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Filing for dependent without ITIN

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stephengeorge

New member
What is the name of your state? IL
Hello,

I am an Indian Citizen in the US on work visa (L1A) from July 2017 to present. My family - wife and two children (5 and 7 years old) - was with me from Feb 8th 2018 to Aug 6th 2018. I dont have any other income other than from employment and my wife was not working in the US. Me and my wife are having SSN. I have not applied for ITIN for my children. I have filed 2017 taxes as Single since my family was not with me in the US in 2017. My 2018 taxes is filed as married filing joint since my family was with me partially in 2018, but children are not included in the filing since they do not have ITIN. I have the below questions.

  1. Can my 2017 taxes be filed as married filing joint. If so can this be amended.
  2. Can I apply ITIN for my children and then amend my returns for 2018 to include them. Will this have any benefit.

Regards,
Stephen
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? IL
Hello,

I am an Indian Citizen in the US on work visa (L1A) from July 2017 to present. My family - wife and two children (5 and 7 years old) - was with me from Feb 8th 2018 to Aug 6th 2018. I dont have any other income other than from employment and my wife was not working in the US. Me and my wife are having SSN. I have not applied for ITIN for my children. I have filed 2017 taxes as Single since my family was not with me in the US in 2017. My 2018 taxes is filed as married filing joint since my family was with me partially in 2018, but children are not included in the filing since they do not have ITIN. I have the below questions.

  1. Can my 2017 taxes be filed as married filing joint. If so can this be amended.
  2. Can I apply ITIN for my children and then amend my returns for 2018 to include them. Will this have any benefit.
Regards,
Stephen
Since you and your wife both have an SSN you could amend your 2017 taxes to married filing jointly. You could have done that anyway although it would have meant filing a paper return.

You cannot apply for ITIN numbers for your children because they did not live in the US long enough to qualify for an ITIN as dependents.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
He needs to amend anyway since single was an ineligible filing status.
Probably, but sometimes there is no difference between filing statuses so its not guaranteed that it would make a difference. Its also possible that he paid more tax than required filing single, so again, its not necessarily required that he amend.
 

davew9128

Junior Member
Probably, but sometimes there is no difference between filing statuses so its not guaranteed that it would make a difference. Its also possible that he paid more tax than required filing single, so again, its not necessarily required that he amend.
Fine. Let me put it this way, there was a Tax Court case last year where someone had originally filed single and amended to MFJ after the normal 3 year SOL to change from a single to married status and the court allowed it saying that where the taxpayer was in fact married, that single was an ineligible filing status and didn't constitute a separate filing status for that SOL.
 

stephengeorge

New member
Thank you all for the information.

Just wanted to add that Spouse got SSN on 2018. In 2017 she did not have SSN. Are we still eligible for a joint filing in 2017. I also understand from the above information that there is no minimum period of time spouse needs to be in the US for a joint filing. Is this correct.

Can you also please let me know what is the minimum period children needs to be in the US during a year to be eligible for ITIN.

Regards,
Stephen
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Fine. Let me put it this way, there was a Tax Court case last year where someone had originally filed single and amended to MFJ after the normal 3 year SOL to change from a single to married status and the court allowed it saying that where the taxpayer was in fact married, that single was an ineligible filing status and didn't constitute a separate filing status for that SOL.
I don't disagree with you at all that he CAN file an amended return to married filing jointly. My disagreement is whether or not its REQUIRED.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Thank you all for the information.

Just wanted to add that Spouse got SSN on 2018. In 2017 she did not have SSN. Are we still eligible for a joint filing in 2017. I also understand from the above information that there is no minimum period of time spouse needs to be in the US for a joint filing. Is this correct.

Can you also please let me know what is the minimum period children needs to be in the US during a year to be eligible for ITIN.

Regards,
Stephen
You CAN amend to 2017 to joint. It doesn't matter that she just got the SSN in 2018.

I believe that the required period of time is 284 days.
 

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