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haleighpouliot20
New Member

What can we do?

Husband is an NRA. We both live abroad. Married in 2017, this is our first tax year together. My only option is to file Married Filing Separately. The tax form requires my husband's SSN/ITIN to file. We didn't realize until now how hard it was going to be to apply for his ITIN from abroad. We have no time to apply for an ITIN, at this point. There is not enough time to chance sending over my husband's important documents and not enough time to process his documents here for certified copies and send those, either. I already saved a paper file of my taxes, writing "NRA" in the necessary spots as suggested and will mail it in. But I just today found a section on the IRS site stating they won't accept or process a return where the SSN/ITIN spot is left blank or filled with "NRA," "applied," etc. I'm worried they will reject my return and it will be much tougher to straighten out this matter from abroad. Won't be back until September. Is the IRS going to reject my return? Has anyone else been in this situation this year? What can we do since it seems like I have no other options besides filing and writing in "NRA?"

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
bine22
Level 7

What can we do?

This section is already a few years old. However, it is, IMHO, stupid (at least without further explanation) and does not apply in your case.

Publication 17 has this to say about who needs an ITIN

Nonresident alien spouse.

If your spouse is a nonresident alien, your spouse must have either an SSN or an ITIN if:

You file a joint return,
You file a separate return and claim an exemption for your spouse, or
Your spouse is filing a separate return
Since neither of these apply to you, you do not need an ITIN.

Also, the instructions for form 1040 for 2017 returns clearly states:
Be sure to enter your spouse's SSN or ITIN on Form 1040. If your spouse doesn't have and isn't required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA.”

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1 Reply
bine22
Level 7

What can we do?

This section is already a few years old. However, it is, IMHO, stupid (at least without further explanation) and does not apply in your case.

Publication 17 has this to say about who needs an ITIN

Nonresident alien spouse.

If your spouse is a nonresident alien, your spouse must have either an SSN or an ITIN if:

You file a joint return,
You file a separate return and claim an exemption for your spouse, or
Your spouse is filing a separate return
Since neither of these apply to you, you do not need an ITIN.

Also, the instructions for form 1040 for 2017 returns clearly states:
Be sure to enter your spouse's SSN or ITIN on Form 1040. If your spouse doesn't have and isn't required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA.”

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