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CG2020

Filing joint tax for spouse abroad

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Hello everyone,

 

its a tax year now and I am little confused On how to file joint return of spouse living abroad.

My spouse is working but making very little money.. In year 2018 she just earned $500 in abroad.

I earned close to $60,000. 

I dont think e file will be allowed because she doesnt have SSN or ITIN number.

 

- do we have to show my wife income too in tax return?

- what documents are required for IRS to file joint return. Do we need to do paper file?

 

I heard we need certify copy of her passport notorized from US Embassy from her country which we need to put along when filing tax return.. Not sure if this is correct..

please advice the best approach..

Edited by CG2020

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6 minutes ago, CG2020 said:

Hello everyone,

 

its a tax year now and I am little confused On how to file joint return of spouse living abroad.

My spouse is working but making very little money.. In year 2018 she just earned $500 in abroad.

I earned close to $60,000. 

I dont think e file will be allowed because she doesnt have SSN or ITIN number.

 

- do we have to show my wife income too in tax return?

- what documents are required for IRS to file joint return. Do we need to do paper file?

 

I heard we need certify copy of her passport notorized from US Embassy from her country which we need to put along when filing tax return.. Not sure if this is correct..

what other documents are required?

please advice the best approach..

You have to send her actual passport along with form W-7 with your tax return in order to get her an ITIN.  If you include a self addressed stamped envelope they send the passport back quickly.  You have to mail the first tax return.  Once she establishes the ITIN you can e-file again.  I believe there is a place for foreign income but the threshold is pretty high before it impacts your taxes.

 

I am just in the process of learning this too.  We were just married last June.

Edited by John & Rose

June 6,  2017 - Filed the K-1

April 20, 2018 - K-1 refused

June 11, 2018 - Got married in Pateros, Metro Manila

September 10, 2018 - Filed the CR-1

September 11, 2018 - Priority Date

September 14, 2018 -  NOA-1

January 22, 2019 -  NOA-2 (Rose)

January 23, 2019 -  NOA-2 (AJ)

January 23, 2019 -  NOA-2 (Aira)

 

PHILIPPINES ONLY!!!  CFO (Commission on Filipinos Overseas) INFO - Can't leave home without it!

 

PDOS (Pre-Departure Registration and Orientation Seminar) is for ages 20-59.  Peer Counseling is for 13-19 years of age.

It is required to have the visa in their passport for PDOS and Peer Counseling.

 

GCP (Guidance and Counseling Program) is for K-1 Fiancee and IR/CR-1 spouse ONLY.   These are the only ones that can attend the seminar without their visa.

 

IMG_6043.jpeg.f00e0714733e6533148a7bb56d286460.jpeg

 

 

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Not sure this helps but we got a certified copy of my wife's passport in the Filipino Consulate in Hong Kong when we got married.  That along with the letter from the bank got us an ITIN prior to the tax filing.

 

There is also an acceptance agent program that the IRS offers.  Note that most people on this list charge for that.  A friend of mine used that option too.

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/acceptance-agent-program

 


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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Also you can also file taxes as married filing separately but then you lose the benefit of having "being married".   You can later amend that return to include her.

 

It is easy to exclude her foreign income if you do file together. 


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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You do have to file a form stating your wife's income abroad, no matter how little it is. However, close to $100k of foreign income is exempt from federal income tax.

 

Four years ago we didn't have an e-file option our first year of filing taxes together. We had to file paper returns. Might still be the case.

 

We applied for ITIN but there was no requirement for sending the foreign spouse's passport. Anyway, we got denied the ITIN for the reason that she would be immigrating soon and therefore qualify for an SSN instead.

 

Since we didn't have an ITIN, we filed as MFJ. Then, the IRS sent back a refund based on MFS stating we could file an amended return upon getting an SSN. Once we got the SSN, we filed an amended return and the IRS processed another refund which was the difference btwn the MFS refund and the bigger MFJ refund. Note, if you don't want to send your wife's passport, you can go through these same steps without an ITIN and then simply wait for her arrival and obtain an SSN.


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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I have her passport with me.  My concern would be if and when the IRS actually processes the ITIN.  We are 130 days into our CR-1 process and the timing may really suck if I don't get her passport back by the time I visit her again in April.  I am planning on filing as soon as I get my W2s but I am not sure anyone will be there to accept my return!

 


June 6,  2017 - Filed the K-1

April 20, 2018 - K-1 refused

June 11, 2018 - Got married in Pateros, Metro Manila

September 10, 2018 - Filed the CR-1

September 11, 2018 - Priority Date

September 14, 2018 -  NOA-1

January 22, 2019 -  NOA-2 (Rose)

January 23, 2019 -  NOA-2 (AJ)

January 23, 2019 -  NOA-2 (Aira)

 

PHILIPPINES ONLY!!!  CFO (Commission on Filipinos Overseas) INFO - Can't leave home without it!

 

PDOS (Pre-Departure Registration and Orientation Seminar) is for ages 20-59.  Peer Counseling is for 13-19 years of age.

It is required to have the visa in their passport for PDOS and Peer Counseling.

 

GCP (Guidance and Counseling Program) is for K-1 Fiancee and IR/CR-1 spouse ONLY.   These are the only ones that can attend the seminar without their visa.

