If you are considered a US citizen or resident alien and are trying to file a joint return with a nonresident alien spouse with no SSN or ITIN, you will need to take additional steps in filing.
You will file for her ITIN on form W-7 and file your tax return with this ITIN filing. If your wife is a nonresident alien and you are choosing to include her on your jointly filed tax return, please make sure that you attach a declaratory statement attesting to this fact. Click here for more information about Claiming Non-Citizen Spouse and Children On Your Taxes. Also by include your spouse on your jointly filed tax return, your NRA spouse will be treated as a US resident alien for US tax purposes and all of your spouse's worldwide income in USD will be subject to taxable as a US citizen or resident alien.
Here are the steps to include an ITIN with your return:
- leave spouse's SSN blank and print a paper copy of your tax return
- apply for NRA spouse’s Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) using Form W-7 (Click ITIN)
- skip the error check section as long as your only error is missing spouse's SSN
- mail in your return (you will not be able to efile your tax return so choose "file by mail" in TurboTax)
- attach a copy of your Form W-7 (along with the necessary supporting documents) to your tax return (For the supporting documents, one option is for your spouse to get a certified copy of his/her passport which will need to be included with your tax return filing). Click here for IRS website ITIN - Frequently Asked Questions
- (only do this step if you are choosing to include a nonresident alien spouse on your tax return) attach a statement, signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies (Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident). It should contain the following information:
- A declaration that one spouse was a non-resident alien and the other spouse a U.S. citizen or resident alien on the last day of your tax year, and that you choose to be treated as U.S. residents for the entire tax year.
- The name, address, and identification number of each spouse
- mail your tax return along
Form W-7 and supporting documents to the IRS. According to the IRS,
because you are filing your tax return as an attachment to your (ITIN) application, you should not
mail your return to the address listed in the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ
instructions. Instead, send your return, Form W-7 and proof of identity
and foreign status documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
You may also apply using the services of an IRS-authorized Acceptance Agent or visit some key IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in lieu of mailing your information to the IRS in Austin
State filing - You will want to file an extension for your state until you receive your ITIN. This is because the application for your ITIN is a federal filing. Most state will not process your return without either a SSN or an ITIN. (However some states will accept state filings with W-7 attachments. You will need to contact your state's Department of Revenue and ask if your state will accept a state tax return with a Form W-7 attached).
When the IRS assigns you an ITIN, update your returns (both federal and state) in TurboTax with this new information and then you should be able to e-file your state return.
Because many states give an automatic extension when you file the federal extension Form 4868, just file a federal extension even if you don't think you will need it for your federal tax return. But check with your state's Department of Revenue to make sure that your state doesn't have a separate state extension filing. Here is a link to all state's DoR: (to expand answer, select see entire answer)