As per ITIN request form W-7, we have to attach our federal return with it, which cannot be filled until we receive Form 1042-S (which I received late in March). This implies that it is not possible for me to have ITIN before the tax filing date for NC, which is April 18. As per NCDOR website, the applicant must have SSN or ITIN for filing tax return, and even for tax payments. Since I don't have that, what can I do to avoid penalties and interest that would be levied on the due amount?
Today, NCDOR was more helpful than before. They said that in such a case, you can write "Applied for" in the field asking for ITIN in your tax return. For payment of taxes, you can write a cheque, or pay by Money Order. Though, one must be careful here as without SSN or ITIN, you are not eligible to print a Payment Voucher, which is a regular practice.
You can extend your federal tax return without an ITIN, and this extends your filing due date for the state return automatically.
Check form 4868 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf). on page 3, it states: "IRS individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) for aliens. If you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN, you must apply for an ITIN. Although an ITIN is not required to file Form 4868, you will need one to file your income tax return."
So you can
- apply for a federal extension on form 4868 without an ITIN, then
- file your federal taxes on time with the form W-7 to get an ITIN, and
- file your state tax once you have the ITIN (and you have time until the extension date)