ITIN For Non-Resident Alien Spouse – Election to File as Married Filing Jointly Options to File First Time or to Amend 1040X

Social Security Number/Individual Tax Identification Number

If your spouse is a non-resident alien and you file a joint or separate return, your spouse must have either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). To get an SSN for your spouse he or she must be a resident alien working for a United States employer and residing in the United States. If your spouse is neither resident in the United States nor working for a United States-based employer, then they are not eligible to get an SSN, he or she can file Form W-7 with the IRS to apply for an ITIN.

If you are legally married as of the end of US Tax year [i.e 31st Dec] and one spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident alien (who meet the 183-day test rule in USA) and the spouse is a foreign person/non-resident alien (i.e residing outside of the United States), you can choose to treat the foreign/nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident.

Option 1- Election to File Joint Return

If you make this choice, the following rules apply:

  1. You and your spouse are treated, for federal income tax purposes, as U.S residents for all tax years that the choice is in effect. 
  1. You must file a joint income tax return for the year you make the choice.
  1. Each spouse must report his or her entire worldwide income for the year you make the choice and for all later years unless the choice is ended or suspended.
  2. Generally, neither you nor your spouse can claim tax treaty benefits as a resident of a foreign country for a tax year for which the choice is in effect. However, the exception to the saving clause of a tax treaty might allow a tax treaty benefit on a certain specified income.

How to Make the Choice

Attach a statement with an election statement 6013(g), signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies. If you need more information on the benefits of Married filing separate VS Married filing joint filing status click here

Option 2 – Amended Return[1040X]

You generally make this choice when you file your joint return the first time. However, you can also make the choice by filing a joint amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return within 3 years from the date you filed your original U.S. income tax return or 2 years from the date you paid your income tax for that year, whichever is later.

Suspending the Choice [Not to file as Married Filing Jointly – Going Forward]

The choice to be treated as a resident alien does not apply to any later tax year if neither of you is a U.S. citizen or resident alien at any time during the later tax year. Also in the event of better tax-efficient tax planning or due to personal circumstances divorce etc, the Nonresident Alien spouse has the choice to suspend the 6013(g) election done earlier to move out of the US tax system.

If 4868 Extension is filed by 15th April then the next 1040 tax filing deadline is 15th October

If you have the 1040 tax return ready and you want to apply for ITIN for your foreign spouse as far as you send in the ITIN application and 1040 tax return on or before 15th October and have postal proof of mailing safely then you are covered to prove the IRS that you had submitted the tax return in time.

Click here for More FAQ – ITIN for the spouse of US Citizens

If you are in the process of getting an ITIN for your foreign spouse and need assistance. Our team can assist. We are one of the IRS-approved Certified Acceptance Agents (CAA) with many years of experience dealing with the ITIN office. 

Please visit our website for FAQ related to ITIN and US Tax Assistance.

Visit our website 

WWW.TAXANDACCOUNTINGHUB.COM
WWW.USTAX4EXPATS.COM 
WWW.ITINCAA.COM

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