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MFJ vs MFS 2014 taxes while wife migrates here in 2015

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I made a mistake of not getting a tax id for my wife when I got married first quarter last year overseas. I have been providing for her all but food and boarding, sending her money every month for her school and pocket money. Now I am ready to file my taxes and have questions about married filing jointly vs. separately.

I am getting a mixed response from online forums and from people in person. I am awaiting a reply from two CPAs but they are extremely busy and cannot give me an appointment any time soon. I will check with them once I can get an appointment from them (they won't answer via e-mails as I am not their regular customer). I mostly do all my taxes using H&R Block Deluxe version unless I have complications. This year, while I was awaiting answer from CPA, I tried the software again and tried to at least estimate the taxes with different status. There is no difference between MFS and single for state and federal. However, when I do MFJ, my federal return goes up by a very small amount but after subtracting the panelty for Obamacare/not having insurance, the difference is negligible with MFJ and MFS.

For state, however, if I do MFJ, I have to have MFS status for state because my wife was not a Maryland resident. On top of that, the software will not let me eFile for having different status for federal vs. state. As mentioned before, there is no difference in federal but my state refund almost doubles, enough to pay my for mine and her tickets this year when she comes.

My question is for people who have already filed taxes for this year and are/were in the same situation as me...or any tax expert who can offer any advice. What is your experience? Were there any red flags/audits etc? Is what MFJ for federal even legal (from what I have read it is)?

FYI, I will file for an extension, wait for her to get her SSN and then file taxes if I can file MFJ and MFS for federal vs. state and the refund is worth it.

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Yes you are allowed to file jointly. See publication 519, page 9, last paragraph in first column. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p519.pdfIt explains how you can choose for a non-resident alien to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. It requires a signed statement from you and her making the choice. And you are correct that to file a joint return, she requires a SSN or ITIN.

Her foreign income is reported but can be excluded using Form 2555EZ. Reported on Line 7 of the 1040, then listed as a negative number on Line 21. Thus it subtracted out before line 22 total Income.

She is exempted from the healthcare penalty based on this

**The person was not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national nor lawfully present**

File Form 8965, Part III with your return for the exemption

The extra exemption and standard deduction for having a spouse on your return reduces your taxable income an additional $10,150.

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


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