Please help me! I am desperate!
I have been a US resident married to a non-resident since 2017, I had been filing as Single because I did not know I was able/supposed to get a Taxpayer Number for my spouse. in 2019 he was approved for a visa but did not enter the US and obtain a SSN until this year (2021).
I contacted the IRS by phone and asked what to do, and the agent said that since he now has a SSN, I should file amendements for previous years and use his (newly obtained) SSN. I want second opinions, is that ok to do? knowing that he DID NOT have an ITIN or an SSN when I filed the original returns.
Thank you so much for your help!
first you used an improper filing status. single is not available if you are married at year-end even to an NRA.
the only proper filing status was either married filing separately or head of household if you had a qualifying dependent (not your spouse) with either an ITIN or SSN. for open years you can amend to MFJ. (2017 if extended you have until 10/15/2021 otherwise you are too late) for closed years if using with MFS or HOH, if qualified, the IRS can come after you if you would owe taxes using that filing status.
as to married filing jointly
it will subject your spouse’s entire income to U.S. taxation and possibly subject your spouse to other informational reporting requirements. if applicable, FBAR and Form 8938 filing are required if you file MFJ (there can be substantial penalties for filing late). Practically speaking, this status is most beneficial if your spouse does not earn any income or otherwise have any accounts or investments that may cause negative tax consequences from the U.S. side.
you may want to consult with a tax professional.
Thank you for your reply.
I am trying to get as much knowledge as possible on how to correct the issue now that it's already filed and we did not have the previously needed ITIN number.