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heatherandtezz

Submitting W4 to employer

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Hi,

So I finally got a job, hooray!

I am still waiting on my green card (received the possible interview waiver letter). So I think I am considered a non-resident alien? Recently when I submitted my W4 form I claimed myself and my spouse. But on receiving my first pay check this week (wasn't a full work week) I noticed no federal tax was deducted. This doesn't seem right to me, so I started searching and found this: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/n1392.pdf

Is this what everyone else has done? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks

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The W4 form is just an estimate tool to figure out how much to hold out of your paycheck toward taxes. Ideally it would be so correct that what they hold out exactly matches your final tax when you file. It never does. It is not binding or final as far as your taxes go. Filing the actual tax return is what has to be accurate.

Non resident aliens have a different tax structure. You will most likely file a joint return with your wife and you will be considered a resident alien for tax filing, even for the time you weren't considered one by USCIS. That's another long topic.

So don't sorry about this paycheck, but fill out a new w4 for going forward as a resident alien. If your wife also works, then you probably don't want to list her in the count. She already lists herself with her employer. Higher count equals less tax held out. Sounds nice, but at the end when you file the tax return, it could mean not enough was held out and you will write a big fat check to the IRS to pay was is due.

Example: Wife lists herself and you. You list yourself and her. That's kinda like a family of four which get a tax deduction for all the members. A family of two on the same exact income would have a little more held out of paychecks because their final tax would be slightly more than the family of four. So probably better for you to only list yourself on the W4 of the wife is also employed. I hope that makes sense. It is a very simplistic explanation but going into detail would be overkill.

There is no legal implications on the W4...like you are lying if you don't list your wife. It is an estimation for holding out taxes. Years ago when we were a family of four, my husband had zero on his W4 because we wanted more held out of each paycheck. We owed too much at tax time when he claimed 4. We cut back to 2. Still owed. The point is you can always change your W4 if the estimate isn't working out well at tax time and you don't have to count your entire family on it.

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: China
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i dunno, if you have EAD card already, you should be considered a resident alien.

are you working without the EAD card? it's not enough to have a SSN.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

I do have an EAD card.

I've been in the US since November 2013, so I pass the 'Substantial Presence Test'? http://admnacct.csusb.edu/reportingAndTax/FAQs.html So this makes me a resident alien for tax purposes? But am I still considered a non-resident alien for everything else?

The W4 form is just an estimate tool to figure out how much to hold out of your paycheck toward taxes. Ideally it would be so correct that what they hold out exactly matches your final tax when you file. It never does. It is not binding or final as far as your taxes go. Filing the actual tax return is what has to be accurate.

Non resident aliens have a different tax structure. You will most likely file a joint return with your wife and you will be considered a resident alien for tax filing, even for the time you weren't considered one by USCIS. That's another long topic.

So don't sorry about this paycheck, but fill out a new w4 for going forward as a resident alien. If your wife also works, then you probably don't want to list her in the count. She already lists herself with her employer. Higher count equals less tax held out. Sounds nice, but at the end when you file the tax return, it could mean not enough was held out and you will write a big fat check to the IRS to pay was is due.

Example: Wife lists herself and you. You list yourself and her. That's kinda like a family of four which get a tax deduction for all the members. A family of two on the same exact income would have a little more held out of paychecks because their final tax would be slightly more than the family of four. So probably better for you to only list yourself on the W4 of the wife is also employed. I hope that makes sense. It is a very simplistic explanation but going into detail would be overkill.

There is no legal implications on the W4...like you are lying if you don't list your wife. It is an estimation for holding out taxes. Years ago when we were a family of four, my husband had zero on his W4 because we wanted more held out of each paycheck. We owed too much at tax time when he claimed 4. We cut back to 2. Still owed. The point is you can always change your W4 if the estimate isn't working out well at tax time and you don't have to count your entire family on it.

Thanks! I will definitely change my W4 this week. I thought I had to change it to a non-resident alien W4, but sounds like I don't. Is filling it as a resident alien any different to filling it as a citizen?

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I do have an EAD card.

I've been in the US since November 2013, so I pass the 'Substantial Presence Test'? http://admnacct.csusb.edu/reportingAndTax/FAQs.html So this makes me a resident alien for tax purposes? But am I still considered a non-resident alien for everything else?

Thanks! I will definitely change my W4 this week. I thought I had to change it to a non-resident alien W4, but sounds like I don't. Is filling it as a resident alien any different to filling it as a citizen?

I was thinking in terms of filing jointly with spouse. Publication 519

Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident

If, at the end of your tax year, you are married and one spouse is a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and the other spouse is a nonresident alien, you can choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident. This includes situations in which one spouse is a nonresident alien at the beginning of the tax year, but a resident alien at the end of the year, and the other spouse is a nonresident alien at the end of the year.

If you make this choice, you and your spouse are treated for income tax purposes as residents for your entire tax year. Neither you nor your spouse can claim under any tax treaty not to be a U.S. resident. You are both taxed on worldwide income. You must file a joint income tax return for the year you make the choice, but you and your spouse can file joint or separate returns in later years.

The tax returns are the same for citizens and resident aliens.

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Thanks, I'm pretty sure I submitted the W4 as a resident alien and not a non-resident alien then, I just put down 2 for the witholding, which I'll change. A W4 for a resident alien will be the same as one for a US citizen? So I could just use my wife's as a guide?

I did have to fill out a few other things for my employer, telling them what visa I came over on, my status, showing my proof of eligibility to work etc. I have a feeling I may have put down that I am a 'non-resident alien' when giving my status. I will contact them to verify what I put and to change it if necessary, but can you tell me if that status is correct? If I'm still waiting on my greencard, but am eligible to work am I considered resident or non-resident? Confused over what it would be aside from tax purposes.

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Another reason no tax may have been deducted in the first paycheck--

A married couple filing jointly needs to make $20,000/yr before they have to file.

So on a weekly paycheck: 20,000 divided 52 weeks in a year...about $385 a week is the break point of filing income tax.

The payroll computer doesn't know of any other income your family will receive like wife's or investment earnings. If you only worked 3 days and made $250, the computer thinks your total salary is $250 per week. It doesn't know you had a short week. So your deductions are computed on $250 times 52 weeks for a total family income of $13k per year. That family wouldn't owe any income tax or have to file, so no deductions would be taken out. If you had 3 part time jobs making $15k at each, the payroll computer or bookkeeper wouldn't be looking at anything but that smaller salary. Yet at the end of the year, your income tax would be based on $45k. That's why you have to juggle your W4 If you have several jobs or a spouse that works or any other kind of income like investments, rental property, etc.

What are you to immigration? I don't really know. I would guess resident if you have been granted permanent resident status. Non-resident if you were here on a visa.

But to the IRS, they look at you differently for tax purposes only despite what USCIS calls you.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

Yeh, I thought it might be because it wasn't a full week. I will have to wait till next pay day to see a full week and see if anything changes.

My i-485 is currently pending, any ideas what would someone be considered if they were waiting for their green card application to be approved?

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My i-485 is currently pending, any ideas what would someone be considered if they were waiting for their green card application to be approved?

Hmmm... Zombie immigrant??? Stuck in between?

You are considered in a new period of authorized stay pending adjudication of your adjustment of status. Neither fish nor fowl. A nothing. I dunno.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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