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Turbo Tax... Or use something else?

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Hi everyone!

I have lived in Australia for nearly ten years, and I returned to live in the USA 2 weeks ago. My husband is an Australian citizen (not in USA yet) and we are in the process of finalizing his CR1 Visa (only the interview is left!).

Anyhow, I am trying to complete my 2014 taxes. H & R block quoted $625, so I would rather figure it out myself. I have worked as a tax accountant in Australia so I should be able to figure it out, it's just taking the time to do it.

So, what is the best way to complete the tax myself?

Income I will be reporting is all from Australia, not the USA. The income is from a company within Australia, not related to an American company, military, government etc.

- Wages

- Rental Income (Australian based rental property)

- Investment income from superannuation within Australia (regulatory retirement fund)

- I need to report my bank accounts

Any tips are appreciated.

(Yes I know my filing obligations as a US citizen. I have filed for all years that I was in Australia, so this is not my question)

Thanks


IR1 - Spouse VisaPetition I-130

Posted from Australia 05/24/2014

Email receipt received 06/09/2014

Paid from Bank 06/09/2014

Approved online update on case status 06/20/2014

Received NOA1 in the post 06/22/2014

NOA2 received in post 07/10/2014

NVC

Email from NVC 8/7/2014

AoS ready for paymentDS-261 submitted 8/8/2014

AoS Fee Paid 8/12/2014

AoS and IV scan date 10/25/2014

Checklist: 12/18/2014

Posted updated packet for checklist on 2/25/2015

Received by NVC 3/2/2015

Case Complete: 3/2/2015

Interview: 4/21/2015

Approved: 4/21/2014

POE: 6/2/2015<p>

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Hi everyone!

I have lived in Australia for nearly ten years, and I returned to live in the USA 2 weeks ago. My husband is an Australian citizen (not in USA yet) and we are in the process of finalizing his CR1 Visa (only the interview is left!).

Anyhow, I am trying to complete my 2014 taxes. H & R block quoted $625, so I would rather figure it out myself. I have worked as a tax accountant in Australia so I should be able to figure it out, it's just taking the time to do it.

So, what is the best way to complete the tax myself?

Income I will be reporting is all from Australia, not the USA. The income is from a company within Australia, not related to an American company, military, government etc.

- Wages

- Rental Income (Australian based rental property)

- Investment income from superannuation within Australia (regulatory retirement fund)

- I need to report my bank accounts

Any tips are appreciated.

(Yes I know my filing obligations as a US citizen. I have filed for all years that I was in Australia, so this is not my question)

Thanks

My 2 cents are that Turbo Tax (or other software like this) is not designed to handle that well a scenario that you described. That means in an "automated" guided manner. It is possible to use, but you would need to do some homework on double taxation treaties, foreign exclusions, etc.; which you would've done before

That said, all the forms are there and you can always make adjustments manually.

From what you say, it should be very similar to the taxes you filed before. Did you have any software or did it manually while in Australia?

Edited by Gosia & Tito

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I completed it manually for 3 or 4 years. I completed the forms by hand, and sent to the IRS with evidence of my calculations and base numbers and they were happy. The next 3-4 years a US tax agent did it, and I have all the forms again.

I have done the research and know how to treat the figures. I will double check on any I am unsure of.

I tried Turbo Tax, but it's hung up on my husband not having a SSN, yet he is Australian and is not here yet... argh


IR1 - Spouse VisaPetition I-130

Posted from Australia 05/24/2014

Email receipt received 06/09/2014

Paid from Bank 06/09/2014

Approved online update on case status 06/20/2014

Received NOA1 in the post 06/22/2014

NOA2 received in post 07/10/2014

NVC

Email from NVC 8/7/2014

AoS ready for paymentDS-261 submitted 8/8/2014

AoS Fee Paid 8/12/2014

AoS and IV scan date 10/25/2014

Checklist: 12/18/2014

Posted updated packet for checklist on 2/25/2015

Received by NVC 3/2/2015

Case Complete: 3/2/2015

Interview: 4/21/2015

Approved: 4/21/2014

POE: 6/2/2015<p>

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If you're trying to file married, filing jointly, you will need to apply for an ITIN from the IRS for your husband and that means filling out tax stuff by hand and sending in a hard copy. To get an ITIN, your husband has to fill out a form, get a certified true copy of his passport from the issuing agency in australia and you both have to sign a letter asking to file married, filing jointly. Otherwise, I think you have to file married, filing separately.

