Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Filing Joint Tax Return When Spouse is Unlawfully Present

If you are a U.S. citizen who is married to a foreign national and plan to file an I-130 petition on behalf of your spouse, you should file a joint income tax return. When you file the I-130 petition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will want to see evidence that you and your spouse have a bona fide relationship. One of the key documents in showing a bona fide relationship is a joint income tax return. If your spouse is without legal immigration status in the United States, you can still file a joint return. Although your spouse may not have a valid Social Security Number, your spouse can request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number ("ITIN") by filing a Form W-7 with the tax return. Foreign nationals who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements, but do not qualify for Social Security Numbers, can obtain ITINs. For more information, please see the Internal Revenue Service's website at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=222209,00.html.