IRS Cancels Acceptance Agents Program Outside of the United States
On December 18, 2015, the IRS enacted the 'Path Act' The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act was created in order to protect taxpayers and their families against fraud and permanently extend many expiring tax laws.
Section 203 of the Path Act Pub. L. 114-113, div. Q, 5, modified Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code and resulted in significant changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program.
The IRS implemented the new provision on January 1, 2017, which eliminated the Certifying Acceptance Agents outside of the United States.
Under the PATH Act, an applicant who resides outside of the United States may submit their Form W-7 application by mail or to an employee of the Internal Revenue Service or a designee of the Secretary at a United States diplomatic mission or consular post who could certify the necessary documents. As of the date of this posting, the consulates in Germany no longer staff any IRS personnel. It is recommended that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for specific information as the staffing may have changed by the date you are reading this.
This obviously complicates matters for people in need of an ITIN as they are now required to obtain certified copies of supporting documentation from the issuing agency. A certified document is simply one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an officially stamped seal from the agency.
We can still assist people preparing the W-7 and advising on what supporting documentation they need based on their particular circumstance. Please email me if you have any questions.