Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

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Pioneer
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-20-2016

Spouse doesn't have a SSN

Hello - 

 

Have a small issue with the HRBlock Deluxe software in the personal info part. A bit of background first:

 

1) My spouse, who is not a US citizen and thus does not have a SSN, and I live overseas. 

2) Regardless of living overseas and paying local taxes, I still need to go through the motions and file in the US. I plan to do so as "married - filing separately" . Seems logical enough as I am not single. "Married - filing jointly" wouldn't make sense either as the IRS cannot make a claim on my spouse's income.  


Here's the issue: 

The HR Block program won't let me finish the return until I enter in a SSN for my spouse. But if they don't have a SSN, I cannot enter it in. But if I don't enter it in, I can't finish the return ....

 

This looks like a case of the good old chicken and the egg...

 

Any ideas on how to deal with this? 

 

Thanks in advance. 

Associate (Pioneer)
Posts: 87
Registered: ‎02-15-2014

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

Welcome.

 

Great question.

 

Here's what Publication 17 says:

 

 

 

"Taxpayer identification number for aliens. If you or your dependent is a nonresident or resident alien who doesn't have and isn't eligible to get a social security number, file Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with the IRS. For more informa-tion, see Social Security Number (SSN), later."

 

You can find the application here:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf and the instructions here:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw7.pdf

 

Hope this helps.

Associate (Pioneer)
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-09-2016

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

[ Edited ]

Greetings,

 

While it is correct that in some cases, your non-resident spouse needs an ITIN, not in all cases.  You can file MFS and not include your spouses ssn or itin. However, if you do that, you will not be able to claim your spouse(get exemption) so that is a consideration.  So, if you decide to proceed without entering ssn or applying for ITIN, I recommend you try putting "NRA" in the field for ssn in the software and see if that works for you.  As I am a office tax rep, I am not familiar with the hrblock software but this would be the best bet. Hope this helps clarify it for you.

Source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf Under Married Filing Separately section (6th paragraph)

 

Dennis

Tax Pro
Posts: 5,208
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

Hi peas and carrots,

 

You will need an ITIN number for your spouse, and there is a way to go about it that will allow you to file the return at the same time.  You can file the Form W-7 (application for an ITIN) along with the return.  Enter 999-99-9999 for the ITIN number and attach the Form W-7.  If the software will not accept the all 9s code for an ITIN applicant (not all programs will) then leave it blank.  The return must be mailed to the IRS in order to apply for an ITIN.  Also, I recommend filing jointly as it will be much more beneficial than filing separately.  If you are a United States citizen living and working abroad, then up to $100,800 of the income earned by you and your wife overseas is excludable from taxation under the foreign earned income exclusion.  The excludable amount of income is figured on Form 2555 or Form 2555EZ and then carried over to line 21 on your Form 1040 as a negative amount (a subtraction from taxable income).

 

Hope this helps.

Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-19-2016

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

I have no real tax experience so I called a CPA yesterday because my daughter got married in June 2015 to a Canadian and is now living and working in Canada.  She told me that all worldly income must be considered on the tax form but she also told me that I would choose Single as her status.  

 

She also indicated that all funds must be converted to USD (makes sense) and they usually do that as of 12/31/xx.

 

I am now trying to figure out how to input T4 (CA version of a W2) information into the program.  If I fill in the W2 box with info from the T4 there is no place to consider the foreign tax witholdings and I am now concerned that she will overpay.  

Tax Pro
Posts: 5,208
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

[ Edited ]

Hi DJAMATO,

 

A couple of things here.  Your daughter is correct that all income must be considered, however foreign income is typically excludable on your United States tax return.  Use Form 2555 (foreign earned income) to report this income.

 

On the subject of filing status, your daughter CANNOT file single if she is legally married, no matter where her spouse is from.  Her choices are either "married filing separately" or "married filing jointly".  Filing jointly provides the most benefits.

 

Hope this helps.

Pioneer
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-24-2017

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

I am seperated from my foreign spouse.  When we first got married we had started visa paperwork, but never completed the process.  In the past I've filed with an ITIN number.  My question is how do I file now that we are seperated...not legally just not together.  Do I have to file for another ITIN number and file married filing seperately or can I file single?  I have no information of her now...don't know her source of income if any and have no idea where she is.  

Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-15-2017

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

"NRA" doesn't work for HRBlock system. 

Highlighted
Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎04-15-2017

Re: Spouse doesn't have a SSN

HRBlock software doesn't let you proceed if this box is blank.