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IR-1/CR-1--January 2019 interview

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My wife will be going for her interview in January 2019. The issue is that I may not receive my W2 in time for her interview. will my 2018 tax return be required at the interview? or my last pay stubs for the 2017 year will be enough? If im able to obtain the W2 before the interview and I file, should i file as married or single....please help. very worried about this. Anyone else with a january 2019 interview help? Thanks.

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They will not require your 2018 tax return on a January '19 interview. I would arm her with your last pay stubs of 2018 and the completed tax return for 2017 (or tax transcript if you have it).


As for 2018, you file as married because you married during 2018. This applies even for those who marry on 12/31/2018. You can file the return as Married Filing Separately (MFS) or Married Filing Jointly (MFJ). Usually MFJ has tax advantages over MFS. If your wife does not yet have an ITIN or SSN then the IRS will treat your return as MFS in calculating a refund/payment and then once she has her SSN or ITIN you can file an amended return and they will give you the balance on the refund/payment. This sorta sucks. You're probably going to have to wait until your wife arrives and she secures an SSN before you get your full refund. Chalk it up as another price of immigration. But seriously, don't ignore an amended return that gets you the full benefit of MFJ. It can mean 100's or even 1,000's of dollars in your pocket.


By the way, if you married in 2017 or before that, you'll want to go back and re-do your earlier tax returns as MFJ. There's probably some money on the table there for you.

Marriage: 2014-02-23               ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
CR1 started : 2014-06-06           N400 started: 2018-04-24
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13     N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque
ROC started : 2017-04-14 CSC     Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 – Santa Fe

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