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non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

Old Aug 9th 2002, 2:54 am
  #1  
Ky2b
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Default non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

Is there any way that I can declare my new wife and children, who are still overseas,
on my tax return? I married in October, 2001. Am I allowed to apply for a Taxpayer
Identification Number for my wife if she is a non-resident alien? The w$ form says
explicitly that I cannot include them on that form. I provide 100% of their support.
Thanks. RJ from Flushing
 
Old Aug 9th 2002, 5:28 am
  #2  
Mark A. Fuller
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Default Re: non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

I don't understand what "W$ form" is. I read IRS pub 519 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-00/p519.pdf) and I
understood it to say non-resident aliens are eligible to receive an ITIN number for
such purposes as filing taxes or being claimed as a dependent. I also understood it
to say a non-resident alien can (but isn't required to) file taxes, file jointly,
or be claimed as a dependent if sufficient steps are made to make the alien
resident. I understood this to mean such things as the paperwork filed to make your
domicile the alien's domicile, start the process of residency with the presumption
that it will be followed to completion. And this in contrast to you taking steps to
change your domicile to the alien's residency, applying for residency in the
alien's country, etc.

I prefaced everything above with "I understood" because pub 519 was very long and not
very clear to me. If you have questions you should seek a tax attorney.

I applied for an ITIN last year. It required a notarized copy of my wife's identify
papers (passport). Because we weren't in the US, the only people outside the US
considered valid notaries are embassy staff. That costs about $30 a page in Santiago
Chile. Filed the W7 (http://www.irs.go-
v/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf
) form which asks your reason for requesting an ITIN. I
wrote the reason to be "married filing jointly and unable to receive SS # until filed
visa is approved." I mailed the application 10-22-2001. When I got to Christmas and
hadn't received anything, I called 800-829-1040 which is a voice menu. I took the
option for information about individual tax returns. It asks for your SS number. I
kept keying in a random number until it said "please wait while I transfer you to an
operator." Someone looked up the application and gave me the ITIN number which had
been issued.

I think there's little question that you're wife and her children(?) are entitled
to ITIN numbers. Where it's a little less definitive is if your wife can file
jointly with you and you both (actually her?) can claim her children as dependents.
As I said above, the way I read pub. 519, your wife can file jointly with you if
steps were underway in 2001 to move towards a permanent status. I remember pub. 519
gave examples of what constitutes such steps and they included immigration. I
didn't pay attention to issues concerning non-resident alien children. It didn't
apply in my case.

Look at the instructions to 1040a (h-
ttp://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-00/i1040a.pdf
) on top of page 16. It discusses who
"has to file" and says these rules apply to non-resident aliens who choose to be
taxed as resident aliens. This is the same language used in Pub. 519. It speaks in
terms of "you may file as a resident alien if...". I believe one criteria was if you
reside in the U.S., but also if you reside abroad but have taken steps to reside
here. You'd have to read pub. 519. I've forgot.

Hope this helps. Mark

"KY2B" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Is there any way that I can declare my new wife and children, who are
still
    > overseas, on my tax return? I married in October, 2001. Am I allowed to
apply
    > for a Taxpayer Identification Number for my wife if she is a non-resident alien?
    > The w$ form says explicitly that I cannot include them on that
form. I
    > provide 100% of their support. Thanks. RJ from Flushing
 
Old Aug 9th 2002, 6:06 am
  #3  
Girard Bourque
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Default Re: non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

I believe that you can. I have heard of cases where a couple is paying all of the
cost for a parent living in a foreign country and filled out the W-7 and received a
ITIN. My understanding is if they meet the dependant requirements and is can not
receive a SSN then they are entitled to a ITIN. But I am not a tax expert.

Jerry
 
Old Aug 9th 2002, 7:07 am
  #4  
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: non-resident alien dependents on tax return?

Well, Publication 501 is recommended reading.

According to the last paragraph of page 5 of publication 501, your wife (if married
to you at the END of the tax year) can be counted as a resident alien, if you wish.
That way you can file a joint return. The only way to get a spouse exemption is with
a joint return.

For the children:

To be claimed as a dependent, the following test must be met

1. Member of household or relationship test
2. Citizen or Resident Test
3. Joint return test
4. Gross income test
5. Support test

6. Stepchild qualifies
7. According to page 11 of publication 501, children usually are residents of the
country of their parents. As noted above the mother is a resident if you want to
claim her as such.


KY2B wrote:
    > Is there any way that I can declare my new wife and children, who are still
    > overseas, on my tax return? I married in October, 2001. Am I allowed to apply for
    > a Taxpayer Identification Number for my wife if she is a non-resident alien? The
    > w$ form says explicitly that I cannot include them on that form. I provide 100% of
    > their support. Thanks. RJ from Flushing
 
Old Aug 9th 2002, 11:09 am
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 717
Ameriscot is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

You can get an ITIN for each of your family members.

Your wife can elect to be a resident alien for tax purposes (thereby exposing her entire years' income to the long arm of the IRS), regardelss of her INS status.

It is nearly always a good idea to do this, although it may not suit everyone. What you can do is estimate your taxes one way and the other, and pick the method which saves you the most.
Ameriscot is offline  

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