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FAQ > How do I know if my spouse needs an ITIN?

If you have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your spouse will need an ITIN in order to file a joint U.S. tax return. Otherwise, your tax situation will be married filing separately, which typically increases your tax burden. An ITIN is also required if your spouse is not eligible for a Social Security number and earns income in the United States. With ITIN Request W7, it's easy to get an ITIN number online.

When an ITIN spouse is required

ITINs are used by the IRS to identify you for tax purposes. If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse is a resident or nonresident alien, he or she will need an ITIN so that you can file taxes jointly as a married couple. If your spouse earns income in the U.S., he or she will also need an ITIN to file taxes if he or she is a resident or nonresident alien or is not eligible for a Social Security number.

How to get an ITIN

Your spouse can easily apply for an ITIN number online. Once the form is complete, you must print it and submit it with your tax return. He or she will also need to submit a copy of the documents with your ITIN application number. These may include a passport, photo ID, birth certificate, visa, or any other document that is approved by the IRS. Unless your spouse presents a passport, he or she will have to show one document that proves his or her identity and another that indicates alien status.

Obtain the process initiated with the ITIN ITIN W7 document preparation by accessing our W7 form instructions. We will walk you through the application process and offer help in English and Spanish through chat and email.

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