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My client wants to claim married file jointly to non-resident alien who currently is not living in USA. Can I file married file jointly for him instead of single status?

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If i can file married file jointly for him, how i put his non-resident alien spouse on tax return without ITIN.

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Level 12

Yes, if they want to make the election to treat the nonresident Alien spouse as a Resident, they can make that election (see link) and file a Joint tax return.  However, they do need an ITIN.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p519#en_US_2018_publink1000222196

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/how-do-i-apply-for-an-itin


Filing as Single is not an option.  If they don't file a Joint return, the client would file as Married Filing Separately (or possibly Head of Household if there is a qualifying dependent).




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Level 12

Yes, if they want to make the election to treat the nonresident Alien spouse as a Resident, they can make that election (see link) and file a Joint tax return.  However, they do need an ITIN.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p519#en_US_2018_publink1000222196

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/how-do-i-apply-for-an-itin


Filing as Single is not an option.  If they don't file a Joint return, the client would file as Married Filing Separately (or possibly Head of Household if there is a qualifying dependent).




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Level 3

If you do not have an ITN for the spouse, then your best hope is to file MFS, write in NRA on the 1040 and paper file.  Once you get an ITN or SSN then do an amended return.  Been there done that.

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Level 15
For an ITIN, I'd either apply for an extension (or, less ideally, submit the W-7 application with the return).  It would be more cost effective than filing an amended return.
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Level 3
Yes you could file and extension.  Depends on how long in might take, mine to over a year to get their SSN.
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Level 15
Unless the NRA spouse has work authorization in the US or is a LPR, that spouse won't be eligible for SSN.  ITIN's are routinely issued at a much faster pace because it's used only for tax compliance purposes.
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Level 3
There we special circumstances in this case, she was never issued a ITIN (maybe for a few days) then got her SSN as soon as she was allowed entry to the US.  Yes, she has work authorization.
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Level 15
Not the fact pattern of the OP.
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Still an AllStar
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