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Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I recently married a woman who lives in a foreign country and

Resolved Question:

I recently married a woman who lives in a foreign country and is not an American citizen. We're working on getting her a tax indentification number, but will the tax refund check require me to wait until my next trip to THailand to get her signature or handle it through the mail. Or alternatively can we specifiy direct deposit to my bank even though it is not a joiint account with her name on it?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello dan,

Do you plan to file a joint return with your wife or will you file as married filing a separate return?

Does your wife also hae income in Thailand?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Filing a joint return. My wife has no income
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello dan,

In order to file a joint return, your wife will have to have a TIN (taxpayer identification number).

You may obtain this by completing Form W-7 which does require her signature, but you still have time to get that by sending her the application to sign. Once you get the form completed and signed, you attach the Form W-7 to the front of your tax return. You did not need to actually get the number before filing your return.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No. YOu didn't answer my question. As a matter of fact in the question I told you we are working on the TIN. Please read my question again. Its in regard to a refund check
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again dan,

Sorry I misunderstood your question.

As far as your refund, as long as at least your name is XXXXX XXXXX account, then you may specify direct deposit to your bank account and the IRS will process it that way, even though your wife's name is XXXXX XXXXX on the account.

However, even though there is not a problem as far as the IRS issuing the refund to your account, you would also have to check with your bank to see if they will accept the direct deposit this way. Some banks do require that both names be on the account in order to accept a direct deposit from the IRS that is payable to both taxpayers. But the IRS itself will issue the refund without a problem.

Thanks again for using JA and let me know if you have more questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Do you know if it is generally the case that banks will not accept a direct deposit of IRS check without both names on account or does it vary from one bank to another?
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again dan,

To the best of my knowledge, most banks will accept the direct deposits, even with only one name on the account, but it does depend on the individual bank.

I have even heard of some banks who do not check the names at all. Whatever bank routing number and account number appear on the deposit is the account they put the refund in. We had one customer on here last year who accidentally put the wrong account number on his refund request, and it went to someone totally different who spent the money before the bank could get it back from him, and there was nothing he could do about it, because the IRS makes it your responsibility to be sure the information you submit is correct.

But getting back to your original question, yes I believe most banks will accept your deposit with only your name being on the account, but you might want to check with them to be sure.

Thanks again.
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