Jump to content
AnaidAaron

E-file not permitted the first year? Best option for filing?

15 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, 

 

With the tax season soon coming upon us, I'd like to be prepared andI have a few questions so I hope you can share your personal experiences with me. 

 

I came on a K1 and married in 2018. I will be filing for AOS this year. I read the post below and found out I have two options, file married jointly and disclose my worldwide income (RA for tax purposes) or file married separately so my husband can claim me (NRA).

 

We would like to file separately so he can get an exemption for me, but I have the following doubts: 

 

1. Can/should I file for taxes even if I didn't have any income coming from the US in 2018? This is so we can file separately, since I don't wanna have to deal with proving my income and translating all my Paystubs from 2018. 

 

2. I have a SSN, do I still have to get an ITIN to file? 

 

3. I live in California. Has anyone successfully e-filed in the first year as a non resident alien, or do I absolutely have to file over the mail? 

 

4. If it's the case I shouldn't file taxes since my income was zero, can my husband file as single without claiming me? 

 

 

What's my best option here? Thank you everyone! 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, AnaidAaron said:

Hi everyone, 

 

With the tax season soon coming upon us, I'd like to be prepared andI have a few questions so I hope you can share your personal experiences with me. 

 

I came on a K1 and married in 2018. I will be filing for AOS this year. I read the post below and found out I have two options, file married jointly and disclose my worldwide income (RA for tax purposes) or file married separately so my husband can claim me (NRA).

 

We would like to file separately so he can get an exemption for me, but I have the following doubts: 

 

1. Can/should I file for taxes even if I didn't have any income coming from the US in 2018? This is so we can file separately, since I don't wanna have to deal with proving my income and translating all my Paystubs from 2018. 

 

2. I have a SSN, do I still have to get an ITIN to file? 

 

3. I live in California. Has anyone successfully e-filed in the first year as a non resident alien, or do I absolutely have to file over the mail? 

 

4. If it's the case I shouldn't file taxes since my income was zero, can my husband file as single without claiming me? 

 

 

What's my best option here? Thank you everyone! 

 

 

 

 

If you have ssn you are no longer eligible for itin 


YMMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

He cannot file single.  I am also just married this year, but I think (if I remember correctly from my previous marriage) that the bigger tax break comes from married filing jointly, rather than married filing separately?

 

Maybe @geowrian or another could weigh in here?

Edited by Jorgedig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AnaidAaron said:

1. Can/should I file for taxes even if I didn't have any income coming from the US in 2018? This is so we can file separately, since I don't wanna have to deal with proving my income and translating all my Paystubs from 2018. 

He can file MFS and then you don't need to file anything.

But he's giving up potentially thousands in dollars of a refund as as result...doesn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor for an extra 30-60 minutes of tax work (tops...much less if you know what you're doing already).

 

You don't need to "prove" your foreign income. It just needs to be reported then excluded. You should hold on to any documentation in the event of an audit, but it does not need to be sent with the tax filing (unlike W-2s, which are are required to be provided if filing by mail).

 

Quote

2. I have a SSN, do I still have to get an ITIN to file?

You have an SSN. You cannot get an ITIN and there is no reason to get one.

 

Quote

3. I live in California. Has anyone successfully e-filed in the first year as a non resident alien, or do I absolutely have to file over the mail?

If filing jointly, you must file by paper to make the resident alien choice/election (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-alien-spouse).

 

Quote

4. If it's the case I shouldn't file taxes since my income was zero, can my husband file as single without claiming me?

He can file MFS. He cannot file as single since he is not single.

 

I hate to be so blunt, but just suck it up. It's one year of sending taxes by paper instead of e-file. There's likely a substantial tax benefit for doing so. It's not much extra work. It sucks to have to do so due to a simple attachment that's needed, but get over it and get your money.

 

For an example, filing jointly the first year with my wife resulted in an extra ~$5000 refund. Is the little extra paperwork worth that to you? It was to me. Uncle Sam effectively paid for our wedding.

I used TurboTax to complete the return and then just print and mail the result. It cost me $25 (which actually got refunded due to a mistake with their billing department).

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, geowrian said:

He can file MFS and then you don't need to file anything.

But he's giving up potentially thousands in dollars of a refund as as result...doesn't seem like a worthwhile endeavor for an extra 30-60 minutes of tax work (tops...much less if you know what you're doing already).

Thank you so much for your always well thought out answers. I think you're right, the benefit is much bigger than the annoyance of the paperwork.

