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soon2batexan

Tax questions - first time filing since I married my citizen husband

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With tax season approaching, I thought I'd ask a couple questions from my fellow Can/Am VJ members who have "been there, done that".

My husband and I both had fairly uncomplicated taxes as single people. I've always done my own in Canada the old school way (paper, pencil, calculator) and have never had a problem. He doesn't own property, has no investments yet, etc.

I owned an apartment in Canada, but it just now has an offer pending (I moved in early December 2010), so I'm guessing I won't have to do anything with that til I do the 2011 taxes.

Other than that the only possible things I have to consider are charitable donations and contributions to my RSP/pension fund, and those funds remain in Canada.

We're debating whether or not we need to hire an accountant, since that can get expensive and may not be required for people like us with simple and straightforward tax scenarios. Obviously I'll file CDN taxes - I get that - and my husband will file as married since we were married Dec 2010 (which of course is during the '10 tax year). But, since I earned all of my income last year in Canada before we got married and was not employed at the time I entered the US and married my citizen husband, what do we need to provide to the IRS? Can we just use a program like TurboTax, or will the IRS want to include my CDN income somehow?

How many of you have used tax accountants your first year? Do you recommend just filing your taxes on your own?

Edited by soon2batexan

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I will move this to the Canada forum, is not a K-1 fiancee visa topic.


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With tax season approaching, I thought I'd ask a couple questions from my fellow Can/Am VJ members who have "been there, done that".

My husband and I both had fairly uncomplicated taxes as single people. I've always done my own in Canada the old school way (paper, pencil, calculator) and have never had a problem. He doesn't own property, has no investments yet, etc.

I owned an apartment in Canada, but it just now has an offer pending (I moved in early December 2010), so I'm guessing I won't have to do anything with that til I do the 2011 taxes.

Other than that the only possible things I have to consider are charitable donations and contributions to my RSP/pension fund, and those funds remain in Canada.

We're debating whether or not we need to hire an accountant, since that can get expensive and may not be required for people like us with simple and straightforward tax scenarios. Obviously I'll file CDN taxes - I get that - and my husband will file as married since we were married Dec 2010 (which of course is during the '10 tax year). But, since I earned all of my income last year in Canada before we got married and was not employed at the time I entered the US and married my citizen husband, what do we need to provide to the IRS? Can we just use a program like TurboTax, or will the IRS want to include my CDN income somehow?

How many of you have used tax accountants your first year? Do you recommend just filing your taxes on your own?

For U.S. tax purposes you are considered an Non-resident Alien but since your husband is a U.S. Citizen you can make an election to be treated as a Resident Alien for tax purposes. If you make this election, you and your husband must file a joint tax return and you will have to include your Canadian income on your U.S. tax return. You will be able to avoid double taxation of your Canadian income by taking a Foreign Tax credit. I would suggest that for this filing season you use an accountant. Below is a link to an IRS publication that would be helpful to you. I would suggest you read it and then decide whether or not you should use an accountant to do your tax return.

U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens

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We used Turbo tax when filing our first US tax return together and it worked out just fine - handled my Cdn income without problems. I used an equivalent Cdn program and it handled the fact that I was married just fine....couldn't submit electronically because I was in the US - just had to print the return out and mail it.

Edited by Udella&Wiz

Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

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That's good to know! It's interesting that I received a recommendation for both..maybe it boils down to personal preference?

Were you working in Canada as well during the year you filed for? I know everyone's situation is a bit different. In our case I earned more in Canada than my husband does here...apparently the US taxes on worldwide income, so I gather my Canadian income will be factored in. Not sure if that works in my favor or not.

An accountant I spoke to who is familiar with both US/Canada tax issues said that we'd have to file for an exemption for some/all of my foreign income - can Turbotax factor that in?

Thanks so much for your thoughts...they're helpful!

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You should be able to exclude up to $91,500 of the income you earned in Canada while you lived in Canada and turbotax can do it.

See form 2555, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

nickbits - i was using turbo tax to try and figure out the foreign earned income credit and they're asking me what type of visa orfee had to work in canada...he lived in canada and didn't need a visa to work - obviously..

i'm confused..did you get that question for your wife too?

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nickbits - i was using turbo tax to try and figure out the foreign earned income credit and they're asking me what type of visa orfee had to work in canada...he lived in canada and didn't need a visa to work - obviously..

i'm confused..did you get that question for your wife too?

We didn't have that question when I filed our taxes this morning using turbotax. I used the physical presence test to determine his eligibility. Everything went smoothly with that option, it didn't ask for anything other than his trips here(to determine how many days he was in canada), how much he made, and the company he worked for. Piece of cake!!!


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We didn't have that question when I filed our taxes this morning using turbotax. I used the physical presence test to determine his eligibility. Everything went smoothly with that option, it didn't ask for anything other than his trips here(to determine how many days he was in canada), how much he made, and the company he worked for. Piece of cake!!!

i must have done something wrong then..

orfee got here 10/23/10 - we were married on halloween. he can't work here yet (ead pending)

it seemed from the questions they asked (what 'visa' allowed him to work in canada, that they thought he was a us citizen..

what really sucks is with the foreign tax exemption - i can't get my earned income credit. that's a difference of THREE GRAND.

arrrrrrg.

gov't give me money - lord knows i've given them a *&^*& ton!

:D

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Hello,

I'm French but of course I'm in the same case.

Which Turbotax version did you use?

How were you able to enter the canadian wage?

Do canadian companies provide W2?

I'm a little confused about how to report my french income...


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Hello,

I'm French but of course I'm in the same case.

Which Turbotax version did you use?

How were you able to enter the canadian wage?

Do canadian companies provide W2?

I'm a little confused about how to report my french income...

They come out with a new version each tax year - all amounts need to be converted into US dollars. Canadian companies/ Canada Revenue Agency have something equivalent called our T4.

So whatever document or tax slip French companies use to summarize your yearly income and tax...that's where you will get the amounts and convert them into US dollars.


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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My husabnd filed jointly for 2009 and is doing the same for 2010. We still do not live together. He had to file for a US ITIN (Taxplayer Identification Number) for me in order to include both of our incomes.

As for my taxes in Canada, my accountant didnt need anything like that. He just needed how much my husband made and that he did not reside with me.


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