 

IMG_6043.jpeg.f00e0714733e6533148a7bb56d286460.jpeg

 

 

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Went through below IRS website:

it says we can make choice to either file Joint or filing seperatly.

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-alien-spouse

 

IRS website states: 

Attach a statement, signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies. It should contain the following information:

  1. A declaration that one spouse was a nonresident alien and the other spouse a U.S. citizen or resident alien on the last day of your tax year, and that you choose to be treated as U.S. residents for the entire tax year
  2. The name, address, and identification number of each spouse. (If one spouse died, include the name and address of the person making the choice for the deceased spouse.)

IMO: When they said Identification number, I believe we can put her country’s passport number.

One of my friend filed tax with similar case  by attaching statement signed by both spouse, and attached notarized possport copy from US embassy by paying US $50 and W7 form.

ITIN was not required..

They got refund without any issues.

I think this is how we need to proceed..

 

Edited by CG2020

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2 hours ago, CG2020 said:

Went through below IRS website:

it says we can make choice to either file Joint or filing seperatly.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-alien-spouse

IRS website states: 

Attach a statement, signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies. It should contain the following information:

  1. A declaration that one spouse was a nonresident alien and the other spouse a U.S. citizen or resident alien on the last day of your tax year, and that you choose to be treated as U.S. residents for the entire tax year
  2. The name, address, and identification number of each spouse. (If one spouse died, include the name and address of the person making the choice for the deceased spouse.)

IMO: When they said Identification number, I believe we can put her country’s passport number.

One of my friend filed tax with similar case  by attaching statement signed by both spouse, and attached notarized possport copy from US embassy by paying US $50 and W7 form.

ITIN was not required..

They got refund without any issues.

I think this is how we need to proceed..

Thank you very much. This is very useful information.

I don't have my wife's passport with me, and I don't want to bring it here since we might get our interview in a few months. So my option is to get the passport notarized at the US embassy.

I assume my option is to get her passport certified at the US embassy.

Edited by suhridkhan

USC, For spouse, April 02, YSC

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Hello all I did this last year for my husband. I sent in his passport along with paper tax forms and the W7 form, it took about 2 months. It was done during the uscis process. Our country does not certify the passport and the us embassy said it did not do it as well. Our only option was to send the original. I didnt send in a self addressed envelope but thankfully the passport came back in one peace.  We got the itin number back before the passport

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1 hour ago, MsKayC said:

Hello all I did this last year for my husband. I sent in his passport along with paper tax forms and the W7 form, it took about 2 months. It was done during the uscis process. Our country does not certify the passport and the us embassy said it did not do it as well. Our only option was to send the original. I didnt send in a self addressed envelope but thankfully the passport came back in one peace.  We got the itin number back before the passport

I need to do this 

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I did this for my husband last year as well, I sent a self address prepaid overnight package so they could return his passport, and a letter asking them to do this as quickly as possible and return the passport as he would need it for interview, I got his passport back in 3 weeks from the time I mailed it out.

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23 hours ago, John & Rose said:

You have to send her actual passport along with form W-7 with your tax return in order to get her an ITIN.  If you include a self addressed stamped envelope they send the passport back quickly.  You have to mail the first tax return.  Once she establishes the ITIN you can e-file again.  I believe there is a place for foreign income but the threshold is pretty high before it impacts your taxes.

 

I am just in the process of learning this too.  We were just married last June.

you file him as spouse on the tax returns /can not efile as IRS needs originals of the spouse birth certificate (or other ID) and original of marriage certificate

he fills out the W7 and can email that to you

you can file normally with the w7 and supporting documents included

i did for 2010 when i married and for following 2011, 2012, 2103 and 2014 as he did not get visa till 2015

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This is what I did and entire process took less than 2 month from filing to receiving refund. 

1.Get your spouse passport certified(Not Notarized). The passport issuing agency back in your country should be able to do that. In my case Ministry of foreign affair office did it. I am not sure if USA embassy will do that but you can inquiry with them. 

2. Get the certified copy mailed in to the USA. 

3. Find an IRS Acceptance agent local to your place. I used H&R Block. 

4. Make an appointment with the agent. Make sure you mention you want to file your spouse ITIN(Individual Tax Identification Number) along with your tax return. 

5. The agent will prepare form w7 for your spouse ITIN and file your tax at the same time. The agent will verify your certified copy of passport and send it along with the form to IRS. 

6. SInce your spouse won't have ITIN/SSN, the form needs to mailed and can't be e-filed. 

7. You will need signature of your spouse on both w7 and tax form.

8. You can mail them the forms to have it signed and send back to you again. Once you get the signed forms back just mail the entire package as mentioned by your tax agent.

9. IRS will receive your both forms and start the process.

10. They will issue ITIN for your spouse and apply that ITIN to your tax form and send for further processing. 

 

This will let you do both at a time and will not require to send the original passport.

 

You can also just process w7 and wait to receive the ITIN and then file taxes but for me doing both at a time worked out well. I paid less than $100 to h&r block to do my taxes and w7.

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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Progress Reports to Tax & Finances During US Immigration forum.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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