(Also, dammit, I FORGOT TO PUT THE ITIN FORM IN THE PACKAGE I JUST SENT OFF TO MY WIFE WITH THAT STUFF. DAMMIT.)


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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I've used H&R Block's TaxCut software for the past 8-10 years and TurboTax a few years before that. I just buy their CD and do the taxes myself and efile. As unmarried.

I married last year and my wife is overseas. I recently posted a question on VJ about how to handle taxes with overseas spouse lacking an SSN or ITIN. A member mentioned they used TaxAct (online) that handles foreign spouses, etc and were able to successfully efile.

I have yet to start on my taxes and have not tried TaxAct yet, but worth checking out if you wish to.

Edited by Kiran n Suds

USCIS

January 16, 2015 I-130 Mailed, Chi lockbox January 20, 2015 Priority Date, January 21, 2015 NOA1 notice date, Assigned VSC, January 23, 2015 Check Cashed, electronically March 5, 2015 NOA2

NVC

March 27, 2015 NVC received April 6, 2015 Case#, IIN# assigned April 8, 2015 Paid AOS + IV fee Invoices May 5, 2015 AOS + IV package submitted May 11, 2015 Scan Date

June 11, 2015 DS-260 submitted June 25, 2015 False checklist (for ds260).. hello? June 30, 2015 Answered checklist Aug 5, 2015 Escalated to Supervisor review Aug 13, 2015 Case Complete

Consular

Sept 10, 2015 Interview Scheduled Sept 11, 2015 P4 Letter received Sept 21, 2015 file In transit from NVC Sept 23, 2015 file at Embassy

Sept 28, 2015 Medical Oct 14, 2015 Biometrics Oct 15, 2015 Interview (Approved) Oct 19, 2015 IV visa Issued Oct 23, 2015 Passport Pickup

POE

Nov 2, 2015 Entered the US Nov 16, 2015 Applied for SSN, walk-in Nov 20, 2015 Social Security Card recd Jan 15, 2016 GC received

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Hi everyone!

I have lived in Australia for nearly ten years, and I returned to live in the USA 2 weeks ago. My husband is an Australian citizen (not in USA yet) and we are in the process of finalizing his CR1 Visa (only the interview is left!).

Anyhow, I am trying to complete my 2014 taxes. H & R block quoted $625, so I would rather figure it out myself. I have worked as a tax accountant in Australia so I should be able to figure it out, it's just taking the time to do it.

So, what is the best way to complete the tax myself?

Income I will be reporting is all from Australia, not the USA. The income is from a company within Australia, not related to an American company, military, government etc.

- Wages

- Rental Income (Australian based rental property)

- Investment income from superannuation within Australia (regulatory retirement fund)

- I need to report my bank accounts

Any tips are appreciated.

(Yes I know my filing obligations as a US citizen. I have filed for all years that I was in Australia, so this is not my question)

Thanks

We use turbotax and live overseas. Never had a problem with it.

Edited by Expat1

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Thanks Kiran, I will look into that.

Not a tailor, I do nor apply for a ssn or itin because my husband is not in usa yet. He cannot work here, he cannot yet legally live here yet, he does Not file a US tax return as he has no legal requirement to. At the moment, his only connection to the usa is being married to a usc. That does not entitle him to apply for any us identity numbers or require him to file. Yes I plan on filing as married, filing separately. That's how all my taxes have been done since we married.

For those of you that use turbo tax; did you pay ro upgrade it once? It said I need to upgrade it to file foreign information.


IR1 - Spouse VisaPetition I-130

Posted from Australia 05/24/2014

Email receipt received 06/09/2014

Paid from Bank 06/09/2014

Approved online update on case status 06/20/2014

Received NOA1 in the post 06/22/2014

NOA2 received in post 07/10/2014

NVC

Email from NVC 8/7/2014

AoS ready for paymentDS-261 submitted 8/8/2014

AoS Fee Paid 8/12/2014

AoS and IV scan date 10/25/2014

Checklist: 12/18/2014

Posted updated packet for checklist on 2/25/2015

Received by NVC 3/2/2015

Case Complete: 3/2/2015

Interview: 4/21/2015

Approved: 4/21/2014

POE: 6/2/2015<p>

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Thanks Kiran, I will look into that.

Not a tailor, I do nor apply for a ssn or itin because my husband is not in usa yet. He cannot work here, he cannot yet legally live here yet, he does Not file a US tax return as he has no legal requirement to. At the moment, his only connection to the usa is being married to a usc. That does not entitle him to apply for any us identity numbers or require him to file. Yes I plan on filing as married, filing separately. That's how all my taxes have been done since we married.

