ITIN For Foreign Non-USA Based Spouse Married To USA Citizen?

Marrying a foreign spouse

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Legally married as of 31st December last year 2022 and filing 1040 Federal tax return with MFJ – Married Filing Jointly Status

As experienced IRS, Approved Certified Acceptance Agent (C.A.A.), and US Personal tax preparers/Consultants, we come across these questions all the time.

1) I’m a US Citizen/Resident Alien married to a foreign national (i.e., British national spouse or other non-USA-based foreign citizen spouses). Can I apply for ITIN for my spouse (Foreign national with no US Visa or prior USA visit anytime) by filing a 1040 tax return with the filing status Married Filing Jointly/Separate (MFJ/MFS)? 

Yes, if you are legally married as of 31st December for the tax year of Filing, then you are eligible to file MFJ/MFS even if your spouse does not have US Visa, never visited the USA. Please note, It’s only for the dependent child/other dependents ITIN application process requires (a US Visa, date of entry to the USA, 183 days stay(I-94 records), and proof of residence like US Medical records or school records is required).

For spouse ITIN the main supporting document in addition to the passport copy is the 1040 tax return copy with original signatures and dates. 

2) To file an ITIN application for my spouse. On my 1040 tax return filing status, Do you need to file married filing jointly(MFJ) mandatorily, or do I have the option to file Married Filing Separate (MFS.)

It’s not necessary who have to file Married Filing Jointly(MFJ.) ONLY. You can also file as Married Filing Separately (MFS). However, IRS will reject ITIN for MFS status as there are no tax exemptions benefits with MFS status since the 2018 tax year this would be the same way until the 2025 tax year.

3) I cannot E-file my US tax return via turbo tax; my CPA says I need to get my ITIN first for my spouse to file my US tax return electronically

Kindly note, For the first year of US tax filing with MFJ filing status along with spouse ITIN application, you cannot file electronically via turbo tax or any US tax software; the 1040 tax return filing and Form W7 will be sent to IRS ITIN office via  Postal filing ONLY (As far as you have postal proof of mailing on or before the due date or extended due date) it’s considered the tax return was filed on time. If the tax return is on Zero taxes due or refund position, you need not worry about the tax filing deadline date. You need to inform the CPA to generate the 1040 Federal tax return PDF with MFJ status and send it taxpayer or the IRS Acceptance agent who will be filing this tax return along with the ITIN application.

4) What is the process for the first year when the ITIN application for foreign spouses is to be submitted to IRS?

For the first year of the ITIN application process for foreign spouses, you cannot e-file via turbo tax or any other US tax software. So The 1040 tax return (with MFJ filing status) with your spouse’s name as per the passport on the 1040 Federal tax return is to be added on and on the SSN column, write Form W7 Enclosed. The next step is the 1040 tax return and Form W7 with all certified passport copy by CAA,  by the CAA., taxpayer, or the CPA to the ITIN operation department, wherein the ITIN (Tax ID) is to be allocated to your foreign national spouse and also the 1040 tax return to be processed

5) I’m legally married, but I filed my US taxes electronically via turbo tax as single to meet my tax return filing deadline of 15th April because I do not have a tax ID for my spouse to file MFS or MFJ. How do I get a tax ID for my spouse now? 

Please note, if you are legally married as of 31st December, then you cannot file the tax return filing status is Single. Your filing status on 1040 should be MFS or MFJ. Suppose you already filed the tax return as a single (electronically just to meet the tax filing deadline date). In that case, we need to amend a tax return (prepare 1040X) with MFS or MFS status and paper file the 1040X tax return with Form W7 ITIN application.

6) My spouse had an ITIN previously with which I filed my 1040 tax return with MFS/MFJ status. However, IRS sent me to notice that her ITIN is expired, and the number needs renewal first, further to process my 1040 tax return and the refund. What do I do now?

If the tax return was processed as filed previously via postal paper filing or with old ITIN and rejected/notice received from IRS (for ITIN not valid/renewed on time). A new ITIN application with the 1040 tax return ” WRITE COPY ONLY FOR FORM W7 DO NOT PROCESS AGAIN” on top of the 1040 tax return, so IRS knows the 1040 tax return is sent only for the ITIN supporting document.

7) My CPA asked me to get ITIN to file my tax return electronically; he has filed an extension for me until 15th October. Can you ONLY certify the passport and get an ITIN for my spouse? Is having the 1040 tax ready before making the ITIN application mandatory?

Yes, we can assist only with the ITIN application certification but we prefer to have the ITIN and 1040 tax return submitted via our acceptance agent team so we can ensure all supporting paperwork are submitted correctly. If your CPA submits it and if in case of ITIN rejection, our team will not take responsibility for ITIN rejection due to missing of any paperwork by your USA-based CPA team.

8) My US CPA cannot generate a 1040 PDF without the ITIN input for my foreign spouse, what do I tell him to give me the 1040 PDF for now?

Your CPA can prepare the 1040 tax return with ITIN Applied for box checked on US tax software and give you the PDF.

9) I do not have a US CPA. I prepare my tax return myself via Turbo tax, H&R block, or other US tax software. How to I generate a 1040 PDF without the ITIN number inputs for my foreign spouse?

If self-prepared via Turbo tax, you can (generate a 1040 tax return PDF, with nine digits number input for your spouse SSN, for example, 123-45-6789 or 999-99-9999 for the ITIN applicant)

When your 1040 tax return is ready, Our team can assist with ITIN application completion and help to mail the 1040 tax return to the IRS along with the ITIN application.

If you are in the process of getting an ITIN for your foreign spouse and need assistance. Our team can assist. We are one of the IRS-approved Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) with many years of experience dealing with ITIN offices. 

Please visit our website for FAQ related to ITIN and US Tax Assistance.

If you are looking for ITIN, EIN, or US tax return expert service, We can help!

Our team specializes in international expatriate U.S. personal tax return services. If you need assistance with ITIN Renewal/US 1040 filing for refund claim/FATCA Compliance work/FBAR FINCEN114 Filing, ITIN/ Form W7 Application/E.I.N./Form W8BENE or Certified Acceptance Agents [C.A.A.] services/1040NR U.S. tax filing for refund claim of excess 1042S / 8288A/ 8805/ W2/ 1099. We are happy to assist our clients in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective way

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We are one of the IRS Enrolled Agents with many years of experience in US 1040/1040NR personal tax compliance reporting and FATCA Compliance FBAR Reporting.

We are also IRS Approved Certified Acceptance Agent [CAA] with many years of experience dealing with types of ITIN Form W7 application and passport certification processes for US TAX ID.

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