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lindsayhughes74
New Member

What if I don't have a Social Security number?

my spouse is not an American citizen or resident therefor does not have a ssn
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Opus 17
Level 15

What if I don't have a Social Security number?

If you are a US taxpayer (citizen or resident alien) married to a non-resident alien you have two choices.


You can file as married filing separately. You do not list your spouse as a dependent.  Leave the spouse's SSN blank.  You can't e-file.  Print your return, write "NRA" for the spouse's SSN, and mail in your return.  Married filing separately has the highest tax rates and many deductions and credits are reduced or disallowed.

Or, you can make an election to treat your spouse as a US person for tax reasons, in which case you can file as married filing jointly.  Treating your spouse as a US person means you must report and pay US income tax on their income from anywhere in the world (there is an offsetting credit for foreign taxes).  You get lower tax rates and some other benefits by filing jointly, but the worldwide tax thing might cost you more than you save.  Your spouse needs an ITIN (international tax ID number).  If you have it, you can e-file the MFJ return.  If your spouse does not yet have an ITIN, you can't e-file. You need to print your return and mail it to the IRS, along with a form W-7 ITIN application and any required proofs.  You will need a fake SSN to get through the interview, try 999-88-9999.  After printing the return, cover the fake SSN with white-out.  Mail your return and form W-7 to the address in the W-7 instructions, not the usual address for your tax return.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-w7


https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-spouse-treated-as-a-resident

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

3 Replies
Opus 17
Level 15

What if I don't have a Social Security number?

If you are a US taxpayer (citizen or resident alien) married to a non-resident alien you have two choices.


You can file as married filing separately. You do not list your spouse as a dependent.  Leave the spouse's SSN blank.  You can't e-file.  Print your return, write "NRA" for the spouse's SSN, and mail in your return.  Married filing separately has the highest tax rates and many deductions and credits are reduced or disallowed.

Or, you can make an election to treat your spouse as a US person for tax reasons, in which case you can file as married filing jointly.  Treating your spouse as a US person means you must report and pay US income tax on their income from anywhere in the world (there is an offsetting credit for foreign taxes).  You get lower tax rates and some other benefits by filing jointly, but the worldwide tax thing might cost you more than you save.  Your spouse needs an ITIN (international tax ID number).  If you have it, you can e-file the MFJ return.  If your spouse does not yet have an ITIN, you can't e-file. You need to print your return and mail it to the IRS, along with a form W-7 ITIN application and any required proofs.  You will need a fake SSN to get through the interview, try 999-88-9999.  After printing the return, cover the fake SSN with white-out.  Mail your return and form W-7 to the address in the W-7 instructions, not the usual address for your tax return.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-w7


https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-spouse-treated-as-a-resident

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

tzhao1
New Member

What if I don't have a Social Security number?

As of today (22Feb2021), do I file my tax return first then after I get the receipt, then I mail it with W-7 to apply ITIN for my foreign national spouse OR do I mail both (tax return and W7) at the same time to the IRS? 

If I mail both at the same time, besides apply my spouse ITIN, will the IRS process my tax return for 2020 as well? 

 

First time doing this and I am very confused.

Thank you and I really appreciate your kindly help!

DianeW777
Expert Alumni

What if I don't have a Social Security number?

Definitely file the paper tax return with Form W-7, do NOT file them separately. The IRS will process your tax return once they complete the W-7 process for the individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Once processed they will send the ITIN 

 

This following link will be helpful as well.

You can call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 if you are in the United States or 267-941-1000 (not a toll-free number) if you are outside the United States. This service allows you to check the status of your application seven weeks after submitting Form W-7 and your tax return.

  • Calling is extremely time consuming right now. If you want to try, call very early or very late based on the times below.
    • January - April  800-829-1040
      • Telephone service wait times can average 15 minutes. Some telephone service lines may have longer wait times.
      • Telephone service wait times are higher on Monday and Tuesday
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