New ITIN Acceptance Agent Program Changes

ITIN Acceptance Agent Applications Moratorium

Beginning August 15, 2022, the IRS will impose a moratorium on the Acceptance Agent Program. The moratorium will last until Summer 2023 and, when lifted, we will issue a notification of rescission. The moratorium will allow for significant modernization efforts resulting in a more efficient application process. The overall timeframe to process properly submitted applications will change from months to weeks.

During the moratorium, Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent Program, will not be accepted.

To prepare for the moratorium, acceptance agents (AAs) and certifying acceptance agents (CAAs) should take the following actions:

  • Existing or approved AA and CAA – No action is needed for current approved agreements valid beyond December 31, 2022. Changes to any existing agreements during the moratorium period are limited.
  • Renewing AA or CAA – Those with current approved agreements expiring this year will need to submit Form 13551 and all required documentation prior to the August 15 moratorium start date. Applications with received dates after that date will be returned.
  • New AA or CAA – Any new applications and all required documentation must have received dates prior to August 15. Applications received after that date will be returned.

You can request the following changes by email to ITINProgramOffice@irs.gov  while the moratorium is in effect.

  • Remove an existing authorized representative
  • Update organization primary or alternate contact information
  • Update organization email address
  • Update organization telephone or fax number

We will only honor requests when submitted by individuals approved to act on behalf of the individual or organization

Required Steps for All New and Renewing Applicants

  1. Complete Form 13551, Application to Participate in the IRS Acceptance Agent ProgramPDF, and attach the fingerprint card (if applicable).Note: Form 13551 applications will not be accepted after August 15, 2022.
  2. Complete the mandatory ITIN Acceptance Agent TrainingPPTX, print, sign and submit the certification form.
  3. Attach the certification form for each authorized representative (person listed in block 5 of the application) to Form 13551.
  4. Complete forensic training and submit the certificate of completion to the IRS. (CAA applicants only)

Please note:

  • Applications received without the required certification form(s) will not be processed.
  • All acceptance agents must submit at least five W-7 applications a year to remain in the program.
  • Once applications are received, the IRS conducts background and tax compliance checks.

Document Certification Process 

CAAs can authenticate all the identification documents for the primary and secondary applicant.  For dependents, they can authenticate the passport and civil birth certificate; however, they must send the original or certified copies of all other documents directly to the IRS. Form W-7 (COA), Certificate of Accuracy for IRS Individual Identification Taxpayer Number, must be attached to each Form W-7 application submitted as verification they have reviewed the original documentation or certified copies from the agency that issued them. 

AAs and CAAs must conduct an in-person interview with each applicant (primary, secondary and dependent) in order to complete the application. Video conferencing can be used if the CAA has the original identification documents or certified copies from the issuing agency in their possession during the interview.

Acceptance Agent Program Reminders

The IRS changed the list of document types that CAAs are authorized to authenticate and submit with Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) client’s applications. An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found there is no forensic training on foreign military identification cards available to CAAs. 

Based on these findings, we eliminated the foreign military identification card from the list of 13 types of documents that a CAA may authenticate. Foreign military identification cards are rarely provided by applicants but can still be used to obtain ITINs if presented directly to the IRS either by mail or in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. 

Additional Acceptance Agent Requirements

These requirements are designed to strengthen the ITIN program and improve service to both acceptance agents and their clients. Questions about the IRS Acceptance Agent Program can be directed by email to the ITIN Policy Section.

Training

To ensure acceptance agents have the tools they need to perform their jobs, all new and renewing applicants must complete mandatory ITIN Acceptance Agent TrainingPPTX. The training session is available online. Additionally, new and renewing CAA applicants must also complete formal Forensic Document Training to obtain the necessary skills to determine the authenticity of identification documents. The original certificate of completion must be attached to the application Form 13551. Refer to Forensic Training for more information.

Compliance Reviews

The IRS will conduct compliance reviews including both physical and correspondence reviews. CAAs are required to cooperate with IRS compliance checks and requests for information from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or the Government Accountability Office. Failure to do so can result in termination from the program.

Quality Standards

All acceptance agents are required to adhere to quality standards established and monitored by the IRS. The focus is on the quality of each agent’s W-7 submissions as well as their adherence to the terms and conditions of their Acceptance Agent Agreement.