For those of you that use turbo tax; did you pay ro upgrade it once? It said I need to upgrade it to file foreign information.

An ITIN is a document that a non-resident alien spouse DOES qualify for for tax identification purposes. From the instructions for form W-7--the application for an ITIN.

Who Must Apply

Any individual who is not eligible to get a SSN but who must furnish a taxpayer identification number must apply for an ITIN on Form W-7.

Examples include the following.

A nonresident alien individual claiming reduced withholding under an applicable income tax treaty for which an ITIN is required (see Regulations section 1.1441-1(e)(4)(vii)(A)). Also see Pub. 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities.

A nonresident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return or who is filing a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund.

A nonresident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who elects to file a joint U.S. tax return with a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien.

source

Normally I would just leave this alone as you are not filing jointly so it doesn't matter for you, but as we are in tax season, it may be really important info for those reading. A non-resident alien spouse with no entitlement to an SSN is one of the people who CAN fill out the W-7 and IS eligible for an ITIN. There is paperwork to be filed, yes, and this is most annoying, but this is a specific case where a non-resident alien spouse IS able to get an identification number for tax purposes.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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Thanks Kiran, I will look into that.

Not a tailor, I do nor apply for a ssn or itin because my husband is not in usa yet. He cannot work here, he cannot yet legally live here yet, he does Not file a US tax return as he has no legal requirement to. At the moment, his only connection to the usa is being married to a usc. That does not entitle him to apply for any us identity numbers or require him to file. Yes I plan on filing as married, filing separately. That's how all my taxes have been done since we married.

For those of you that use turbo tax; did you pay ro upgrade it once? It said I need to upgrade it to file foreign information.

Your husband does not have to be in the US yet. You have the option to file a joint tax return with him because he is married to a US citizen. That would require an ITIN for filing and he is also eligible for that. However it it a bother to get one abroad sometimes. With no US income and the foreign income exclusion, your taxes are probably minimal or zero, so filing jointly with him would be no advantage.

TurboTax: They have an issue that blew up this year. They removed some commonly used forms from their lower priced versions of the software. It was a sneaky way to raise prices. Loyal users lashed out. They have made amends and offered money back and free upgrades. You may qualify. I required a three level upgrade, so yes you probably do need something more than Deluxe version. But it beats the price H&R Block quoted you.

I install TurboTax on my computer so can't comment on exactly how the online version functions because I don't know if they are the same. So here's my explanation of the SSN issue from a desktop version--

TurboTax can not handle the lack of your spouse having a SSN. The IRS instructions say write NRA ( for non resident alien) in that field. So just keep skipping that and continue with the return until the only thing it finds wrong is the spouse SSN. You won't be able to efile, but you can go to the print area and "print for filing". That is different from print everything, which gives you a million pages of extra stuff. Then you will have to write in NRA for the spouse SSN and mail the paper return to the IRS.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Well how did the past three years get filed with him as husband and no Number? Sorry if what I said was wrong, I am unsure of what to do.

I do not want to file jointly. I want to file as married filing separately. That's how the past three years have been done. DI'm guessing then no number is needed and I can put NRA as said above?


IR1 - Spouse VisaPetition I-130

Posted from Australia 05/24/2014

Email receipt received 06/09/2014

Paid from Bank 06/09/2014

Approved online update on case status 06/20/2014

Received NOA1 in the post 06/22/2014

NOA2 received in post 07/10/2014

NVC

Email from NVC 8/7/2014

AoS ready for paymentDS-261 submitted 8/8/2014

AoS Fee Paid 8/12/2014

AoS and IV scan date 10/25/2014

Checklist: 12/18/2014

Posted updated packet for checklist on 2/25/2015

Received by NVC 3/2/2015

Case Complete: 3/2/2015

Interview: 4/21/2015

Approved: 4/21/2014

POE: 6/2/2015<p>

Share this post


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Well how did the past three years get filed with him as husband and no Number? Sorry if what I said was wrong, I am unsure of what to do.

I do not want to file jointly. I want to file as married filing separately. That's how the past three years have been done. DI'm guessing then no number is needed and I can put NRA as said above?

Yes. NRA Instead of a SSN is what the IRS says when you file separately. But TurboTax will not like it and won't allow you to efile. So you print it and mail it.

(NRA is not acceptable for a joint return. When non resident wants to file jointly...have his name on the return as a filer, then he needs an ITIN.)

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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