Let me start off by saying that I've already contacted a tax professional and have an appointment scheduled to meet with her soon, but I wanted to post a few details and questions in here so I can gain some knowledge before I visit with her.
I am a US citizen.
My husband is from New Zealand and earned income in New Zealand from January - May 2015.
He entered the US on an F-1 visa in May to be a full time graduate student at MIT.
I moved to Boston to be with him when he arrived.
We got married in August.
Filed for AOS in October.
Received EAD/AP in December.
I worked full time for the entire year of 2015 in the US.
So we have three key life events: move, college, marriage. My questions are:
- Is his New Zealand income before he entered the US taxable? According to https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/newzld.pdf in Article 20 it says students are exempt from double taxation...but not sure if this applies and will show to the tax professional.
- All of our finances, bank accounts, investments, credit cards, health/renters/car/umbrella insurance, lease, EVERYTHING is together... so I would prefer to file jointly, but would there be a benefit to filing separately?
- What exactly IS my husband's status since he's in that awkward stage of adjusting to permanent residency?
- Since he is a full time student and not working, we were waiting to get his SSN after he receives his green card...but do we need his SSN in order to file taxes before April 15th? We could be cutting it close considering we don't have our interview scheduled at this time.
Lastly, if anyone has any advice for newlyweds filing their taxes as a married couple for the first time or any college/higher education deduction suggestions then please let us know!