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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28084
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Im a permanent resident of the US and have been living here

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I'm a permanent resident of the US and have been living here for years. My wife is a non-resident and foreign citizen. She arrived in the US in August of 2010. We got married in December of 2010. She didn't have any income during 2010. My tax situation is pretty simple - straight W-2. My plan is to do the following:
1. Fill out W-7 for her and have her sign it.
2. Attach a certified copy of her passport.
3. Fill out 1040 the usual way, but "married filing jointly" leaving her SSN blank. I will claim deductions for both of us.
4. Attach a declaration from both of us asking to treat us as residents for tax purposes.

Am I missing anything here?

LEV :

You need to obtain ITIN for your wife to be used in the place of SSN. Two options - apply for ITIN and file your tax return after you get it, or file your tax return together with application for ITIN. As you still have time - I would recommend applying for the ITIN first, and filing your tax return electronically after that.

LEV :

How do I apply for an ITIN? - see for reference http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=222209,00.html
Use the latest revision of Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to apply. Attach a valid federal income tax return, unless you qualify for an exception, and include your original, notarized, or certified proof of identity and foreign status documents.
Because you are filing your tax return as an attachment to your ITIN application, you should not mail your return to the address listed in the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ instructions. Instead, send your return, Form W-7 and proof of identity and foreign status documents to:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
ITIN Operation
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TXNNN-NN-NNNN/em>

LEV :

Because this way you will file your tax return by mail and not electronically - it would take longer to proceed

LEV :

Instead of sending her original, notarized, or certified proof of identity and foreign status documents - you may use

LEV :

an authorized acceptence agent.

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. I do understand all that. That's why I listed W-7 as a part of my plan. I was looking for overall qualification on my plan. Can we file "married filing jointly"? Will the steps I described accomplish that? If they will, I'm not looking for options/details. Simple clarification will suffice.

LEV :

As long as you are maried on the last day of the year - you may file a jont tax return as if you were married the whole year.

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. As far as her residency is concerned, it is not going to be a problem?

LEV :

Her residency will not be an issue - but a copy of your marriage certificate might be helpful.

LEV :

However - any possible issues will delay the acceptence of your tax return. If for instance the IRS will have questions - they will send you a letter. that is why I suggest to get ITIN before filing. You may simply go your your local IRS office and provide original documents.

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

What about the declaration that we elect to be treated both as residents? Do we actually need to attach that?

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

And if I'm not expecting a refund, do I need to care about the return processing time?

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Pub 519 is talking about the declaration - page 9. Also here: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=96370,00.html

LEV :

As long as you pay all your tax liabilities before the due date - there will not be any fees.

LEV :

You are correct looking into IRS publication 519 page 9 - and this statement is required.

LEV :

You both shoudl sign teh statement

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. There will be no liabilities this year. They will owe me money for 2010 but I will not get it because I have an installment for 2008 - it will all go there.

LEV :

As long as teh tax return is due by April 15 - you have enough time.

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. I think you answered my questions. Anything else I might be missing?

LEV :

I think you are OK. Please be aware that you may just walk into teh IRS office without any appointment and apply for ITIN.

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. This is good to know.

LEV :

You may find a location close to you by clicking on your state - http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html

JACUSTOMER-kpij9njf- :

Thank you. Have a nice day.

Lev and 2 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Please see Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident on the page 10 (not 9) - and How To Make the Choice - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdf