Recapturing Your Wife

Today TaxMama hears from Cheryl in the TaxParlor who asks, “Can a person go back and amend tax returns to claim a wife who did not have a Social Security Number but has one now? She just received her number in the last 2 months and her spouse wants to amend the last 3 years to get their money back.”

Dear Cheryl,

If the couple was legally married and living in the United States, they should have been able to file jointly. The fact that it took a long time to get the Social Security Number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) doesn’t change that fact.

So, yes, they may go back and amend all the open years to get refunds.

Although, if the wife lived out of the US, the rules might be different. Then, we’d have to consult Roger B. Adams, our resident international tax expert.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about amending tax returns and all kinds of other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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