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MUXAGIRL

Tax status mistake by Husband

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Hi guys, my husband got his LPR status around the last quarter of 2011 and by September 2016 he will be eligible for filing of N-400. He got his green card quite quickly, in about 4/5 months starting the date it was filed and the work was handled by a lawyer. His category was EB1. So, he basically has zero idea about many things when it comes to immigration, does not read nor has time to go to immigration forums and makes fun of me when I say things like correct tax filing status does matter.

Here is the thing, we both have been in the US for a while, studying, working etc and we always filed our taxes on time and tried our best to make it as accurate as possible. My husband ( before we were married) had been filing 1040 EZ, well because it's easy and he does not have to bother too much. I always kept an eye on his documents to make sure they were filed correctly. During the 2012 tax season (April 2013) I was not present at the same address as him, I was working in a different state. I filed mine ' married filing separately' and he reached for his 1040ez without reading what was clearly written on top, that it's a form that can only be used by 'married filing jointly' or 'single'. This resulted in his tax filing status as 'single' for 2012 tax year although he was clearly married, had filed I-130 for me, tax was withheld from his paycheck at a married rate and it was clearly written on his pay stub that his status was "married". He was single for 2011 tax year and we were married shortly afterwards in April 2012.

My husband is an absent minded happy go lucky person who does such silly things and I always watch over his stuff to make sure he does not. When I discovered this before my consular processing in early 2014 ( I was back in India then), I was pissed, of course and tried to convince him that this should be corrected, and he was like what's the big deal here, just a tiny mistake who cares? To my surprise, the CO did not care either as other docs were in order, our 2013 tax was filed correctly etc. He was more worried about putting me in AP for me and my husband both being science nerds.

Now from time to time, it does bother me if it's going to be an issue when he goes for his citizenship interview? I want to drag him to the nearest IRS office and file an amendment, but he still maintains who cares, it's not like he did it on purpose or any such thing! This attitude baffles me. I understand he did not go through immigration like most people and had it quite easy with his EB1 based on his extraordinary abilities as a scientist, but this mad scientist act gets rally frustrating for me.

Should I be worried, and should he file amendment ASAP before it's too late to file it for 2012 or am I being paranoid here, like he says? He also said if it bothers me so much, why don't I file the amendment on his behalf as I am the wife. But is it possible? That was a 'married filing separately' year for me. Some insight please.

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You cannot file an amendment on his behalf just because you are his wife. You can, however, do all the work and just have him sign the tax return prior to filing.

I'm unclear why you filed MFS? You don't necessarily need to be living together in order to file MFJ. From the IRS perspective, you both likely paid more in income taxes than you needed to, so I doubt IRS would say or do anything about it.

From the perspective of obtaining US citizenship, I'm not sure. Technically,when your husband signed the 1040EZ he attested to the information contained therein as being truthful and complete, including his filing status. Kinda hard to believe he forgot he was married. Being scatter brained is not a viable excuse.

He should and can amend his tax return. There is a time limitation on this, however, and for the 2012 tax year he has until April 15, 2016, which is three years from the original due date (assuming he didn't receive a filing extension from IRS). Amended returns must be in the possession of IRS, i.e. in their office, by the due date, so a postmark of April 15, 2016 will not suffice.

I would also suggest the two of you look into amending to MFJ. This would most likely result in a sizeable tax return.

Edited by novedsac

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He did not forget he was married, he picked up the wrong form. And by using that form on his own resulted in IRS assuming single status for him. No where he wrote explicitly that he was single.

Hi,

The IRS did not assume he was single. He told them mistakenly that he was single by using a form for single people.

Taxes are taken very seriously here. It's not like other countries.

The mad scientist needs to understand his limitations (smart people generally do not). He is neither a lawyer or an accountant.

When he filed as single instead of married filing separately, he got a bigger refund than he should have gotten. If 7 years has not passed, the IRS can come at him for willful fraud.

Good luck smart guy.

Sorry your husband is stubborn.

Edited by aaron2020

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Most likely he paid more in taxes than he should have by filing single and not married. I'd amend the taxes to show correct filing status and get the money back.


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Filing single would be less taxes than his other option married filing separately as you did. If he corrects to married filing separately, he will probably owe. But you both could amend your separate and his single into one Married Filing Jointly and come out better money wise depending on the income levels. You paid higher and he paid lower so possible to come a little closer to even than if he changes to Filng Separately.

If I was betting on this, I would pick the side of IRS is not going to come back at him. And immigration isn't uber concerned about the explicit details of your tax filing as much as the fact that you filed and how much income was reported. It's not their job to audit every line and form. That's the job of IRS and I don't think they have the man-power to go over two year old, small potatoes tax returns. It's only my bet, not advice because he clearly filed with the incorrect filing status which legally is wrong.


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