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carmel34

Certified Copy vs. Acceptance Agent for W7?

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I am preparing our 2018 tax return as married filing jointly and to do so need to submit a W-7 form applying for an ITIN number for my husband who lives in Brazil.  I'm a USC living in California.  We are meeting in London in a week to spend ten days together and while there would like to either 1) get a certified copy of his Brazilian passport from the Brazilian embassy in London, then we would mail that with the W-7 and tax return to the IRS when I get back to the US, or 2) use an Acceptance Agency in London to verify his passport and submit the W-7 with the tax return to the IRS on our behalf.  From the instructions for an ITIN, it looks like both options are acceptable.  Does anyone have experience with these two methods of applying for an ITIN?  We do not want to mail his passport to the IRS as this will take up to 60 days and maybe longer with the slow and risky mail system in Brazil, plus he needs it to travel, so one of these methods is preferable.  We have submitted an extension for the return so the April 15 deadline is not an issue.  Thanks for any suggestions you all might have!  @geowrian  @nastra30

Edited by carmel34
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20 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

I am preparing our 2018 tax return as married filing jointly and to do so need to submit a W-7 form applying for an ITIN number for my husband who lives in Brazil.  I'm a USC living in California.  We are meeting in London in a week to spend ten days together and while there would like to either 1) get a certified copy of his Brazilian passport from the Brazilian embassy in London, then we would mail that with the W-7 and tax return to the IRS when I get back to the US, or 2) use an Acceptance Agency in London to verify his passport and submit the W-7 with the tax return to the IRS on our behalf.  From the instructions for an ITIN, it looks like both options are acceptable.  Does anyone have experience with these two methods of applying for an ITIN?  We do not want to mail his passport to the IRS as this will take up to 60 days and maybe longer with the slow and risky mail system in Brazil, plus he needs it to travel, so one of these methods is preferable.  We have submitted an extension for the return so the April 15 deadline is not an issue.  Thanks for any suggestions you all might have!  @geowrian  @nastra30

Either option would be totally acceptable. In my opinion, I'd go with option (1) and get a certified copy of his passport and then submit everything yourself.


Maria ~ U.S. Citizen

 

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24 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

I am preparing our 2018 tax return as married filing jointly and to do so need to submit a W-7 form applying for an ITIN number for my husband who lives in Brazil.  I'm a USC living in California.  We are meeting in London in a week to spend ten days together and while there would like to either 1) get a certified copy of his Brazilian passport from the Brazilian embassy in London, then we would mail that with the W-7 and tax return to the IRS when I get back to the US, or 2) use an Acceptance Agency in London to verify his passport and submit the W-7 with the tax return to the IRS on our behalf.  From the instructions for an ITIN, it looks like both options are acceptable.  Does anyone have experience with these two methods of applying for an ITIN?  We do not want to mail his passport to the IRS as this will take up to 60 days and maybe longer with the slow and risky mail system in Brazil, plus he needs it to travel, so one of these methods is preferable.  We have submitted an extension for the return so the April 15 deadline is not an issue.  Thanks for any suggestions you all might have!  @geowrian  @nastra30

Whichever method is deemed to be less of a hassle.   What kind of fee is the CAA charging?


YMMV

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5 minutes ago, MariaR323 said:

Either option would be totally acceptable. In my opinion, I'd go with option (1) and get a certified copy of his passport and then submit everything yourself.

Yes I agree if we can swing it that's what we'll do.  I just tried to set an appointment online at the Brazilian Embassy in Paris to get a certified copy of a passport and the first available appointment for that service is May 14, so that won't work.  I will send an email to the embassy to see if they talk walk-ins for something so simple.  Another option is the Brazilian Consulate in Edinburgh, we will be there April 15-17 so that might work as well, I'll contact them to see if we can do it there.  London won't work because we're only there on the weekend and Easter Monday which is a bank holiday there so everything's closed.

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8 minutes ago, payxibka said:

Whichever method is deemed to be less of a hassle.   What kind of fee is the CAA charging?

Yes the certified copy at a Brazilian embassy or consulate will be less expensive for sure.  The acceptance agencies I have found are all in London.  One will even come to Heathrow Airport to verify the W-7 and passport, but their fees aren't published on their website.  I will get up early tomorrow morning and call them to find out.  It's a "full-service" operation so I'm expecting pretty steep fees.  I'll post here after our trip to report on what we ended up doing and what the hassles/costs were.

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49 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

get a certified copy of his Brazilian passport

This is what we did.  Super easy and I think we paid about the equivalent of $25USD at the Philippine Consulate.


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25 minutes ago, Paul & Mary said:

This is what we did.  Super easy and I think we paid about the equivalent of $25USD at the Philippine Consulate.

I tried to make an appointment to do this at the Brazilian Embassy in Paris, but their next open date is May 14.  In my searches I did find out that the IRS has an office in Paris and they certify foreign passports and W-7s so that's what we will do.  I think they even take walk-ins, but I'll call them tomorrow morning to ask.  If that doesn't work we'll go with the CAA service I found online that's in London and pay the extra fees they will charge to come to Heathrow Airport.

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I don't have any advice to add to the above, sorry. The advice already given is worth a good consideration.


Timelines:

Spoiler

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9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

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1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

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10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

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8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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An update on this issue--I found two CAAs in Paris so I will call to see what they charge to do a certificate of accuracy for the W-7.  Here in the US, the range for W-7 certification was from a low of $15 to a high of $350, so it pays to shop around.

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Update on our case, for anyone interested:  I heard from a Certifying Acceptance Agent in London, they can come to Heathrow Airport to certify a W-7 to apply for an ITIN.  It's expensive but definitely less overall for us when considering the higher tax refund as married filing jointly vs. married filing separately.  So we're going to cough up the money and do it when we're in London together next week.  I've copied the reply from the CAA in London below.  Their website is justbreve.com if anyone else needs this service while in London--they also can travel to other European countries for an additional fee (travel expenses).  Note that a completed and signed 1040 plus all schedules, W2, and a signed statement by both of us that the NRA chooses to be treated as a resident of the US for tax purposes for the 2018 tax year is required as well, since the W-7 has to be attached to a submitted tax return.  They then mail or send via courier the tax return and certified W-7 directly to IRS in Austin TX on your behalf.

 

"My fee is £299+VAT per person (payable in advance) to prepare the W-7 application correctly. You will need to provide a completed tax return (1040) if you are filing jointly with your spouse. The fee also includes dealing with any IRS correspondence and the certification of your passport. 
  
If you wish me to courier the documents I charge an additional £30+VAT for a 2 day courier to the USA. Else standard mail is used.
 
For the certification of the passport: 
I'm happy to meet at Heathrow on Easter Monday (22nd). The process will take no more than 10 to 15 minutes to complete and I need to physically see the passport.  
  
Where travel is outside of London I do charge extra for my time if the drive is more than 2 hours in one direction.  
 
As above a US 1040 signed tax return needs to be provided as it is attached with the application"

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