 

3 hours ago, geowrian said:

 

You don't need to "prove" your foreign income. It just needs to be reported then excluded. You should hold on to any documentation in the event of an audit, but it does not need to be sent with the tax filing (unlike W-2s, which are are required to be provided if filing by mail).

My only problem here is that I don't really know what I'm doing lol. I have never seen a full tax return so I don't really know all that implies, I guess that's what's making me so nervous about it. And my husband doesn't help me, he has always had somebody else do his taxes so he's oblivious to the whole process. I just wanna feel like I'm informed so I know the tax guy is just doing his job right and I know how to respond to the IRS if I ever get questioned. 

 

I was an accountant in Mexico, where the tax system is extremely meticulous and people get audited regularly for even the smallest mistakes. So taxes here in the US feel so different to me. What's the real probability of being audited? 

 

 

So my question here would be, when you send your joint tax return, you send only one form, in which the USC does his return normally (with W2/1099) and the NRA only discloses their income and taxes paid for the year, no proof or Paystubs or anything else required?  I belive the post I quoted earlier has a link for rates to convert foreign income to USD, so I would use that. 

 

 

My husband gets both a W2 and a 1099 , as he works for someone and also has a side job where he is self employed, I don't know if that changes anything for us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone correct me if I am wrong here, but for 2019 tax season (2018 tax year), one can no longer take an exemption for spouse. Instead, the standard deduction is now higher. For that reason, I am electing to file jointly with my husband this year (although I qualify to file as dual-status alien) because it works out more favourably that way. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (if you meet the criteria) should exclude most, if not all of your foreign earned income and applying the standard deduction of $24000 for Married Filing Jointly should result in greater savings for you.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in a similar situation. I'm a USC married to Mexican who has been in the US since August 2018. We married in December. He is considered a US Resident Alien for tax purposes due to the substantial presence test (more that 183 days present in US during 2018).

 

Before coming to the US, he had income and paid taxes in Mexico. We are filing MFJ. Because of filing MFJ, we must include his income from Mexico with my income on like 1 of 1040. This is called "worldwide income." In order to prevent double taxation on his income in Mexico, we are filing form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit. It's a little complicated, but read the instructions thoroughly and you'll figure it out. Form 1116 helps you figure out how much of a credit you can take on your foreign taxes. You are not required to provide any prove of what your foreign income was, or how much foreign taxes you paid, but you should keep these records in the event you are audited.

 

If you don't have any foreign income for 2018, then your situation may be even easier.

 

Here are the forms I will file for 2019.

2018 1040

2018 1040 S 3 (Schedule where you input the credit figured on form 1116)

2018 1116 Foreign Tax Credit

 

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, junkmart said:

I'm in a similar situation. I'm a USC married to Mexican who has been in the US since August 2018. We married in December. He is considered a US Resident Alien for tax purposes due to the substantial presence test (more that 183 days present in US during 2018).

 

Before coming to the US, he had income and paid taxes in Mexico. We are filing MFJ. Because of filing MFJ, we must include his income from Mexico with my income on like 1 of 1040. This is called "worldwide income." In order to prevent double taxation on his income in Mexico, we are filing form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit. It's a little complicated, but read the instructions thoroughly and you'll figure it out. Form 1116 helps you figure out how much of a credit you can take on your foreign taxes. You are not required to provide any prove of what your foreign income was, or how much foreign taxes you paid, but you should keep these records in the event you are audited.

 

If you don't have any foreign income for 2018, then your situation may be even easier.

 

Here are the forms I will file for 2019.

2018 1040

2018 1040 S 3 (Schedule where you input the credit figured on form 1116)

2018 1116 Foreign Tax Credit

 

Best of luck!

Thank you so much!! This helps a ton 😊 I will make sure to read the instructions carefully. 

 

 

P.S. If I’m not wrong, even if you husband didn’t meet the substancial presence requirement, you could still choose to treat him as a RA for tax purposes, you just have to send a written statement with your joint tax return. 

 

 

Hope everything turns out awesome for you two! 

Edited by AnaidAaron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, AnaidAaron said:

Thank you so much!! This helps a ton 😊 I will make sure to read the instructions carefully. 

 

 

P.S. If I’m not wrong, even if you husband didn’t meet the substancial presence requirement, you could still choose to treat him as a RA for tax purposes, you just have to send a written statement with your joint tax return. 

 

 

Hope everything turns out awesome for you two! 

