When a person doesn’t have a Social Security Number (SSN) or aren’t eligible for one, they can apply to the IRS to get a ‘Temporary Individual ID Number’ so they can file tax returns, make payments, obtain refunds, etc. These ID numbers are usually issued temporarily for people who have work visas, scholarships, temporary/seasonal jobs, etc. and who are not citizens or naturalized aliens. However, obtaining these temporary tax ID numbers will be more difficult moving forward.
The IRS is reporting that ‘a significant number’ of fraudulent tax returns claiming refunds have been filed using temporary ID numbers. Starting soon, in order to get a temporary ID number, applicants will now need to send original copies of passports or birth certificates, or copies certified by the agency that issued the document – notarized copies are no longer allowed as had been in the past. The IRS is hoping this will cut down on fraud.
As a notary, I’ve never been asked to ‘certify this birth certificate is real’ or anything like that and not even sure how I would know so I’m glad this is being taken out of our hands. As a tax return preparer, I’ve run into situations where people are trying to claim all sorts of things and it is my job to put them on the right track & make sure they file an accurate return. Knowing that the IRS will only issue temporary ID numbers after receiving original paperwork or certified copies should cut down on tax fraud and make tax return preparation a bit easier…
I welcome your comments & questions.
Tom Hodge, President
The Hodge Group