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.
- 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!