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New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

I got married jan 2013 and my wife is still abroad waiting for her visa. I was sending money abroad to support her. She don't have SSN or ITIN. I am US Citizen. My questions is can I claim her as a dependent and file my tax as a married?


Thanks

  Vinny

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Level 15

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

14 Replies
Level 15

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Thanks SweetieJean for the quick response. Does it mean my foreign spouse should apply for ITIN?
And once we have the ITIN, can I file with the status 'Married Filing Joint'?
Level 15

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

If you file jointly, you need to make the choice to treat your wife as a resident alien and attach a statement to your return. You would need to apply for an ITIN using form W7. In this case, her worldwide income becomes reportable/taxable. Under certain circumstances you can exclude foreign earned income (form 2555) or get a credit/deduction for foreign paid taxes (form 1116).
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Thanks a lot. Your answer helps.
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

SweetiJean covered the ground thoroughly.  Just a few comments on applying for ITIN - if your wife remains abroad you might want to read these: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Obtaining-an-ITIN-from-Abroad" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Obtaining-an-ITIN-from-Abroad</a> ,
<a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Acceptance-Agent-Program" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Acceptance-Agent-Program</a>.  It takes a while to go through the process.  They've changed procedures since I was a certifying Acceptance Agent, so I don't know the details, but the ITIN unit has a reputation for being very precise in checking the details.
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Thanks a lot! You guys are the best!
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

I'm in the same situation as the OP. My wife is still in the Philippines and is currently waiting to obtain a visa. Can't I just file as single to make things easier?
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

What I understand is that, if you are married then, you have to file as married. Please check <a href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1925734-itin-and-fling-jointly?jump_to=comment_3393280" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1925734-itin-and-fling-jointly?jump_to=comment_3393280</a> with the details of filing as married and jointly, also with applying for ITIN.

Another option is to file for a tax extension till Oct 15, assuming that your wife will be in USA by then and will get SSN/ITIN and then file as married jointly.
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

People outside the US can apply for ITINs - it's just a bit more complex (like how to you get certified copies for the IRS.  But if where they are living has means of certifying their own documents this can work.)  And she might try the American Embassy - or perhaps a consulate.  It was a bit easier (HAH!) when notaries could certify copies - all you needed from a foreign country was a notary stamp with an Apostille (A government document saying that the notary was a notary in that country.)
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Thanks for the replies. Joseph: So my wife will probably be here within 2 months as we are just waiting for an interview date from the Embassy in Manila. I can just file for an extension like you said and when she receives her SSN# in the mail we can file married/jointly? If we were to pass the April deadline and file sometime after that are we still eligible for a refund? Thanks!
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Yes to all.
New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

ITIN_INFO

In order to file US taxes, a person must have a taxpayer identification number.  For those who are citizens or are allowed to work here legally, that number is the social security number.  But if a person does not have a SS # and is not eligible to obtain one, that person must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  This requires filling out a Form (W-7) and presenting original or certified copies of proof of identity (must have photograph if applicant is 14 or older) and proof of foreign status.  A current passport can be both.  All documents must be current if they are the type which can expire (Birth certificates, which can be used for proof of foreign status, do not expire).  Parents or guardians can apply on behalf of children.  The documents presented must establish the relationship between parent and child.  (Typically a birth certificate is used for this.)

The application must contain a completed and signed tax return, with the applicant's SS# space left blank.  (Most tax software won't work if you don't put in a Taxpayer ID number.  The trick is to use a dummy number (make sure it begins with 9.  Only certain ranges of number works, so you may have to experiment.   Then, depending on the software, you print the return out and use white-out on the number.  (In some packages you can remove the # after the reviews and then print, but I don't think it does that with TurboTax.)

It gets tricky, because the application must go to Austin, Texas, and most people don't want to send their driver's license or passport off for 3 or 4 weeks.  There is a way around this, however.  You can locate a certifying acceptance agent (a person authorized by the IRS to inspect original documents and certify that the copy presented is identical to the original), who can then send the application and the certified copies to the IRS.  IRS Taxpayer Assistance centers also provide this service.  The IRS centers provide the service for free.  The Certifying Acceptance Agents are permitted to charge for their services. You may also need to prove ineligibility for Social Security by presenting a denial letter. For those living abroad without access to a Certifying acceptance agent or an IRS office, t he government where you are may have a method of certifying copies of their own documents.  Or you could try an American embassy or consulate.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1915.pdf  Publication 1915 - general description of the ITIN program

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Acceptance-Agent-Program - contains lists of Certifying Acceptance Agents

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf Instructions for filling out Form -7

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf  Form W-7 (English)

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7sp.pdf  Form W-7 (Spanish)

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Obtaining-an-ITIN-from-Abroad 

Hope this is useful.

Level 1

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Hi,

I am trying to file jointly with my wife, who came in the beginning of the year. But when there is a question did you live together in the same house and the app doesn't allow me to continue, because my answer is YES. 

During 2013 we have been married but she was outside USA now, she is in USA and she has SSN, but lived separately during 2013. Why the app doesn't allow that? 

New Member

Can I claim my spouse who is abroad as dependent and file tax jointly?

Great Info on the non resident spouse.  Thank you all!

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