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I do have a question on amending taxes.  I got married in 2015 and in 2016 I filed taxes as single, claiming 0.  I would like to amend my 2015 taxes and file as married.  Did anyone else go through this process?  If so, did you file "Married filing jointly" or "Married filing separately"?  I understand you can just write NRA or APPLIED FOR in the field for SS#.  I am sure there is a thread on this topic but could not find it.  Thanks! 

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Married filing jointly gets you a larger refund, but you have to claim your spouse's worldwide income. Married filing separately is not quite as beneficial as MFJ, but you only have to deal with your income, which is simpler. 

 

Did you apply for an ITIN for your spouse? That's what I needed to do for my hubby and I. Then once you have the ITIN you can file taxes. 

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1 minute ago, afortunada said:

Married filing jointly gets you a larger refund, but you have to claim your spouse's worldwide income. Married filing separately is not quite as beneficial as MFJ, but you only have to deal with your income, which is simpler. 

 

Did you apply for an ITIN for your spouse? That's what I needed to do for my hubby and I. Then once you have the ITIN you can file taxes. 

I did not; I was going to write in APPLIED FOR in the ITIN field.  For MFJ, did you (or would you) have to show proof of your spouse's worldwide income?  

 

 

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I want to clarify - you are talking about amending your 2015 tax return, right?  You said "In 2016, I filed as single...", but I think you meant "when I filed my 2015 return in 2016, I filed as single", right?  If this is correct, read on.

 

If your spouse was not in the US in 2015 and did not yet have a Social Security number, you should file Married Filing Separately.  You MUST file a paper tax return and write "NRA" in the Spouse SSN field in order to file as Married Filing Separately.  Any tax software out there will not allow you to type "NRA" in that field. 

 

You could also file Married Filing Jointly for 2015, but, as previous posters have said, you would then need to declare ANY income your spouse made - even outside the US.  Again - you would need to file a paper copy and write "NRA" in the SSN space for the spouse.

 

If your spouse was in the US as of December 31st and has a SSN, then you can file electronic copies in 2016.  If your spouse was NOT in the US as of 12/31/2016, then file MFS again (a paper copy with NRA).  If your spouse was in the US at 12/31 and did not yet have a SSN, then just go ahead and get it - don't waste your time on the ITIN.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Sukie in NY

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Thank you both!

 

Sukie - that is correct.  We got married in 2015, and when I filed my 2015 return in 2016, I filed as single.  My spouse was not in the US in 2015 (and still not in the US), and does not have a SS number.  I am in the process of preparing the paper amended return (MFJ).

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