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arrow2013 Taxes: Advice for Routine Situation
April 20, 2014, 10:54 am Last comment by christeen
Aaron and Marina

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7 Replies

I think I'm in a pretty routine situation here; just need a little assistance if anyone knows for sure and is able to assist. Here's the simple breakdown:


- Wife arrived on a K-1 Visa 4 Dec 13. Married 28 Dec 13. She received an SSN this year (2014) along w/the EAD/AP card. Green card was approved 9 Apr 14 but not received yet.

- For tax purposes, she worked in Russia from 1 Jan 13 to about 25 Nov 13, earning about $10,000


Since I'm in the military, not all of my pay is taxed. For 2013, it ends up being about $43,500 taxable. When running different scenarios on H&R Block, I come up w/the following:


- Married filing jointly: Refund is $2643 if I don't input her $10,000 Russian income (but this is pretty much not an option or legal...)

- Married filing jointly: Refund plummets to $1143 when I input her $10,000 Russian income! Straight 30% tax rate for her income?

- Married filing seperately: My refund is $1281

- Don't know what single is becuase unless I'm mistaken, we were married by 31 Dec 13 so it is not legal for me to file as single.


My questions:

- What are my options? I know I have to file married either jointly or seperately. It seems to me that filing seperately is the better way to go? However, can I claim this foreign tax exclusion I've read about? And if so, how in the H do I do it? What is this 1040NR and when is it required? Is using Turbo Tax the way to go for filing? Is it better to hire a good CPA do this?


BTW, I'm deployed right now, so I have an automatic 180 day extension to do my taxes from the time I leave, so I'm way good for filing my taxes.


Again, this is a pretty routine scenario I think: I made some money, wife made some money, what is the best way for me to go? The only difference I can see is she made more money than is "normal" which brings the refund down substantially, so maybe married filing separetly is the way to go, unless I can claim the foreign tax exclusion? Not sure how it works or if it's possible though.


I just want to be sure I'm doing things correctly and getting the most refund (I'm not worried about doing things w/the least amount of effort...what's legal/required and biggest refund)


Thanks all in advance!




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arrowTravel on nearly-expired Russian passport?
April 19, 2014, 12:39 pm Last comment by B & G

blank avatar

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9 Replies

My wifes passport expires this summer and she wants to travel home to Russia to renew it. I checked with Finnair and they require 3 months validity to transit through Finland. Are Russian airlines going to be her only choice to travel home to Russia? How about US airlines?

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arrowDivorced single mom filing!!!
April 19, 2014, 4:45 am Last comment by Darth Vader Ku

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4 Replies

Hello members! I have few questions:
1. My marriage did not work out and my husband found someone else. I'm gonna be sending papers in june (5 years residency) my question - do they concentrate on the marriage or the officer don't care about it, since we already divorced and proved that we had a real marriage. I know that I have to send the prove of divorce but other than that??? 
2. I am 5 month pregnant, but its only my child (my ex is not interested) so will they ask any paperwork for this baby, since my due date might be after the interview?

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arrowMy immigrating husband's friend wants to visit us
April 18, 2014, 3:14 pm Last comment by Ryan H

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14 Replies

My husband who is in the AOS phase of the immigration process, has a friend from Russia who wants to visit us.  However, this will only happen when My husband and I have purchased our first house. Right now we are renting and our focus is on getting out of the renter's world and into a nice house for the both of us.  Once that happens, we're expecting his family (mom, dad and brother) to visit us.  That won't be a problem for them, I don't think, getting tourist visas because they are well set where they are living and have no desire to live here.  However, his friend wants to visit but I'm afraid he will have a hard time getting that tourist visa.  He has a job, a car and is renting a nice flat.  But as far as family ties, he doesn't really have anything holding him back.  And I know consular offices get suspicious when they see there aren't enough "ties to the homeland".  So my question is, What are some additional things that my husband's friend can do in order to show that he has ties?  I'm asking this now, even though he won't be visiting us until a year or so from now, because he can be working on it.  So, those who've had experience with this, what did you do to show you had ties to your homeland and would without doubt be returning after a little visit.  He would most likely be visiting for two weeks to a month. I just want to inform him so that he can be working on it.  He is one of my husband's best friends and I'd like to do what I can to help him be able to visit us. Thanks!

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arrowTexas Driver's License issued for 2 weeks!
April 18, 2014, 3:03 pm Last comment by Misha'sgirl

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4 Replies

We entered the U.S. January 25th 2014

We went to get his SSN at the local office two days after entry and received it in the mail seven days after appointment. 

We married February 19th 2014

We filed AOS March 24th 2014

We received notice that his biometrics for I-485 is on the 25th of this month


We went to get his Driver's License just a couple of days ago, and they issued it to him within a week.  

They gave him a temporary license but we didn't notice it's valid only for two weeks (the date in which his visa expires)

We went to the DL office to ask why they gave him a license for two weeks?  Texas licenses are for six years. 

Even his electrician's license we got him, is valid for one year...


So we're kind of confused because the lady explained that the reason why his license expires in 2 weeks is because that is the date his visa expires.  


As you know, we already filed AOS and he has already received his biometrics appointment for the 25th of this month.  Can anyone explain nicely and clearly what is going on, what we're not understanding?

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