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Married filing Joint with one not having social security

Tiger5
Level 4

I have a client that recently got married and wants to file Married filing Joint but the spouse does not have a SS number yet nor a ITIN. How should I file there taxes? I've never had this situation before. 

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7 Replies 7
itonewbie
Level 15

Recently married as in 2020?

If the spouse is a nonresident alien, your client can file MFS (or HoH, if qualified) without an ITIN for the spouse.  Otherwise, it should be include on the return regardless of filing status; your client may then need to extend the return while waiting for the issuance of an SSN or ITIN, whichever one the spouse qualifies for.

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itonewbie
Level 15

Especially if your client's spouse is an NRA (or dual-status resident alien) and they want to file a joint return, you should make sure and document that they both understand the downstream implications of these once-in-a-lifetime elections, having assessed the potential tax impacts beyond the immediate tax year.

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Tiger5
Level 4

you should make sure and document that they both understand the downstream implications of these once-in-a-lifetime elections, having assessed the potential tax impacts beyond the immediate tax year.

 

Please explain future, not understanding?

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itonewbie
Level 15

@Tiger5 wrote:

you should make sure and document that they both understand the downstream implications of these once-in-a-lifetime elections, having assessed the potential tax impacts beyond the immediate tax year.

 

Please explain future, not understanding?


This is relevant only if the spouse was a nonresident alien at some point during the tax year in question.  Especially in the case of (g) election, you'd need to consider potential liabilities that may be incurred and reporting as well as disclosure obligations, including information returns such as F.5471, that may need to be met as a result of the election.  The spouse's employment, net worth, potential inheritance, business holdings, future plans, how a separation/divorce will affect their ability to make the same election in the the future, etc. should all be taken into account.  Can't get more specific than this as it would take a training course to scratch the service of alien taxation.

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Tiger5
Level 4

Thank you so much for explain and I will further read into it. 

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Tiger5
Level 4

Yes recently married. she is the one with the income for 2020 and they have a child together. So would it be beneficial for her to file HOH or married filing separate?  

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itonewbie
Level 15

@Tiger5 wrote:

Yes recently married. she is the one with the income for 2020 and they have a child together. So would it be beneficial for her to file HOH or married filing separate?  


You have all your client's info.  Only you'd be able to tell.  Between MFS and HoH, it should be evident which is generally a better option.  Question is more about whether MFJ could be beneficial.

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