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Another German client, yes, I keep getting them. This one gave a lecture in 2017 and was reimbursed $500 travel expenses but had to get an ITIN then, I don't have complete history yet.  In 2020, she was the visiting professor for 10 weeks or so on a Max Kade grant.  The university did not have her complete Form 8233 (trying to blame her now) and had her get an SSN.  So she received a W-2 and was automatically enrolled in State Teachers Retirement System with contribution deferral.  With that and significant taxes withheld, she has a lot that needs to be returned.  None of this should have happened, she should have had a 1042S, no withholdings, no deferrals.

I am trying to complete 1040NR but unsure of which identifying number to use where.  Her W-2 has the SSN so am leaning that direction but her visa had ITIN.  Schedule OI also wants identifying number which would have been ITIN had this been done correctly. 

She opened a bank account while here and the bank now wants a W8BEN but it really should be 8233.  Maybe she should provide both one with ITIN and one with SSN?

My brain is getting too mushy for these continuing complications.  At least I managed to hold off my UI clients and APTC client.  This poor woman is just bewildered with our tax system - me, too!

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This may help:  https://www.irs.gov/individuals/additional-itin-information

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Once you receive a SSN, you must use that number for tax purposes and discontinue using your ITIN.  It is improper to use both the ITIN and the SSN assigned to the same person to file tax returns.  It is your responsibility to notify the IRS so we can combine all of your tax records under one identification number.  If you do not notify the IRS when you are assigned a SSN, you may not receive credit for all wages paid and taxes withheld which could reduce the amount of any refund due.  You can visit a local IRS office or write a letter explaining that you have now been assigned a SSN and want your tax records combined.  Include your complete name, mailing address, and ITIN along with a copy of your social security card and a copy of the CP 565, Notice of ITIN Assignment, if available.  The IRS will void the ITIN and associate all prior tax information filed under the ITIN with the SSN.  Send your letter to: 

     Internal Revenue Service 
     Austin, TX 73301-0057 

 

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Thanks for this information.  Her visa type is on the list of questions I still have to ask.  It expired last May so was likely a short term one as she was to be here for just that one semester.  I have a call into the university tax compliance officer to try to find out how and why she got an SSN.  Never should have happened.  But fingers are pointing everywhere in the 'not my fault' vein.  She definitely should have completed Form 8233 and never received a W-2 let alone contribute to a retirement plan.  The person with whom I originally spoke tried to blame her for not returning it to whatever office or not understanding it. 

I figured I would have to file the 1040NR with her SSN as the W-2 has it in order to get her withholdings refunded.  I don't believe she has any other tax records outside the W-2 and the retirement deferred comp.  The only other time she was in the US was for a lecture and her travel was reimbursed.  I suspect the ITIN was to enable a reimbursement payment.  And I would be surprised if she still has a copy, if ever received, of a CP 565.  I will ask.

On Schedule OI I am wondering what to put regarding her 'immigration' status at year end and whether she changed her visa type.  She didn't.  It expired.  At least I have the treaty and the correct Tax treaty article to claim the benefit.

Thanks for the guidance. It has helped.

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sometimes too much information is a dangerous thing for me. When a client comes to me and shows me a W2 and a social security card, I decide what form to use. I only have two choices 1040 or 1040NR.  I don't care if they had an ITIN number before because the ITIN number dies with the issuance of a social security. After I decide what form to use... it is not my responsibility to find out if the SS card was issue by mistake since that beyond my scope of what I was hired to do.

In your case I would use form 1040NR because if the time length the person was in the United States. I believe filing 1040NR will prevent the IRS from adding the stimuluses to the return.

I will add that ONLY if the withholding or payments were made under the ITIN, I wouldn't mention it on this filing and the visa she has will not change the filing to a regular 1040. 

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Thanks, Pacun.  It turns out the ITIN from 2017 expired end of 2019 (never really used as no 1099 issued) so an SSN was obtained.  She should have completed a Form 8233 to get a 1042-S but, for whatever reason, that didn't happen.  I am using only the 1040NR.  I am just trying to find out what happened.  She qualifies for exemption under the treaty, Article 20 (1), Visiting Professor, it is clear.  She had a J-1 visa which expired May 30, 2020.

She did not receive and will not receive stimulus money.  I am more concerned about getting back her withheld income and Medicare tax as well as the deferred compensation to a retirement plan in which she should have never been enrolled.

I have called the university international tax office now 3 times with no return call.  Trying again tomorrow.

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The medicare tax was already sent to the government agency so the university doesn't have that money. I would just file 1040NR and get the amount withheld that the IRS will be glad to return to her.

 

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Apparently Form 843 is a possibility but she may choose not to go through that hassle.  I think she is missing a document needed for that.  I just feel for her, that the university put her in this situation.  After a phone conversation with someone there in the international tax department, the explanation is that there was a software change just at that time  and, as the university could choose to treat her as a regular employee and not give her Form 8233 to complete, they did.  If she wants the $2100 deferred comp back, it will cost her 20% early withdrawal or wait until she is 55.  Just wrong, in my opinion.

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