How does the tax return process work with ITIN?

I got married last year who is not eligible for the SSN.  In order to file a tax return with her listed as a dependent, I need to get an ITIN.  But I am little confused with the process.  Is the following process correct?

1. prepare a tax return jointly leaving the SSN/ITIN field empty for my wife
2. send a paper print out of the tax return with the form W-7 and required documentation to the IRS
3. IRS will process the tax return

OR

1. prepare a tax return jointly leaving the SSN/ITIN field empty for my wife
2. send a paper print out of the tax return with the form W-7 and required documentation to the IRS
3. IRS will send me a ITIN for my wife
4. update the tax return with the provided ITIN
5. file a return

Can someone clarify the process, please?
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    1. Prepare your return and print it out
    2. write in the filed for the ITIN/SSN for your wife: applied for, see attached W7 (or similar)
    3. Attach form W7 to the front of your return. Also add the necessary proof of identity.
    see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf
    4. Mail to the IRS in Austin

    Internal Revenue Service
    ITIN Operation
    P.O. Box 149342
    Austin, TX 78714-9342

    The IRS will process your return and send you a letter with the ITIN number.

    Some states allow filing without an ITIN and you would then send an amended return just informing them of the ITIN number once you get it. Some states wont allow that.  The easiest would be to wait  for the ITIN and then file your state return.
    • Thank you, bine22.
      Normally, I file tax using TurboTax.  Do you happen to know if TurboTax produces the tax return form without ITIN number?
    • Yes, Turbotax should be able to handle it.
      You might have to put in a dummy number. Choose one that starts with a "9" (ITINs start with a 9) and overwrite it in the pdf or after printing.
    • Thank you again.  You were very helpful.
    • Happy to help
    • How do print out the prepared tax document without filing..It is not allowing to print out without filing tax return..I cannot file tax return without my wife's ITIN.. please help
    • @mohan: you need to choose that you want to file by regular mail. Than you will be able to print it.
    • @mohan.  Please let me know if it works or not once you try... I will be going though what you are doing next month. :)
    • @bine22: If i choose that i want to file by mail,it will ask me to pay first which is expensive..My concern is ,can we show the previous year tax return and my marriage certificate?
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    mohan: You need to pay for the software, if you e-file or file by mail. You need to print out your return to file with a W7 form. You need to submit supporting information as described in the instructions of form W7. What about last years tax return?
    • i have last year tax return,but the marital status is single..Is it ok if i send the last year tax return with marriage certificate?
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    @mohan: if you are married now and your wife does not have an ITIN, you need to file your 2011 return together with form W7 and the necessary documentation (passport, marriage certificate). Sending your 2010 return wont do anything.
    • @bine22: If i file the tax return for 2011 without my wife ITIN ,then i will not be getting the tax exemption for my wife as a dependent right..I am kind of confused still .
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    @mohan: You file your return together with form W7. Send it to the address mentioned above. That the office that issues ITINs. They will issue an ITIN, put it on your return and forward your return to be processed.
    • Turbo Tax sucks -- i waited 30 minutes on Chat and agent gave me totally nu-relevant answer.

      Question is does Turbo Tax support the process of ITIN creation when tax is filed ? If yes, what buttons I should click ..
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    @Deepak: Turbotax does not support form W7.
    YOu need to download it, print it, print your return and mail it (see my first answer).
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf
    • HI, I also have to file this way as well, but I am wanting to know how long this process is and how long will i have to wait before I receive my tax refund??   And will they send it via check or can they direct deposit my refund??  PLEASE HELP   THANKS :)
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