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File joint tax with a foreign wife

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Lebanon
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I got married a couple of months ago and successfully submitted I 130 petition for my wife. Now, I thinking about how i'm gonna file tax this year. My wife lives abroad and she don't not have either SS or ITIN. Also, she has never been to the US. 

I was told it is better for us to file married and jointly. I'm totally lost and I don't know where I'm supposed to start. I talked to IRS representative who was not helpful. He told me it is too early since rules are changing form year to year " didn't make sense to me". 

 

Filing taxes has been always confusing to me and this year is even worse. Your comments and advises are highly appreciated. 

 

I was told the first thing i need to do is to get her ITIN. if that is correct, I just wanted to know how can I apply for such number and what the required documents. 

 

Thank you,  

 

 

 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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1 minute ago, A.R said:

I got married a couple of months ago and successfully submitted I 130 petition for my wife. Now, I thinking about how i'm gonna file tax this year. My wife lives abroad and she don't not have either SS or ITIN. Also, she has never been to the US. 

I was told it is better for us to file married and jointly. I'm totally lost and I don't know where I'm supposed to start. I talked to IRS representative who was not helpful. He told me it is too early since rules are changing form year to year " didn't make sense to me". 

 

Filing taxes has been always confusing to me and this year is even worse. Your comments and advises are highly appreciated. 

 

I was told the first thing i need to do is to get her ITIN. if that is correct, I just wanted to know how can I apply for such number and what the required documents. 

 

Thank you,  

 

 

 

Go to the tax forum, this topic is discussed ad nauseum 


YMMV

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
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you were told that by IRS as you can not do anything till you file 2020 tax returns and file W7 for the ITIN

that is the only time one can get a ITIN

paper filing as this option is not available online sites

 

instructions on following site:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin#itin

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Lebanon
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7 minutes ago, JeanneAdil said:

you were told that by IRS as you can not do anything till you file 2020 tax returns and file W7 for the ITIN

that is the only time one can get a ITIN

paper filing as this option is not available online sites

 

instructions on following site:

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin#itin

Thank you so much for you quick response 

 

I have a couple more question.. she is supposed to fill W7 and sign it as well, isn't she?!  then I should mail W7 to IRS along with her certified copy of her passport, right?!

 

is there is any other document I'm supposed to send along with W7?

 

thank you again, 

 

 

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Country: Brazil
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honestly it is probably easier to file Married Filing Separately, listing her as a NRA (Non-Resident Alien).  Once she gets here and has her SSN,  amend to Married Filing Jointly.

 

And the Tax forum is found here

Edited by Troy B
add link for Tax forum.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Lebanon
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17 minutes ago, Troy B said:

honestly it is probably easier to file Married Filing Separately, listing her as a NRA (Non-Resident Alien).  Once she gets here and has her SSN,  amend to Married Filing Jointly.

 

And the Tax forum is found here

don't you think this is gonna have negative impact on the immigration process 🤔?

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Country: Brazil
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2 minutes ago, A.R said:

don't you think this is gonna have negative impact on the immigration process 🤔?

 

No,  filing single would be wrong, but even that might probably does not have an impact on the immigration process.

USCIS/DOS != IRS :)

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
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yes,  she is suppose to fill out the form but get a POA from her and do it

most do not understand our tax system and it can be scary

 

and some file separate but the loss is  $12, 200 that he can deduct by claiming the wife

 

and yes,  you need to send marriage certificate

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to Tax & Finances During US Immigration forum.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
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September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
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September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

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Filed: F-2A Visa Country: Iraq
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Here is one of the older topics with a list of things.

Since it's already November I piggy bank what others stated - probably easier to file married filing separate this year.

We filed the return and W7 with all documentation in the beginning of April, and just received the ITIN yesterday (return is not processed yet). According to the IRS hotline, they have an approx. 6 months backlog due to covid-19 and ITIN/paper filing is impacted the most.

 

 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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@A.R

In late January 2021—

You prepare the joint return leaving her  SSN blank. Print it.

Prepare your statement for her to be treated as a resident alien 

Prepare her W7 for her.
Mail those paper forms to her to sign—-1) Form 1040, 2) W7, 3) statement electing to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes

She signs and mails back the forms and her actual passport (unless she can find a certifying agent ) Note a plain notarized photocopy doesn’t work. There are certify agents in Israel. 
List  https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/acceptance-agents-israel

 

You sign the 1040 and the statement. 

Organize all pages of your paper return, the statement, her W7 and passport.

MAIL all of the above to:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin Service Center ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

They will process the ITIN and fill in the number assigned on your tax return, then process the return. They will mail the passport back to you and you return to her. 

