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Homemaker

Please Help!!! Full Time Housewife Applying for Citizenship

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Hello.

I am about to file for my citizenship based on (a 3 years) marriage but now I have to pause until I get some clear answers from knowledgable people in this great community. As I was reading through the( N-400) instruction, one of the questions is asking for a copy of "my (the applicant) tax returns". I have been a full time housewife since I arrived. My (USC) husband has been filing his tax returns as "married/separately" and I, on the other hand have never filed any as we were under the impression that, I, the applicant/immigrant was/is not obligated to file for any tax returns since I have zero income, so I never did. Big mistake!?

I am going nuts. Please help me with this dilemma I am in. We thought that my husband's tax returns would be sufficient enough. Suppose I'm wrong.? I know I am still eligible to file for citizenship even without "my own" tax returns but here comes the questions;

1) Since I never filed tax returns, will USCIS accept my application if I send in a copy of my husband's tax returns instead?

2) If I (really) have to file tax returns, when should I do it and how long would that take? And does USCIS want the married "filing joint" or is "filing separately OK?

3) With zero income, would I get penalized for not filing tax returns?

I read the instruction thoroughly so I am hoping that I just misunderstood it. :( Any inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all very much!

Edited by Homemaker

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Hi. I am not an expert on this matter since I just recently obtained my green card. All I know is that whether there is no income, a spouse needs to file income tax, whether jointly or separately. But let me find some links for you. I will post it here when I find something that will be helpful.

Edited by nadya_mb20

** We met unexpectedly while I was traveling in the US, got married and filed for AOS **

(AOS)

03.13.2013 - Mailed forms I-130, I-765 and I-485

03.23.2013 - Received NOA's for all three forms; all dated March 21; signed up for USCIS online case status update

03.28.2013 - Received Biometrics appointment for April 16; NOA dated March 26

04.16.2013 - Biometrics taken (No sweat! Only 1 person was before me)

05.01.2013 - Received email for update of case status that it's either scheduled or in line to be scheduled for the interview

05.03.2013 - Received letter for AOS interview appointment for June 7; letter dated April 29

05.23.2013 - EAD approval (email received and USCIS online case status indicated that card is already in production)

05.30.2013 - Received email that card has been mailed today

06.03.2013 - Received EAD in the mail (did not apply for AP since there is no immediate plans of traveling outside US)

06.07.2013 - AOS interview done. APPROVED!

06.13.2013 - Welcome letter received/approval of both I-485 and I-130. Also, got an update that GC is already in the mail.

06.15.2013 - Received GC in the mail!! ?

(Removal of Conditional Status)

05.01.2015 - Sent I-751 packet to California Service Center

05.07.2015 - Received NOA confirming receipt of packet

05.20.2015 - Received biometrics schedule

06.01.2015 - Biometrics taken

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** We met unexpectedly while I was traveling in the US, got married and filed for AOS **

(AOS)

03.13.2013 - Mailed forms I-130, I-765 and I-485

03.23.2013 - Received NOA's for all three forms; all dated March 21; signed up for USCIS online case status update

03.28.2013 - Received Biometrics appointment for April 16; NOA dated March 26

04.16.2013 - Biometrics taken (No sweat! Only 1 person was before me)

05.01.2013 - Received email for update of case status that it's either scheduled or in line to be scheduled for the interview

05.03.2013 - Received letter for AOS interview appointment for June 7; letter dated April 29

05.23.2013 - EAD approval (email received and USCIS online case status indicated that card is already in production)

05.30.2013 - Received email that card has been mailed today

06.03.2013 - Received EAD in the mail (did not apply for AP since there is no immediate plans of traveling outside US)

06.07.2013 - AOS interview done. APPROVED!

06.13.2013 - Welcome letter received/approval of both I-485 and I-130. Also, got an update that GC is already in the mail.

06.15.2013 - Received GC in the mail!! ?

(Removal of Conditional Status)

05.01.2015 - Sent I-751 packet to California Service Center

05.07.2015 - Received NOA confirming receipt of packet

05.20.2015 - Received biometrics schedule

06.01.2015 - Biometrics taken

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....ooops! I meant "maybe". <typo> ?


** We met unexpectedly while I was traveling in the US, got married and filed for AOS **

(AOS)

03.13.2013 - Mailed forms I-130, I-765 and I-485

03.23.2013 - Received NOA's for all three forms; all dated March 21; signed up for USCIS online case status update

03.28.2013 - Received Biometrics appointment for April 16; NOA dated March 26

04.16.2013 - Biometrics taken (No sweat! Only 1 person was before me)

05.01.2013 - Received email for update of case status that it's either scheduled or in line to be scheduled for the interview

05.03.2013 - Received letter for AOS interview appointment for June 7; letter dated April 29

05.23.2013 - EAD approval (email received and USCIS online case status indicated that card is already in production)

05.30.2013 - Received email that card has been mailed today

06.03.2013 - Received EAD in the mail (did not apply for AP since there is no immediate plans of traveling outside US)

06.07.2013 - AOS interview done. APPROVED!

