SSN.  The ITIN allows these taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations and avoid non-compliance penalties. The ITIN is essential to file your federal income tax return, especially if you are a foreign person, regardless of whether you are a permanent resident in the country.

Due to its importance, losing your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number can be extremely stressful. However, this is not an uncommon occurrence, and it is possible to retrieve your ITIN from the IRS. This article breaks down the process for retrieving your ITIN from the IRS.

What do I do if I lost my ITIN number?

First things first, do not file another W-7 ITIN application form with the IRS. While many people do this as a first step, it only causes confusion down the road.

The first thing you need to do to retrieve a copy of your ITIN number to call the IRS’s number, 1-800-829-1040. To proceed, you will have to answer several security questions. This procedure serves to verify your identity and protect your confidential information from unauthorized inquirers.

Why won’t the IRS send me my missing ITIN?

If the IRS won’t send you your ITIN, this usually means it has expired. Any Individual Taxpayer Identification Number expires when it has not been used on a federal tax return for three years. For example, if an ITIN had not been used on the federal tax return in 2017, 2018, or 2019, it expired on December 31, 2020.

What should I do if my ITIN has expired?

If your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number has expired, you need to renew it through the W-7 renewal process. Community Tax’s expert team has helped thousands of people with the ITIN application and renewal process. Learn all about the process with a free consultation.

What documents do I need to apply for or renew my ITIN?

The IRS has modified the number of documents that the agency will accept as proof of identity and foreign status to obtain an ITIN. Currently, 13 documents are accepted. Each document must be current and contain an expiration date. If the documents don’t have an expiration date, the IRS will accept documents issued during a 12-month period from the date of application. The documents must also include your name and photograph and substantiate your claim of alien status.

Below is a list of documents that the IRS accepts:

  • Passport (stand-alone document)*
  • National identification card (must show photo, name, current address, date of birth, and expiration date)
  • Driver’s license
  • Civil birth certificate (required for dependents under 18 years of age)
  • Foreign driver’s license
  • State identification card
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • Military identification card
  • Foreign military identification card
  • Visa
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) photo identification
  • Medical records (dependents only – under 6)
  • School records (dependents only – under 14, under 18 if a student)

*A passport is the only document that proves both identity and foreign status.

If you need help filing or renewing your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you can trust the experts at Community Tax. For more than 10 years, we have helped more than 90,000 clients with their tax problems. Get a free consultation right now with a professional by clicking here.