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ohcoffeeeyes

Do we NEED to file tax returns with form w-7?

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We want an ITIN so I can get a bank card with her bank. It'd just be nicer to get ready for our life in America.

 

I'd be fine with filing it when we have to file tax returns as its probably impossible to have my visa in hand by April 2020 but having it now would be nice.

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1 hour ago, ohcoffeeeyes said:

We want an ITIN so I can get a bank card with her bank. It'd just be nicer to get ready for our life in America.

 

I'd be fine with filing it when we have to file tax returns as its probably impossible to have my visa in hand by April 2020 but having it now would be nice.

I went to the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centre to try to get one without a tax return, I was turned away and only received it after we submitted the W7 with a joint tax return.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, ohcoffeeeyes said:

We want an ITIN so I can get a bank card with her bank. It'd just be nicer to get ready for our life in America.

 

I'd be fine with filing it when we have to file tax returns as its probably impossible to have my visa in hand by April 2020 but having it now would be nice.

 

The reason the bank wants you to fill out a W-9 with your SSN or ITIN is because they have reporting requirements to the IRS for any interest that bank account earns.  They have to hold out 30% of any interest paid to a foreign person, whereas for a US person (by IRS definition) they don't have to hold back any of the interest the account earns.  Form W-9 with a valid ITIN allows you to be treated as a US person. 

 

With simple bank checking accounts, the interest earned would be pretty small so having them hold back 30% for the IRS would not be an amount of money you couldn't live without. Have your spouse check to see how much interest her bank account earned in 2018 then look at 30% of that. My checking account would have only had $3 held back for all of 2018. My wife's cappuccinos cost more than that.  And if too much is held out (because you get a SSN later) it all comes back in the tax return refund. 

 

So you can just be the foreign person you are and fill out a form W-8BEN for the bank (instead of W9) and let them hold back a few pennies a month if the account even earns interest. They don't have to give you an account, but helping them comply with their IRS reporting obligations ought to do the trick. It's possible a basic clerk might not even understand W-9 or W-8BEN or why they have to ask for an ITIN. Ask for somebody higher up the pecking order if needed. 

 

To clarify the names of these forms---

 

W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (give to a bank)

 

W-8BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (give to a bank)

 

W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (file with IRS)

 

 

Edited by Wuozopo

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