 

Please note when preparing your return:

If she has worked during 2020, on a joint return that worldwide income has to be reported, meaning any income she earned working in her home country. Your tax return will include form 2555 and Schedule 1 to exclude her foreign earned income.

 

OR you can file Married Filing Separately using “NRA” as her SSN. You don’t need anything from her or report her income. Later after she arrives and gets a SSN, you can amend your 2020 return To collect the extra benefit of a joint return PLUS claim her economic stimulus credit of $1200 (If your income does not exceed the,threshold.).

Edited by Wuozopo

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Lebanon
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4 hours ago, Wuozopo said:

@A.R

In late January 2021—

You prepare the joint return leaving her  SSN blank. Print it.

Prepare your statement for her to be treated as a resident alien 

Prepare her W7 for her.
Mail those paper forms to her to sign—-1) Form 1040, 2) W7, 3) statement electing to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes

She signs and mails back the forms and her actual passport (unless she can find a certifying agent ) Note a plain notarized photocopy doesn’t work. There are certify agents in Israel. 
List  https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/acceptance-agents-israel

 

You sign the 1040 and the statement. 

Organize all pages of your paper return, the statement, her W7 and passport.

MAIL all of the above to:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin Service Center ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

They will process the ITIN and fill in the number assigned on your tax return, then process the return. They will mail the passport back to you and you return to her. 

 

Please note when preparing your return:

If she has worked during 2020, on a joint return that worldwide income has to be reported, meaning any income she earned working in her home country. Your tax return will include form 2555 and Schedule 1 to exclude her foreign earned income.

 

OR you can file Married Filing Separately using “NRA” as her SSN. You don’t need anything from her or report her income. Later after she arrives and gets a SSN, you can amend your 2020 return To collect the extra benefit of a joint return PLUS claim her economic stimulus credit of $1200 (If your income does not exceed the,threshold.).

Thank you so much for the information. I have a couple more question, please bear with me :) 

I was told I should get the certified copy of her passport form the issuing agent which is Lebanese authorities in our case, isn't it?! 

Also, I used to use tax software to file tax. So, If start working on getting her ITIN these days will I be able to avoid mail the paper forms?

I'm planning to visit her soon, so I'm just wondering if there is any other document I should bring back with me. 

Thank you again! 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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1 hour ago, A.R said:

was told I should get the certified copy of her passport form the issuing agent which is Lebanese authorities in our case, isn't it?! 

If they will do that. I don’t know Lebanon at all. You will have to send emails or make phone calls and find out how to get a certified passport. I know the United Kingdom and they don’t do that, nor the US embassy in London. 
 

1 hour ago, A.R said:

Also, I used to use tax software to file tax. So, If start working on getting her ITIN these days will I be able to avoid mail the paper forms?

No for various reasons.
1) The forms for 2020 are not finalized. The filing season where tax returns are even accepted will not open until January. So there is no starting now.  
2) Tax software like TurboTax will calculate your return and you can print it out to paper, but if you mean e-filing, no not possible unless you have a valid SSN or ITIN. You will not have one for your wife, so the e-file would be rejected.  
3) You have to write and both sign a statement stating you elect for her to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. As a nonresident alien she can’t file a joint return, but as a perk for being married to. US citizen, the statement allows her to. See Publication 519. That statement has never been included included in any software I know of. No way to efile a statement you create from scratch.

4) The ITIN application (W7) can only be submitted with a tax return and the proper identification to ITIN operations in Austin, Texas. That excludes e-filing. 
 

1 hour ago, A.R said:

I'm planning to visit her soon, so I'm just wondering if there is any other document I should bring back with me. 

All you can do now is prepare the statement electing to treat her as a resident alien and both sign. You could prepare the W7 in advance and get signed. And you can see about getting her ID to go with the W7.  It’s too early to prepare a tax return which will still need to be signed later. 
 

IF she visits the US once tax season opens next January, you could get everything prepared and go to an IRS center that certifies and show her passport. (Not all certify and she must be present.) They accept her passport ID and certify and send it all on to Austin for you. She retains her passport after showing it. 
 

NOTE: You do not have to file a joint return for immigration purposes.  It is a bit of a hassle. Married Filing Separately is your alternative. 

Edited by Wuozopo

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I had a similar conundrum this year. I used wite-out where my wife's SSN would normally go and wrote "Applied For". I also sent a letter with my taxes explaining the situation. As far as I understand, you can do this so long as you actually apply for the SNN during that year, you just can't do it the next tax year (otherwise, "Applied For" would be a lie).

 

You might want to look into more before doing it, but I've not expereniced any issues from this.

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