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I got married, overseas in Japan, to my wife in May 2016. Shes never lived in the US and we currently still live in Japan. Do I still need an ITIN for my wife?

 
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LinaJ2018
Intuit Alumni

I got married, overseas in Japan, to my wife in May 2016. Shes never lived in the US and we currently still live in Japan. Do I still need an ITIN for my wife?

You don't have to.  You have options. 

 

If you are filing jointly, you have to have an ITIN for your spouse.  Without your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you won't be able to e-file, unfortunately.  IRS requires everyone on the tax return have either SSN or ITIN on the tax return.  To apply for an ITIN, you will have to file a Form W-7 separately.  

 

You would need to submit your taxes and apply for ITIN simultaneously with TurboTax program:

 

-In the program, as you enter the information, leave the SSN space blank

-After entering all your information, print out returns and required forms ( write APPLIED in the SSN space) 

-As TurboTax does not support the Form W-7, fill out the forms by following

 https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information and attach to other required  documentation

-Submit everything including your tax forms to IRS Austin location in Texas.  ( Form W-7 instructions)

 

 

Or you can file Married Filing Separately.  Then you would not need to apply for ITIN for your spouse.  But you will not able to e-file either.  You can still use the program to prepare the tax forms but will have to submit by mail.  

 

To file separately without the SSN or ITIN: 

  • In the program, leave the SSN space blank
  • After completing the return, print out the forms.  Write “NRA” in the spouse's SSN space. ( NRA stands for Nonresident Alien). Do not leave the space blank. 
  • Submit all the forms and required documents to IRS based on the instructions on your print-out.

 

View solution in original post

3 Replies
LinaJ2018
Intuit Alumni

I got married, overseas in Japan, to my wife in May 2016. Shes never lived in the US and we currently still live in Japan. Do I still need an ITIN for my wife?

You don't have to.  You have options. 

 

If you are filing jointly, you have to have an ITIN for your spouse.  Without your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you won't be able to e-file, unfortunately.  IRS requires everyone on the tax return have either SSN or ITIN on the tax return.  To apply for an ITIN, you will have to file a Form W-7 separately.  

 

You would need to submit your taxes and apply for ITIN simultaneously with TurboTax program:

 

-In the program, as you enter the information, leave the SSN space blank

-After entering all your information, print out returns and required forms ( write APPLIED in the SSN space) 

-As TurboTax does not support the Form W-7, fill out the forms by following

 https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information and attach to other required  documentation

-Submit everything including your tax forms to IRS Austin location in Texas.  ( Form W-7 instructions)

 

 

Or you can file Married Filing Separately.  Then you would not need to apply for ITIN for your spouse.  But you will not able to e-file either.  You can still use the program to prepare the tax forms but will have to submit by mail.  

 

To file separately without the SSN or ITIN: 

  • In the program, leave the SSN space blank
  • After completing the return, print out the forms.  Write “NRA” in the spouse's SSN space. ( NRA stands for Nonresident Alien). Do not leave the space blank. 
  • Submit all the forms and required documents to IRS based on the instructions on your print-out.

 

I got married, overseas in Japan, to my wife in May 2016. Shes never lived in the US and we currently still live in Japan. Do I still need an ITIN for my wife?

Thank you for the quick response and great information. I have spoken to a couple of my friends in the military here that filed Jointly and it seems the tax return is ... substantially greater.

So now I have a couple more questions: If I decide to go down the route of Married Filing Jointly, do I need to submit an Extension since the tax deadline is a little over two weeks and I DO NOT currently have, or applied, for an ITIN? Or does following these instructions and mailing everything before April 18 suffice? And also do I have to do over-night mailing?

Again, thank you for your time and information. I'm VERY new to this and the more I read, the more questions I have lol
LinaJ2018
Intuit Alumni

I got married, overseas in Japan, to my wife in May 2016. Shes never lived in the US and we currently still live in Japan. Do I still need an ITIN for my wife?

As 2nd part of the instruction indicates, you will attach the W-7 to your Form 1040 ( Apply for the ITIN and file Form 1040 at the same time) by April 15th, 2020.  Submit everything by mail.   You do not have to do an over-night mailing.

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