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News & Tips from an ITIN Acceptance Agent

IRS not releasing my refund as my ITIN is expired!

Just Breve - IRS not releasing my refund as my ITIN is expired!
Just Breve - IRS not releasing my refund as my ITIN is expired!

At Just Breve we receive many requests from individuals to renew an ITIN after a tax return was submitted to the IRS.

Let's look at why they need to renew and what the process is to release funds.

Why do I need to renew? I have been filing for years!

All ITINs ever issued went through a renewal schedule several years ago. Most ITIN holders received a letter from the IRS requesting they renew if filing a tax return (else credits and refunds would be delayed).

In a lot of instances, these letters to renew an ITIN, never arrived. It was only once the tax return went in and was processed, that an issue arose.

I have now received a letter - the IRS is not releasing my refund as my ITIN is expired. I've been waiting a year already!

Yes, unfortunately due to ongoing Covid delays at the IRS, your tax return response more than likely took a long time to arrive. Anywhere from 6 months to a year. Once this letter is received, you then need to apply for a renewal of your ITIN, else the refund will be further delayed.

ITIN applications are taking up to 4 months to be processed (again due to IRS delays!). So you should submit sooner rather than later.

Once the ITIN is renewed - you have 2 choices:

  1. Wait for the copy tax return that was attached, to be reprocessed (again up to a year!) OR

  2. Call the IRS international line and advise them the number has now renewed and they will then release the refund to you.

Why do I have to call!? Why do they not know my ITIN is now renewed?

Well, the ITIN unit is a separate unit to the tax processing unit. They will not know there is a refund pending. All they do is process ITIN applications, day in and day out. And where a US tax return was attached, they will just forward it for processing (again!)

Once the ITIN is either assigned or renewed, a letter is generated and sent to the ITIN applicant's mailing address. That's it. Job done! The ITIN unit process around one million applications each year. That's all they do.

It is the responsibility of either the accountant who prepared the return to call them or you as the taxpayer, will need to do so, to finalise the response or refund claim.

I keep calling the IRS international line and no one is picking up! or it is engaged. What can I do?

Well, to be blunt, not a lot! You have to keep trying until you get through or try and call as soon as they open (6am US time in Philadelphia).

Again, due to Covid delays the call centre is only answering one in ten phone calls. So this means, there is a high likelihood you either won't get through, will hear an engaged tone or even get cut off.

Patience here is key!

As an example: We had a client who required a renewal only of their ITIN. Another accountant in the US had prepared the tax return in 2020 but did not advise them they needed to renew. Once the ITIN was renewed, with the help of Just Breve, their accountant did not offer to call or provide a facility to get the refund issued.

The client then had to call the IRS themselves to resolve the issue. After three months of trying, their refund on their tax return submitted in 2020 (it is now November 2022) was finally released to them and the cheque arrived timely. Within 2 weeks in fact.

Just Breve assisted in providing guidance here only, we did not call the IRS for them as we did not prepare the return. Due to their age and frustration, we happily assisted for no extra charge and guided them on the process. They will be having a Merry Christmas this year!

How can Just Breve assist with my ITIN renewal application?

At Just Breve we are able to assist with any and all types of ITIN applications. This includes renewals of an existing ITIN. Please note, you only need to renew if filing a US tax return. In some cases, for FIRPTA purposes as well.

Just Breve is a certifying acceptance agent (CAA) and we work with the IRS (we have a contract with them) to prepare, certify identity documents and submit ITIN Form W-7 applications. We can also call them to check status updates (however this is only done after a set time if nothing has arrived based on the current processing times). As a certifying acceptance agent for ITIN applications, we also receive a copy of the ITIN notice (as does the applicant).

Just Breve is located near London Heathrow (M4/M25 corridor) and close to the Elizabeth Line station (with a short 15 minute walk or 8 minute bus journey that stops in front of the office).

We also offer remote video verifications, which require your ORIGINAL identity documents to be mailed in to us. They are returned back securely after the video certification by Royal Mail signed for or Special Delivery.

We deal with the whole of the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as Europe and further afield. Video certifications would apply in this case and documents returned by courier for non UK clients (2 day courier).

Fees are fixed and transparent. We only charge you once.

Just Breve will also confirm if you are actually eligible for an ITIN. A full process and timeline will be emailed to you to start if you are eligible. Contact us today if you have questions or need more details:

T: 0208 1444632


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