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SSN

Customer Question

I want to file my tax return jointly with my wife. My wife does not have a SSN since she is a foreigner. What do I enter as her SSN? Is it going to affect anything on the form? I am also a foreigner but I have permission to work!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  R. Greg Paszkiewicz replied 11 years ago.
Assuming she is a US resident (if not you usually can't file jointly) she needs to either get a SSN or to file a W-7 to get an Individual Tax Identification Number, you use the ITIN in places where an SSN is required. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to get an ITIN.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to R. Greg Paszkiewicz's Post: I work for a university. My wife is here with me on the same visa status (H1). We came last june. I have a SSN from before (I was studying here) but she does not have one. She doesn't work since she she is not allowed. Does it mean that we cannot file a return jointly?

Thanks
Petros
Expert:  R. Greg Paszkiewicz replied 11 years ago.
I believe you are eligible to file jointly but your wife will need either a SSN or ITIN otherwise the IRS won't recognize her. If you want to file jointly she needs to have one of these identifying numbers, you made need to file an extension on your tax return if she does not receive the number in time.
Expert:  RR replied 11 years ago.
It sounds like you are a little confused on the resident/non-resident definition because of your prior visa status. When you were a student (F1 visa) you didn't have to count your days here in the US in determining whether you were a resident. But now that you are not a student, you should count all your days here to see if you meet the substantial presence test (and thus become a resident). A person meets the substantial presence test if they have been in the US for 183 days (count all the days this year, 1/3 of the days last year and 1/6 of the days the year before - but generally a person does not count days they were here on F, or J visas etc).

If you meet the test, you are a resident and should file as a resident. If you meet the test but your wife does not meet it, then she can elect to file as a resident so that you can file a joint return. She would need to get either a SSN or an ITIN.

You probably need to look at IRS Publication 519. PM me if you need additional help.

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