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I am a US Citizen married to a non-resident alien who did not work in 2012. How do I say this on my taxes?

Lebanon, NH |

We were married in May 2012. The I-130 has been approved, and we're waiting for the I-485 interview which is at the end of this month. I assume I should write "married" as my marital status on my tax forms? Should I file jointly or separately, and what do I write where it asks for his SS#?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. File jointly. If your spouse has no SS#, he/she should apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS.

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  2. You should fill out a W-7 and request an ITIN number for him. This will give you a number moving forward. You can write "pending ITIN" where it asks for spouse's SSN. I don't know if you can file jointly without an ITIN. You should ask your tax preparer. But I do know that if they have an ITIN, you can file jointly with them if you make a special election on your return.

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