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TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

For MFS (Married Filing Separately) with NRA (Nonresident Alien) in past IRS required "NRA" to be typed where the spouse's SSN goes and to paper file.  Now in 2023 IRS Publication 501, page 7, the IRS is clear that "NRA" goes where the spouse's name goes and e-filing is allowed.  Why isn't the TurboTax software updated to allow e-filing without the SSN.  Will this be fixed soon?  E-filing is always better than paper filing.

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8 Replies
TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

Correction:  Why isn't the TurboTax software updated to allow e-filing withOUT the SSN.

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

You read it wrong, that's for MFS.  If you want to file MFJ, your spouse needs an ITIN.  You can't e-file without it.  You would mail your return plus the ITIN application (form W-7) to the IRS for processing.

TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

Actually, another typo in my question.  Having trouble editing.  I meant MFS.

 

TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

Fixed my typo.  I meant MFS = Married Filing Separately.  Any thoughts on that?

Vanessa A
Employee Tax Expert

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

You can try typing NRA in as your spouses last name.  Make sure you put a check mark in the box that says My spouse is a Non-Resident alien in the My info section. When you get to the end and try to transmit the return, ignore the e-file errors regarding your NRA spouse and select transmit your return.

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TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

Thank you!  I had NRA with the name.  I ignored the error that required the SSN and tried to transmit.  Turbo Tax just won't transmit the filing without a SSN.  Regarding the Non-Resident alien box in "My info" section, can you direct me to that?  In the worksheets for taxpayer and spouse, I did note "FC" for state of residence for both taxpayer and spouse.  Is there another check-box I am missing?

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

The actual IRS instructions for form 1040 state:

If your spouse doesn’t have and isn’t required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the entry space below the filing status checkboxes. For electronic filing, enter the spouse's name or “NRA” if the spouse doesn’t have an SSN or ITIN in the entry space below the filing status check-boxes.

 

That does not mean that the spouse's name or SSN should be "NRA" it refers to different box on the form 1040.  See picture.

 

Screenshot 2024-02-19 at 12.19.33 PM.png

 

I don't know whether Turbotax supports e-filing without the SSN or ITIN.  Just because the IRS allows it, doesn't guarantee that Turbotax is programmed to allow it.  (Some of the rules for the e-file system are mandatory and some are optional, apparently.  Turbotax also doesn't allow PDF attachments even though the IRS permits it and some other tax software allows it.)

 

What you should be looking for is not the ability to write "NRA" in the box for the SSN (which is probably programmed to only accept numerals).  What you would be looking for (based on how Turbotax handles similar issues) is a checkbox on your spouse's information page, where there are several other checkboxes for other special circumstances.  

 

Frankly, I would not hold out hope that if you called support, you would get a correct answer, since this a a fairly technical area and the support operators are many layers separated from the programmers.  If Turbotax won't allow you to e-file, I suspect you will have to file by mail or find a different software provider.  

 

 

 

 

 

TomSF
Returning Member

When MFS, IRS no longer requires "NRA" in place of SSN for spouse. Why can't we e-file?

Thank you Opus 17.  That is all consistent with my understanding and with Publication 501 too.  I have NRA in the correct place.  It is just that TurboTax won't accommodate the electronically filing even though the IRS allows.  I understand the IRS didn't allow electronically filing in the past for this situation, but that was fixed by the IRS.  It's unfortunate that TurboTax hasn't accommodated it because it seems like a simple coding fix by TurboTax to allow probably thousands of users in the same situation to file electronically.  Thanks for your detailed response.

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