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MattND3

Filing Taxes for K-1 Spouse

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Hello, sorry if this is a redundant question but here goes...   my wife recently moved to the states on a K-1 Visa on December 10th, 2018 and we were legally married the following day.  For the duration of 2018, she of course had no US income.  She worked in Canada up til her move to the US.  What is she OBLIGATED to do now that she's in the US?  Since she was here such a short amount of time, if she doesn't have to I'd think filing single would be easiest.  What is recommended in this specific scenario?  Thanks in advance

 

Matt

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6 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

Hello, sorry if this is a redundant question but here goes...   my wife recently moved to the states on a K-1 Visa on December 10th, 2018 and we were legally married the following day.  For the duration of 2018, she of course had no US income.  She worked in Canada up til her move to the US.  What is she OBLIGATED to do now that she's in the US?  Since she was here such a short amount of time, if she doesn't have to I'd think filing single would be easiest.  What is recommended in this specific scenario?  Thanks in advance

 

Matt

You are both obligated to add her to your taxes but that is it. Since you two were not married and she was not a resident of the U.S. You do not have to report her Canadian income. 

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3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

Hello, sorry if this is a redundant question but here goes...   my wife recently moved to the states on a K-1 Visa on December 10th, 2018 and we were legally married the following day.  For the duration of 2018, she of course had no US income.  She worked in Canada up til her move to the US.  What is she OBLIGATED to do now that she's in the US?  Since she was here such a short amount of time, if she doesn't have to I'd think filing single would be easiest.  What is recommended in this specific scenario?  Thanks in advance

 

Matt

You cannot file single. 

"If you are married and living with your spouse, you must file as married filing jointly or married filing separately. You cannot choose to file as single or head of household. If you do face a marriage penalty, you can't get around it by continuing to file as a single person. That's because if you're legally married on December 31, you're considered married for the full year and you must therefore file as either married filing jointly or married filing separately."

From TurboTax. 


03/01/2018 - I-129F Sent

03/05/2018 - I-129F NOA1 (old site)

03/08/2018 - I-129F NOA1 (new site)
09/14/2018 - I-129F NOA2 

10/16/2018 - NVC Received

10/21/2018 - Consulate Received 

10/21/2018 - Packet 3 Received

12/30/2018 - Packet 3 Sent

01/06/2019 - Packet 4 Received

01/29/2019 - Interview Date - APPROVED!

02/05/2019 - Visa Received

##/##/2019 - U.S. Arrival

##/##/2019 - Married
 

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If you file Married together you get her standard deduction.


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 can file MFS or MFJ (or HOH with a qualifying non-spouse dependent).

Single is not a valid option for anybody married as of the last day of the tax year.

 

MFS is simpler but likely provides a higher tax liability. In this case she wouldn't even need to file as her re portable income is below the threshold necessary to file. You would file MFS and list her SSN or ITIN as needed, or NRA if she doesn't have one.

 

MFJ generally provides a lower tax liability. This requires that she has an SSN or ITIN.

In this case she she must be considered a resident alien for the entire tax year. As a spouse of a USC, she can provide a letter to be treated as such (although this letter means not being able to eFile).

Anybody considered a  resident alien must report their worldwide income.

The FEIE can typically exclude most to all of that income from being taxed.


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

 

 

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16 hours ago, geowrian said:

You can file MFS or MFJ (or HOH with a qualifying non-spouse dependent).

Single is not a valid option for anybody married as of the last day of the tax year.

 

MFS is simpler but likely provides a higher tax liability. In this case she wouldn't even need to file as her re portable income is below the threshold necessary to file. You would file MFS and list her SSN or ITIN as needed, or NRA if she doesn't have one.

 

MFJ generally provides a lower tax liability. This requires that she has an SSN or ITIN.

In this case she she must be considered a resident alien for the entire tax year. As a spouse of a USC, she can provide a letter to be treated as such (although this letter means not being able to eFile).

Anybody considered a  resident alien must report their worldwide income.

The FEIE can typically exclude most to all of that income from being taxed.

Thanks for the responses everyone.  geowrian, so just to be clear:

 

-For tax liability and best refund possible, MFJ is the way to go correct? (Why wouldn't people want to do this all the time?)

-We file MFJ and include a written statement (NRA election letter)

-We include all her foreign income.  What about things like retirement funds, stocks, the condo she owns, etc.?

-It has to be filed through the mail

-She would still file taxes in Canada

-Is the FEIE something that is applied for us or do we do anything in particular to trigger that?  

 

Thanks for all the help.  I'm used to just waiting for my W-2 and Mortgage documents and getting on Turbo Tax and doing it in 10 minutes hahah, little different waters to navigate now.  

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3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-For tax liability and best refund possible, MFJ is the way to go correct? (Why wouldn't people want to do this all the time?)

There are limited situations where MFS provides a lower tax liability. There's also higher requirements for MFJ (SSN or ITIN required, and must be considered a resident alien for the entire tax year).

There's also some cases where one spouse doesn't want to be joined to the other's tax obligations.

But in the vast majority of cases, MFJ is the better option. Most tax prep software will take this into consideration already and let you know if the other filing status may be better.

 

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-We file MFJ and include a written statement (NRA election letter)

Correct.

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-We include all her foreign income.  What about things like retirement funds, stocks, the condo she owns, etc.?

Income. Unless she is withdrawing pre-tax retirement funds, cashing out stocks, etc., then those are assets.

Unless she is receiving rent (income), then the condo is only an asset as well.

 

Note that an FBAR may be needed. I'm not as familiar with that form, sorry, but it pertains to foreign accounts in excess of $10,000. I'm not sure if retirement accounts qualify or not, but bank accounts definitely would.

 

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-It has to be filed through the mail

Correct, due to the election letter. Seriously...that little short letter is the only thing preventing electronic filing. It's 2019! /rant

 

You can still prepare the return through tax prep software or services. I personally used TurboTax for 2017 when my now-wife moved to the US.

 

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-She would still file taxes in Canada

I'll defer to others on Canadian filing requirements. Presumably she would need to file there for income earned there. I don't think Canada taxes based on worldwide income so that's simpler for future years.

 

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

-Is the FEIE something that is applied for us or do we do anything in particular to trigger that?

Probably. Here's the flow to determine that: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion-can-i-claim-the-exclusion-or-deduction

 

NOTE: "Were you a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year?" -> Be careful with the reading. "An entire tax year" does not necessarily mean it has to be all of 2018. For instance, you can be a bona fide resident of Canada from 1/1/2017 through 7/31/2018, which includes the entire 2017 tax year. The available exclusion would be proportional to the time prior to moving to the US. This is calculated on the 2555/2555EZ.

 

3 minutes ago, MattND3 said:

Thanks for all the help.  I'm used to just waiting for my W-2 and Mortgage documents and getting on Turbo Tax and doing it in 10 minutes hahah, little different waters to navigate now.  

I hear ya. Personally, we got like an extra $5000 for filing jointly since my wife had no US income her first year, so it was worth an extra 30-60 minutes. haha


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

 

 

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