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Published: June 26, 2017   |   Last Updated: September 23, 2020

TAS helps locate missing passports filed with Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) request

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.


A taxpayer  who was experiencing a family emergency and needed to travel out of the country with his children contacted TAS for assistance. He sent in his children’s passports to the IRS with his 2015 tax return, along with Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), requesting ITINs be assigned for his children. The IRS processed his return without considering his ITIN request and did not allow his dependency exemptions, causing a balance due on his return. TAS checked the return information and found that the passports were attached to the back of the return. TAS contacted the IRS to show them the return so they could see that the ITIN application requests had not been processed and the passports had not been returned. TAS explained the urgency of overnighting the passports by 2:00 p.m. that same day. The IRS expedited the ITIN request and manually assigned the ITINs by noon that same day, so the passports could be overnighted to the taxpayer. The taxpayer received the passports in time to travel for his family emergency. TAS then advised the taxpayer to file an amended return to claim the children now that ITINs were assigned, which would eliminate the balance due on the taxpayer’s 2015 return.

If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.