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Filing taxes with NRA spouse (merged)

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I have filed with TurboTax for the past 6 years, but now that I am married, it seems like there are minimal support options with TurboTax while I file "Married but file separately" with my out-of-the-country husband (NRA).  


With finances being tight due to back and forth travel to Europe, and visa fees.   50-100 bucks to file without support is not really worth it to me.  


What are the best online filing companies that have been known to help walk through Filing separately but still allowing for "NRA" on your paper work.  


NOTE:  I do contract negotiations and management for a living, so I do not really need a "pretty site" just something that does audit checks supporting NRA.  

Edited by Penguin_ie

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My wife and son got their permanent residence visa that I had filed for them, personally being a permanent resident too, in December 2016 and will be here on January 31st. Been married since   2015. Last year I filed my taxes as single because I didn't get good advise from my tax guy. So my questions are;

- How long will it take them to take their SSNs

- Will I be able to claim them on my tax returns as my dependants since my marriage documents indicate we have been married since 2015. The marriage took place in Kenya though. 

Please advise

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The SSA usually has a 1-2 week turnaround on issuance of the SSN.


After you get their SSNs, you should probably look into having your 2015 tax return amended alongside preparing your 2016 tax return properly. Since you are married, your filing status options are either Married Filing Separately (MFS) or Married Filing Joint (MFJ); Head of Household (HOH) is also on the table if you meet the requirements but most people will usually go the MFJ route.


I'd advise to find another tax preparer. You could be missing out on some big $$ tax breaks by not going the MFJ route (properly).

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I don't know what your financial situation looks like (in reference to both of you), but depending on income levels (primarily) you may be missing out by not using the MFJ filing status. MFJ is the most favorable filing status - lowest tax brackets. You can file with your husband, claiming worldwide income, treating him as a resident for tax purposes and using the FEIE exclude the foreign income tax.


I would probably advise to go the route of an independent tax preparer, one who is versed in filing a joint tax return with a foreign NR spouse. They could run your numbers both ways as MFS or MFJ.



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