how to get an ITIN for my wife.

We are in India at present and we were in US in 2012 on L1 and L2 visa respectively.
I learnt that i need to send my wife's passport and signed W7 form to IRS.

My brother resides in US. Can i send the passport and signed W7 to him and ask him to mail it to IRS.
Should there be a problem ?

Also can my brother go to IRS in person with the documents to get ITIN for my wife ?

Any help would be appreciated.


  • While filing tax returns using turbo tax, i'm choosing 'Married filing jointly' since i'm applying for my wife's ITIN in parallel. But Turbotax seems to only allow numeric value in my wife's SSN no. and i'm not able to enter - applied for, see attached W7. Please suggest how do i go about this. I cannot use turbotax or other online tools for IT returns when i have my wife's ITIN pending ?
  • you need to write that in manually after printing. Ignore the error message about the missing SSN/ITIN, or use a dummy number starting with 90, but make sure you wipe that out and write the text instead after printing. You cant efile your return this year.
  • To summarize,  i can e-file my returns as 'married filing jointly' with no SSN for my wife in turbotax and in parallel, i can take a printout of my returns from turbotax, fill the SSN for my wife with 'applied for ITIN' and then mail the form, along with W7 and certified passport copy (that i'll get from US consulate in my Indian city) to IRS. Let me know if this sounds good.
    Just in case IRS is not accepting certified copies anymore (i got this information from, would they still process my returns as 'single' and credit my returns ?
  • While I apply for my wife's ITIN, i send my Federal tax returns along with the ITIN application to IRS in Austin. Should i do the same with my California State returns ?
Do not send your original documents to the IRS!

To apply for an ITIN from abroad:

And more detailed information:

To get an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) you will need to fill out form W7 and attach it to the front of your tax return. You will also need to submit additional documentation to prove your identity and status. A passport is the only stand alone document, otherwise you need to submit two documents (see instructions). You can submit original documents, however, it is safer to submit copies. These copies need to certified by the issuing agency.

Send your return, form W7 and the supporting documents to the address in the instructions (see link below).

You can also apply in person at an IRS office handling ITIN applications (see link ITIN Acceptance Agents).

Turbotax does not support form W7, but you can download it and fill it out manually (or using a pdf editor).

Write "applied for, see attached W7" in the box for the SSN/ITIN on your tax return.

Form W7:

Instructions for Form W7:

ITIN Acceptance Agents (US and international)

To apply for an ITIN from abroad:

Additional publications of interest:

  • Thanks a lot for the information
  • Hi All
    I am also in same situation.
    From above discussion I understand that I can use turbo tax, and instead of e-file , i need to take print out of federal return.
    Complete w-7 and go to IRS office.
    But what to do with state return? Can i efile only state -return?
    Please reply,
  • You mean efile the State return with blank for the SSN field (which is awaiting ITIN).
    I'm thinking if i should send the State returns to the same IRS office (or)
    since CA gives an automatic extension for IT returns, i will wait for the ITIN to arrive and then do a paper filing for State returns.
  • Thanks all.
    I have solution now, just wanted to share for beniift of others.
    I have asked the question to Maryland state tax department, I got below response:

    You have two options at this point.
    1. File the tax return without including the dependent on the tax return and then file an amended return to claim the dependent. when you receive the ITIN from the IRS.  
    2. Wait until you receive the ITIN, then file the return with the dependent included.
    If you will be due a refund, there is no penalty for filing late, which 2 would be the best way to go.  Extension is only required, if you will owe taxes and the taxes are to be paid at the time you file the extension.
  • Thanks a lot for the information. That helps !
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