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# of allowances to put on W-4 for newly married (spouse arrived on K1)

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Hi, all.

Quick background about my situation.

My fiancee came here on the K1 visa and we got married 3 weeks ago.

We're in the process of filling out her AOS.

I went into my company's site to update my W-4. I've always filed as 'Single' with 'Number of Allowances claiming' as 1.

The 2 questions I'm confused about are :huh2: :

1) I'm still supposed to choose 'Single' correct because my wife is still technically a 'nonresident alien?" Is my wife still considered a 'nonresident alien'?

2) If I'm still supposed to choose 'Single' could I change the 'Number of Allowances' to 2 now because she is a dependent? Or do I have to still choose '1' because she's a nonresident alien.

Thanks everyone. :D

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On W-4, I believe you would put married because you're married. I also believe you can begin claiming 2 allowances, which would include her.

Note, on your 2015 tax return, you should probably be filing as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) and also claiming her as an exemption, but you'll want to confirm with some tax advice from a professional, friends, tax software, etc. I believe if you married at any point in 2015, even the end of December, you're still allowed to claim MFJ status, which usually results in an increase in tax refund of a few thousand dollars.

EDIT: I believe you'll thank yourself on your good fortune of choosing a December marriage date once you've dealt with all tax considerations. The extra refund could help defray some of your future immigration costs.

Edited by Russ&Caro

Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

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On W-4, I believe you would put married because you're married. I also believe you can begin claiming 2 allowances, which would include her.

Note, on your 2015 tax return, you should probably be filing as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) and also claiming her as an exemption, but you'll want to confirm with some tax advice from a professional, friends, tax software, etc. I believe if you married at any point in 2015, even the end of December, you're still allowed to claim MFJ status, which usually results in an increase in tax refund of a few thousand dollars.

EDIT: I believe you'll thank yourself on your good fortune of choosing a December marriage date once you've dealt with all tax considerations. The extra refund could help defray some of your future immigration costs.

Thanks for the reply!

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You can claim 2 allowances just for yourself (A and B) see https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf. If you are married you can claim 3 (A, B and C). What matters for your filing status is what your status is on December 31 of the year. So if you marry on December 31 you are married. If you divorce on December 31, you are single.

Edited by wagner17

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The W-4 is about how much your employer withholds from your pay. You can claim single even if married. You can claim less deductions than you are allowed. For example you can claim 0 instead of 1 or 2. You can claim more than you are allowed, however; should you owe a large sum of taxes, you will be subject to an under withholding penalty. So it is best to get the withholding number correct. What you put on the W-4 is determined if you want a large refund each year or if you want to either owe a small amount or get a small refund, but have more money in each paycheck.

Claiming single causes your employer to with hold more than if you claim married. Typically a married couple claims married and 2 deductions. I claimed single and 1 for a couple of years after getting married so that I had more with held from each pay check, but I had specific reasons for doing this.

You can also file your tax return as married filed jointly and claim your spouse as a resident for tax purposes--you will not be able to use a tax preparation software, but will have to file a paper return with the declaration statement signed by you and your spouse. I suggest you go to the IRS website and begin preparing for all the options you have available for completing your tax return.

Dave

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--you will not be able to use a tax preparation software, but will have to file a paper return with the declaration statement signed by you and your spouse. .

Dave

You CAN use tax preparation software and print a paper return instead of e-filing. I've done it for myself and for others in subsequent years. Include your signed statatement when you mail the paper return.


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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The W-4 is about how much your employer withholds from your pay. You can claim single even if married. You can claim less deductions than you are allowed. For example you can claim 0 instead of 1 or 2. You can claim more than you are allowed, however; should you owe a large sum of taxes, you will be subject to an under withholding penalty. So it is best to get the withholding number correct. What you put on the W-4 is determined if you want a large refund each year or if you want to either owe a small amount or get a small refund, but have more money in each paycheck.

Claiming single causes your employer to with hold more than if you claim married. Typically a married couple claims married and 2 deductions. I claimed single and 1 for a couple of years after getting married so that I had more with held from each pay check, but I had specific reasons for doing this.

You can also file your tax return as married filed jointly and claim your spouse as a resident for tax purposes--you will not be able to use a tax preparation software, but will have to file a paper return with the declaration statement signed by you and your spouse. I suggest you go to the IRS website and begin preparing for all the options you have available for completing your tax return.