06.13.2013 - Welcome letter received/approval of both I-485 and I-130. Also, got an update that GC is already in the mail.

06.15.2013 - Received GC in the mail!! ?

(Removal of Conditional Status)

05.01.2015 - Sent I-751 packet to California Service Center

05.07.2015 - Received NOA confirming receipt of packet

05.20.2015 - Received biometrics schedule

06.01.2015 - Biometrics taken

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I'm a SAHM/housewife and we have always filed married jointly, there's no reason not to file, regardless if you have no income. In fact, it's beneficial to file married jointly. I think you should go ahead and amend your taxes for the last 3 years as suggested, and once you have that, apply. You won't be penalized, but I think you should get on with amendments.


N-400
05/30/2013 Sent N-400 package to AZ lockbox via USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation
06/14/2013 Biometrics letter received
06/17/2013 Early Biometrics

06/19/2013 In line for interview
08/08/2013 Scheduled for interview
08/13/2013 Received interview letter
09/16/2013 Interview (Passed)

10/25/2013 Scheduled for oath

10/29/2013 Received oath letter

11/15/2013 Oath

ROC Process I-751
1/12/2010 Sent I-751 package to CSC via USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation
1/25/2010 Received NOA1
2/04/2010 Received Biometrics Letter
3/29/2010 Approved. Card Production ordered.
4/03/2010 Card Received! (Total: 81 days)

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So seriously? Married filing separately? WHY??? Dear goodness girl... Have ur hubby amend those taxes to married filing jointly... You are probably due a few THOUSAND dollars since you at missing $$$$ in deductions... Seriously... You have to file or be included in someone's taxes... AMEND NOW! It is actually pretty easy (take to hr block if confused)....


10/14/2000 - Met Aboard a Cruise ship

06/14/2003 - Married Savona Italy

I-130

03/21/2009 - I-130 Mailed to Chicago lockbox

11-30-09: GOT GREEN CARD in mail!!!!!!

Citizenship Process;

1/11/2013: Mailed N400 to Dallas Texas

3/11/2013: interview.. Approved

4/4/2013. : Oath! Now a U.S. citizen!

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Hello.

I am about to file for my citizenship based on (a 3 years) marriage but now I have to pause until I get some clear answers from knowledgable people in this great community. As I was reading through the( N-400) instruction, one of the questions is asking for a copy of "my (the applicant) tax returns". I have been a full time housewife since I arrived. My (USC) husband has been filing his tax returns as "married/separately" and I, on the other hand have never filed any as we were under the impression that, I, the applicant/immigrant was/is not obligated to file for any tax returns since I have zero income, so I never did. Big mistake!?

I am going nuts. Please help me with this dilemma I am in. We thought that my husband's tax returns would be sufficient enough. Suppose I'm wrong.? I know I am still eligible to file for citizenship even without "my own" tax returns but here comes the questions;

1) Since I never filed tax returns, will USCIS accept my application if I send in a copy of my husband's tax returns instead?

2) If I (really) have to file tax returns, when should I do it and how long would that take? And does USCIS want the married "filing joint" or is "filing separately OK?

3) With zero income, would I get penalized for not filing tax returns?

I read the instruction thoroughly so I am hoping that I just misunderstood it. sad.png Any inputs would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all very much!

Yeah. Big, gigantic mistake for your finances. Probably not a problem for your ROC if you have other documents showing joint assets and bills.

Even though you have zero income, you and your husband could have filed as "married filing jointly." If you had filed as married filing jointly, you would have paid less in taxes. By filing as married filing separately, your husband ended up paying more taxes than if he filed jointly with you.

1. USCIS may well accept your petition. Your tax choices are yours - whether to file jointly or separately. USCIS will wonder why you didn't file taxes and didn't file jointly with your husband. It is INCREDIBLY STRANGE for a couple to choose to pay more taxes than the minimum amount they are obligated to pay.

2. You are not required to file tax returns since you had no income. However, it is a BIG MISTAKE to give the government more money than you are legally obligated to pay. Why not amend your husband's tax returns to include you as a joint filer. You could use the money right?

How long would it take? The amount of time for you or your accountant to fill out the form and put them in the mail. The tax transcript and entering your amended tax returns could take months to enter into the system before you could get the tax transcripts.

ROC does not require you to have tax transcripts. You can turn in copies of the complete 1040 filing.

3. No. You will not get penalized. Without any income, you are not required to file.

Why not amend your husband's tax returns to include you as a joint filer. You could use the money right?

