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Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) for US Citizens

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I did not wish to go off topic in the adoption thread but I thought those of you who are married to Filipino citizens and also those with children and who might not know about the possible tax deduction available to you by filing married or married and listing your children by getting them an ITIN.

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An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN).
To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (PDF) . The Form W-7 requires documentation substantiating foreign/alien status and true identity for each individual. You may either mail the documentation, along with the Form W-7, to the address shown in the Form W-7 Instructions, present it at IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through an Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS. Form W-7(SP), Solicitud de Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (PDF) is available for use by Spanish speakers.
Acceptance Agents are entities (colleges, financial institutions, accounting firms, etc.) who are authorized by the IRS to assist applicants in obtaining ITINs. They review the applicant's documentation and forward the completed Form W-7 to IRS for processing.

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The ITIN is applied for when you process your yearly income tax.  There are two places to apply in the Philippines that I am aware of:


If the child is an American citizen born in the Philippines, they can have their social security number applied for at the U.S. Embassy on the same day when applying for the Counselor Report of Birth Abroad.  Or, I guess any other time for that matter.  The sooner the easier and better though.  I haven't checked in to it but yes, I guess an adopted child would need an ITIN just like the Filipino spouse for U.S. tax reporting purposes.

You got anything on that Art to supplement what was previously said pertaining to specifics for acquiring an ITIN?

I got a little more.

FYI.  If you have a non-U.S. citizen/non-U.S. resident spouse and you choose to file your tax return as married filing jointly it is a once in a lifetime choice.  (Most people file jointly because their taxes are usually smaller filing jointly.)  You can go back to married filing separately once but you can never go back again to married filing jointly with a non-U.S. citizen/non-U.S. resident spouse; even if you re-marry after a divorce or a death.

Why would someone choose to file married filing separately?  If your non-U.S. citizen/non-U.S. resident spouse has a lot of income and you don't want it included in your income for tax purposes.


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