Dave

THIS is correct. :thumbs:

For example, my husband claims single on his W4. He knows it removes more taxes and essentially gives the government an interest free loan for the year. But we like getting that lump sum of a tax return. It's like finding money in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for a year. It didn't earn any money for you, but you didn't spend it either. He used to have married 1 on his w4 but we owed about $100 in taxes last year federally.

I use married 0.

So as it mentions, you don't have to put down married but if you do, I suggest married 0 unless you don't mind owing taxes. Most of what I've read suggests anything under 1k owed for taxes is pretty decent.

Also there is a bit of work to be done if you want to use MFJ and your spouse isn't a resident alien. You need a W7 if they do not have an SSN or ITIN. You can do MFJ, it's just more paperwork and requires your spouse's passport to be sent with your tax return.

OR you can do MFS, print the form and write NRA in the SSN location.

Hi, all.

Quick background about my situation.

My fiancee came here on the K1 visa and we got married 3 weeks ago.

We're in the process of filling out her AOS.

I went into my company's site to update my W-4. I've always filed as 'Single' with 'Number of Allowances claiming' as 1.

The 2 questions I'm confused about are :huh2: :

1) I'm still supposed to choose 'Single' correct because my wife is still technically a 'nonresident alien?" Is my wife still considered a 'nonresident alien'?

2) If I'm still supposed to choose 'Single' could I change the 'Number of Allowances' to 2 now because she is a dependent? Or do I have to still choose '1' because she's a nonresident alien.

Thanks everyone. :D

Do you have a child? Is there a reason why you were using Single 1? Generally you'd use single 0 for one person as far as I've read.

Edited by NLR

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Also there is a bit of work to be done if you want to use MFJ and your spouse isn't a resident alien. You need a W7 if they do not have an SSN or ITIN. You can do MFJ, it's just more paperwork and requires your spouse's passport to be sent with your tax return.

The wife is here on her K1. All she needs to do is go to the Social Security office and get her SSN as long as her I-94 is still valid for at least 14 more days when she applies. Then she can be added as a joint filer on his 2015 tax return.

OP-- your W4 is simply an estimation form that is designed for you to break even (going forward) on the amount held out by your employer so when you file taxes for 2016, the amount held out is just about equal to your final tax calculation on the return. It has nothing to do with your wife being a permanent resident or not. You are married and there are two people. It is supposed to work for you. Try it. When your wife starts working, she would not want hers to also be estimated as married-2 because as a family of two, you are claiming four people that way. Not enough would be held out and you would owe a tax payment when you file. You could both switch at that time to Married-1.

When you file a year from now, if your withholding estimate didn't work out, you can tweak your W-4 to claim less people. A lot of it depends on your income. If you make $100k and earn thousands from investments then your tax bracket will be higher and the basic estimate won't work as well. If you barely make $20k and the wife adds no income on top of it, then it could be close. Right now it is kind of a guess. To err on the conservative side, pick Married-1 allowance for yourself or if you have a really high income, then choose "Married but withholding at a higher single rate" -1 allowance. It's a guess really until you go through an entire year and see how it works out.


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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When you file a year from now, if your withholding estimate didn't work out, you can tweak your W-4 to claim less people. A lot of it depends on your income. If you make $100k and earn thousands from investments then your tax bracket will be higher and the basic estimate won't work as well. If you barely make $20k and the wife adds no income on top of it, then it could be close. Right now it is kind of a guess. To err on the conservative side, pick Married-1 allowance for yourself or if you have a really high income, then choose "Married but withholding at a higher single rate" -1 allowance. It's a guess really until you go through an entire year and see how it works out.

But it doesn't have to be a wild guess once a year. You can use a tax calculator, such as the one the IRS provides online, and give your employer a new W-4 as needed throughout the year. If you check and make updates when needed, you can get extremely close to your target refund, or zero out.


2015-10-13 Married in Phú Yên, Việt Nam

I-130

2016-01-04 NOA1

2016-05-16 NOA2 133 days from NOA1

NVC

2016-08-11 Case complete

Consulate

2016-10-31 Interview 81 days from case complete, 301 days from NOA1

2016-11-05 Visa received

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Yes you can change a W4 during the year...several times even.

I find that I have to adjust things when I have done my final return and see that oops I have to write a check for over $6000 to the IRS. Everybody's situation is different and not everybody can predict with precision their final income because their hours vary weekly or they are self employed or maybe they have an amazing payoff from their investments. One income, same salary every month, and no investments is easier to predict with the IRS calculator.


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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