You are correct! One may choose to be treated as a RA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.  The US taxes on worldwide income, so you're either in or out.  If you worked in 2018, you had worldwide income.  Your husband can file jointly with you and you can volunteer to be treated as a resident which means your worldwide income is subject to US taxes.  Alternatively, he can file separately and you file nothing.  Those are the two choices for him and you.  When the foreign spouse has little or no income, it's better to file MFJ.  When the foreign spouse has significant income, then it's time to do it both ways to determine which is the better result.  

 

2.  You have a SSN, so you do not qualify for an ITIN.

 

3.  With a SSN, you can efile in CA.

 

4.  Your husband can not file as single since he's not single. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2019 at 9:11 PM, geowrian said:

I hate to be so blunt, but just suck it up. It's one year of sending taxes by paper instead of e-file. There's likely a substantial tax benefit for doing so. It's not much extra work. It sucks to have to do so due to a simple attachment that's needed, but get over it and get your money.

 

For an example, filing jointly the first year with my wife resulted in an extra ~$5000 refund. Is the little extra paperwork worth that to you? It was to me. Uncle Sam effectively paid for our wedding.

I used TurboTax to complete the return and then just print and mail the result. It cost me $25 (which actually got refunded due to a mistake with their billing department).

This is really good advice.  It was super annoying to file the return this way the first year, but made a pretty big difference in the amount of money we got back. It was even more annoying because I had worked in Canada for the first half of the year.

 

Now if you, the new resident, happened to make a lot more money than your husband that exceeds the foreign exemption, then your husband should do MFS, but otherwise, it's worth the hassle.  It's especially worth it if you're earnings are in the brackets where the tax rates change steeply.

 

I also filed California using a paper return.  Now for California there was very little advantage to filing married and then excluding income, so I just chose to file MFS and lose $50 but save 10 pages of tax return.


I-130

May 14, 2016: Sent I-130 Package to Chicago Lockbox

May 18, 2016: Chicago Lockbox received package.

May 20, 2016: NOA1 Notice Date with priority date of May 18. Sent to Nebraska Service Center

May 23, 2016: NOA1 E-mail

Oct 21, 2016: NOA2 Notice by App

Nov 2, 2016: USCIS sent to NVC

 

NVC

Nov 8, 2016: NVC Received

Nov 16, 2016: Case Number Assigned

Nov 18, 2016: DS-261 submitted and AOS fee paid

Nov 23, 2016: IV Fee Invoiced and paid

Nov 30, 2016: IV and AOS Packages Sent (EP)

Dec 4, 2016: DS-260 Submitted

Dec 5, 2016: NVC Scan Date

Dec 6, 2016: NVC 3 N/A and Case Complete on Phone [1 day later!]

Dec 13, 2016: NVC CC e-mail

Dec 15, 2016: Found out interview date by phone

Jan 23, 2017: Interview...Approved!

 

Jan 30, 2017: POE Toronto Pearson Airport

 

Removing Conditions

Nov 2, 2018: Sent I-751 to Arizona Lockbox

Nov 7, 2018: Apparent receipt date (SMS notification on 11/9)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, aaron2020 said:

1.  The US taxes on worldwide income, so you're either in or out.  If you worked in 2018, you had worldwide income.  Your husband can file jointly with you and you can volunteer to be treated as a resident which means your worldwide income is subject to US taxes. 

One important detail to add here.  Your husband can elect to be treated as a resident but then exclude all or much of it using Form 2555


I-130

May 14, 2016: Sent I-130 Package to Chicago Lockbox

May 18, 2016: Chicago Lockbox received package.

May 20, 2016: NOA1 Notice Date with priority date of May 18. Sent to Nebraska Service Center

May 23, 2016: NOA1 E-mail

Oct 21, 2016: NOA2 Notice by App

Nov 2, 2016: USCIS sent to NVC

 

NVC

Nov 8, 2016: NVC Received

Nov 16, 2016: Case Number Assigned

Nov 18, 2016: DS-261 submitted and AOS fee paid

Nov 23, 2016: IV Fee Invoiced and paid

Nov 30, 2016: IV and AOS Packages Sent (EP)

Dec 4, 2016: DS-260 Submitted

Dec 5, 2016: NVC Scan Date

Dec 6, 2016: NVC 3 N/A and Case Complete on Phone [1 day later!]

Dec 13, 2016: NVC CC e-mail

Dec 15, 2016: Found out interview date by phone

Jan 23, 2017: Interview...Approved!

 

Jan 30, 2017: POE Toronto Pearson Airport

 

Removing Conditions

Nov 2, 2018: Sent I-751 to Arizona Lockbox

Nov 7, 2018: Apparent receipt date (SMS notification on 11/9)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×