For an expat return with a US citizen married to a non-citizen: the non-citizen, naturally, does not have a SSN. He is not going to get an ITIN. They file married filing separate as required. They do not efile because the spouse does not have a social or an ITIN.
"NRA" is supposed to be in the SSN field for the non-citizen spouse. In CCH, we could put all 6's for the non-citizen and "NRA" would print.
I can type NRA into the social field but the return gives me very angry error messages.
Now, the return has to be paper filed anyway, but is there another way to handle this and get rid of the angry messages?
If I recall, someone said in a previous discussion that you could disable conversion error checking to have the return e-filed. Perhaps you could give that a try before resorting to paper-filing?
Still an AllStar
Not very familiar with this subject was just interested. I would think @itonewbie would know this subject from a-z. found this from IRS:
Social Security Number
If your spouse is a nonresident 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, apply at a social security office or U.S. consulate. You must complete Form SS-5. You must also provide original or certified copies of documents to verify your spouse's age, identity, and citizenship. If your spouse is not eligible to get an SSN, he or she can file Form W-7 with the IRS to apply for an ITIN. Refer to Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) for more information.
Thanks for the replies. I read the paragraph from the link. How can a nonresident alien with no US source income, no ties whatsoever to the US except for marrying a citizen be compelled to get an ITIN? @itonewbie , what do you think of that paragraph?
To be able to efile, yes. But without that? I'd really like to know if the IRS has that power and what happens if the nonresident alien spouses don't get ITINs.
Okay, I believe this is the explanation: that paragraph is in the context of making the choice to treat a nonresident alien spouse as a resident. If a couple makes that choice they *must* file a joint return the first year they make it, but after the first year they can file MFS if they want to. So in that context the NRA spouse needs an ITIN.
But for couples who never make that choice, the NRA spouse does not need an ITIN.
The answer you need is in the instructions of F.1040, which says the following:
Married Filing Separately
Check the “Married filing separately” box at the top of Form 1040 or 1040-SR if you are married and file a separate return. Enter your spouse’s name in the entry space below the filing status checkboxes. Be sure to enter your spouse’s SSN or ITIN in the space for spouse’s SSN on Form 1040 or 1040-SR. If your spouse doesn’t have and isn’t required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA.”
If your client elects to file jointly, the NRA spouse will definitely need an ITIN if he/she is not eligible for an SSN.
Still an AllStar