The Internal Revenue Service is responsible for issuing a tax identity number in the form of individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to those who are ineligible to get a social security number. Recently, IRS has updated its ITIN application process that is intended to curb the issuance of fraudulent tax ID numbers and fake refund claims.
In order to ensure a fair process of issuing individual taxpayer identification numbers and obtaining proper ID validation, the IRS has improved the ITIN Acceptance Agent Program. These improvements are focused on the efficient and effective processing of ITIN applications and make sure that only eligible individuals receive a tax identification number.
Who is an Acceptance Agent?
Acceptance Agents are individuals or organizations that are authorized by the IRS to help people in obtaining ITINs. Their job is to find out whether a taxpayer is eligible to get a social security number or not. If not, the taxpayer is advised to proceed with the application Form W-7 for individual taxpayer identification number. During this process, Acceptance Agents review the applicant’s documents, certify them and forward them to the IRS for further processing.
Improvements to the ITIN Acceptance Agent Program
According to the new guidelines to issue an individual taxpayer identification number, IRS has made a few significant changes to the Acceptance Agent Program.
All new and existing Acceptance Agents have to complete a compulsory training. This formal forensic document training is essential to acquire necessary skills to verify the identification documents of the applicants. According to the IRS, no one is authorized to work as an Acceptance Agent until they get a proper training.
· New ITIN Acceptance Agent Open Season
IRS has also announced to accept applications for participating in the Acceptance Agent Program only during an open season. This will allow the agency to process the applications and designate all the Acceptance Agents before the start of the tax filing season.
· Compliance Reviews
The IRS will regularly conduct physical and correspondence compliance reviews. It is necessary for all the Acceptance Agents to cooperate with these checks and to ask for information from the Government Accountability Office. Those who fail to do so; will be terminated from the program.
· Changes in Certification
Acceptance Agents need to fill in Form 14194 for certifying that they have checked the original documents of an applicant or copies that are attested by the issuing agency, either face-to-face or via live interview using Skype. With this form, they are required to attach the copies of all the documents they reviewed.
· Maintenance of Quality Standard
The IRS has also revised its policy to ensure quality standards. All Acceptance agents are required to adhere to these due diligence standards. The main focus of IRS’s new policy is on the quality of Form W-7s submitted by the Acceptance agents and their loyalty to the rules and regulations mentioned in the Acceptance Agent Agreement.
IRS has made the improvements to help ensure a strong and honest individual taxpayer identification number issuance program. It is an attempt from the IRS to facilitate the Acceptance Agents by making the application process more effective and efficient.
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