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seanpathickey
New Member

US citizen (in the US) married to a non-resident alien spouse who is not living in the US, does she need an ITIN number?

I'm a US citizen living in the US and am married to a non-resident alien (visa application is pending) who is not living in the US.  My wife has never made US income. 
 
In the last few years, I have filed as "Married Filing Separately" and was able to put a default tax number or write "NRA" for my wife where the form requested, but I am reading conflicting information online about what is accepted now. 
 
According to the IRS website here, my wife needs to file for an ITIN number (see screenshot below): https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresi[product key removed]e
 
 

ITIN1.png

 

 

However, according to the instructions sheet for the W-7 ITIN application also at the IRS website, "spouses who reside outside of the US shouldn't apply for...an ITIN number unless they qualify for an allowable tax benefit." (See screenshot below): https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf

 

ITIN2.png

 

Do I need to fill out an application for an ITIN number or is there an option to put a default number/write "NRA" in the blank again? Because my wife's visa application is still pending, I don't want to do anything that would compromise the process. 
 
Any help is appreciated. 
 
 
4 Replies
ThomasM125
Employee Tax Expert

US citizen (in the US) married to a non-resident alien spouse who is not living in the US, does she need an ITIN number?

It looks like you are getting conflicting information!

 

Your spouse is not getting a tax benefit by having an ITIN number, and your tax is not being affected by not having her ID number on your tax return, so it would seem acceptable to not apply for the ITIN number. If the IRS wants you to get one, they will request it after you file your tax return. In that event, it won't affect your tax, so that would seem a prudent course of action. 

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seanpathickey
New Member

US citizen (in the US) married to a non-resident alien spouse who is not living in the US, does she need an ITIN number?

Thanks for the info! Do you know what I should put on the form in the space of SSN then? 

 

 

DaveF1006
Employee Tax Expert

US citizen (in the US) married to a non-resident alien spouse who is not living in the US, does she need an ITIN number?

According to this Turbo Tax link, write "Applied For" in the SSN space.

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DoninGA
Level 15

US citizen (in the US) married to a non-resident alien spouse who is not living in the US, does she need an ITIN number?


@seanpathickey wrote:

Thanks for the info! Do you know what I should put on the form in the space of SSN then? 

 

 


If you are a US citizen or US resident and your spouse does not have a Social Security number or an ITIN and you are not applying for an ITIN with the tax return then you can only file your tax return as Married Filing Separately.  Where asked to enter the spouse's Social Security number enter 999-88-9999.  You can only print and mail your tax return, it cannot be e-filed.  When you print the tax return erase the Social Security number for your spouse and manually enter NRA for non-resident alien.

See this TurboTax support FAQ for the procedure to print and mail a tax return using the online editions - https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1944348-how-do-i-print-and-mail-my-return-in-turbotax-online

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