3. No. You will not get penalized. Without any income, you are not required to file.

Edited by aaron2020

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Hi. I am not an expert on this matter since I just recently obtained my green card. All I know is that whether there is no income, a spouse needs to file income tax, whether jointly or separately. But let me find some links for you. I will post it here when I find something that will be helpful.

A spouse with no income does not need to file a tax return. This is why there is the option to file separately without the other spouse. The spouse with the income can file separately. The spouse without income is not required to file anything.

A spouse with no income can CHOOSE to file a joint return with the other spouse. This is a choice. It is not a requirement.

When one spouse has income and the other does not, they will generally pay more taxes when one spouse chooses to file separately rather than jointly.

There are reasonable times when a spouse with income and a spouse without income would want to file separately. This is especially true when the spouse without income has a liability. For example: the non-income spouse has unpaid taxes from previous years. If the income earning spouse files separately, the IRS cannot claim the tax refund to pay the tax liability of the non-income spouse since the spouse is not a taxpayer on the tax return. If the income earning spouse files jointly with the non-income spouse, the non-income spouse is a taxpayer on that return and the refund could be seized to pay the tax liability. This is why it makes sense to file separately even though filing separately creates a bigger tax liability than filing jointly.

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For one thing with most marriage laws, from the date you tie the knot, you both become liable for each other debts. But if one of the spouses has debts before that marriage, other spouse is also indirectly liable as that money comes out of the familly income. And how can an immigrant have previous US tax liabilities when they first came here?

One good question I can't even think of a valid answer is why her spouse insisted on filing a separate return, he is evidently supporting her and just paying a lot more taxes. Must have his reasons for doing so, but can see where the USCIS would really question this as a valid marriage.

In our experience with marriage, USCIS wasn't the bit interested in our love life, but really interested in their definition of a good marriage, we were paying taxes, bills, and owned joint property together as a valid marriage.

One option the OP has is simply wait another two years where are this marriage proof is no longer a requirement. But kind of sense they are having some marriage problems they would have to work out themselves. Or maybe her husband is dense on tax laws.

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Oh, since on my wife's N-400 application for employment where they said go back four years, for that year while the USCIS was dragging their feet, we wrote down housewife, as she wasn't even permitted to work at that time. Until she finally received her conditional green card.

AOS was another bad joke played on us, for that year, couldn't even prove we had joint bank accounts, brought a letter from my bank stating my wife could not share my accounts because it was against APA regulations, she needed an SS card first, and couldn't even get that until she became a LPR. But they understood this, so dug into our love life. But all that reverses for that condtional green card and US citizenship, no longer care about your love life, just that you are paying bills together.

Condtional green card was another bad joke after all that probing into our love life and previous relationship.

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Hi. I am not an expert on this matter since I just recently obtained my green card. All I know is that whether there is no income, a spouse needs to file income tax, whether jointly or separately. But let me find some links for you. I will post it here when I find something that will be helpful.

Hello there,

Thank you for taking time to response and thanks for the link. Much appreciated.

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One question, WHY? Married filing seperate? With no income you are at an advantage to file joint. It is a qustion for your husband to answer, maybe its time to file amended returns

Hello. Thank you for your time. Yes, my husband knows the answer of course and yes, we were supposed to file "jointly" but my husband have a valid reason for us to postpone it until the water is clear.

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I'm a SAHM/housewife and we have always filed married jointly, there's no reason not to file, regardless if you have no income. In fact, it's beneficial to file married jointly. I think you should go ahead and amend your taxes for the last 3 years as suggested, and once you have that, apply. You won't be penalized, but I think you should get on with amendments.

Hello. Thanks for your reply. When I first arrived, my husband amended his income tax returns (from single to married filing jointly). But he got a little hit so when the next filing time comes, he decided to take my name off the form until the water is clear.

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A spouse with no income does not need to file a tax return. This is why there is the option to file separately without the other spouse. The spouse with the income can file separately. The spouse without income is not required to file anything.

A spouse with no income can CHOOSE to file a joint return with the other spouse. This is a choice. It is not a requirement.

When one spouse has income and the other does not, they will generally pay more taxes when one spouse chooses to file separately rather than jointly.

There are reasonable times when a spouse with income and a spouse without income would want to file separately. This is especially true when the spouse without income has a liability. For example: the non-income spouse has unpaid taxes from previous years. If the income earning spouse files separately, the IRS cannot claim the tax refund to pay the tax liability of the non-income spouse since the spouse is not a taxpayer on the tax return. If the income earning spouse files jointly with the non-income spouse, the non-income spouse is a taxpayer on that return and the refund could be seized to pay the tax liability. This is why it makes sense to file separately even though filing separately creates a bigger tax liability than filing jointly.

Thank you very much for the very informative response. My behalf have already well explained to me regarding this matter. The highlighted part is the main reason why he have taken my name off the form (for now).

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