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naz94

File married or unmarried on 2018 taxes? (spousal visa)

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I got married to my foreign husband (beneficiary) in August of 2018. I started the IR/CR1 visa application in October 2018. I’m starting the process of filing my taxes of 2018 and was wondering if I should still be filing unmarried or married? I don’t want to file wrong and have the immigration officers think we aren’t actually married and what not. Any insight will be great. ☺️

Edited by naz94

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As of December 31st 2018 you were married. You can do it as married and filing jointly or separately. I have done mine last 2 years as separately, even though my spouse has a SSN, but we don't want to include his foreign earned income yet. Keep in mind the interviewing officer will see these and it will raise a red flag why you filed as unmarried when you have proof of being married.    In the end you would have to amend 2018. 


I am the USC.

Engaged: Oct 19th 2017

Married: October 23rd, 2017 
I-130 CR1 Timeline

Spoiler

Service Center - Texas

Sent I-130 Petition: Jan 2nd 2018 

PD: Jan 3rd 2018

E-notification: Jan 8th 2018

NOA1 Hard copy: Jan 12th 2018

NOA2: June 28th 2018, new website. Old website: July 17th sent to DOS (finally appeared July 29th, after 206 days after petition sent and stating not found) Emails & texts: nothing. Hard Copy states NoA2 is June 27, 2018.

NOA2: Hard copy: July 2nd 2018

Sent to DOS: New Website: July 18th 2018. Old website July 17th (Case number was finally found after 206 days of submitting petition, appeared on July 29th.)

Received NVC: July 24th 2018, per calling NVC option 5. 

New Case number #: Via email August 21st 2018. While on the phone with the hubby. Case is PIVOT. 

Fees paid August 21st 2018. Marked as paid on August 23rd 2018.

DS-260 filled and submitted:  August 27th 2018

AOS documents filled and submitted: August 29th, 2018

IV Documents: Submitted August 31st, 2018

Case Complete: September 11th 2018 via website 
Received Interview data: From embassy Oct 13, from NVC: Oct 15th.
Interview: originally Nov 27th, rescheduled to Nov 29th.

AP

Spoiler

Nov 26th 2018 AP
Interviewed on Nov 29th, was told everything is good, asked for CV / resume, kept passport

Nov 29th Email submitted

Nov 30th They sent us an email for a physical copy

Dec 3rd Submitted

Dec 4th They received

Dec 7th, 14th,18th, 19th, 20th case was touched

Dec 21st ready for Pick up.Dec 23rd pick up passport with no visa.  Was told due to holidays they resent passport incase Husband needed it, and to return it back on Jan 9th.

Jan 15th, sent off passport back to Embassy, Jan 16th case updated and received passport. 
Jan 24th case touched. Feb 1st sent email asking if they needed anything from us, replied Feb 5th stating still going thru AP, no change on website. Feb 13th, case was touched.

Our Visits

Spoiler

Him: J1 Visa (no 2 home requirement) May 2015-Nov 2016 Officially met: Late July 2015 Started relationship mid-Aug 2015

Business trip B1 (Him): May 2017 - Nov 2017

2nd Business trip (Him): Feb 2018 - May 31st 2018

Visit Russia: 1st visit - TBA

2nd visit hopefully when he moves to the USA.

 

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You can file married separately. Also they don't care how you file really. IRS are the only ones concerned. My husband filed as single when we were in your position. Why doesn't the IRS care? Because he paid more taxes filing as single and people are allowed to amend taxes for a few years after it's been filed and again the embassy isn't concerned with this as they would be aware of this situation that most persons will find themselves in. My husband can amend his taxes in the future as well. 


Cateogory: CR1

  • NOA1/Notice of receipt: Sept. 15, 2015
  • NOA2/I130 Approved: February 8, 2016 (NO RFE) :)
  • Process slowed down by us
  • Sent documents to NVC: April 11, 2016
  • Scan date: April 14/ May 7th (NVC said both I dont know why)
  • Case Complete: May 31, 2016 (No checklist) :dancing:
August 17, 2016: Visa Approved!!!! :dancing:

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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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On 1/30/2019 at 12:35 AM, Keas said:

Why doesn't the IRS care? Because he paid more taxes filing as single

Possibly. There are certain deductions and credits you can claim as single that do not apply to MFS, so it is possible to have a lower tax liability by incorrectly filing as single. If this were to happen for somebody, it would then be resolved when taxes are amended...although with interest and fees attached.


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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Married is married - so file married is the only option separate or joint.


ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....

Approved...........................

 

IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

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On 1/29/2019 at 11:35 PM, Keas said:

You can file married separately. Also they don't care how you file really. IRS are the only ones concerned. My husband filed as single when we were in your position. Why doesn't the IRS care? Because he paid more taxes filing as single and people are allowed to amend taxes for a few years after it's been filed and again the embassy isn't concerned with this as they would be aware of this situation that most persons will find themselves in. My husband can amend his taxes in the future as well. 

I have to disagree with you. You can't file single when you are married. You must file MFJ or MFS. And USCIS does care how you filed. If you are filing for marriage based AOS, the USCIS wants to see MFS or MFJ tax returns as evidence of bone fide marriage.


2014.10.04 - First Met

2018.12.18 - Married

 

AOS

2019.xx.xx - AOS Package Sent

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On 2/4/2019 at 10:42 AM, junkmart said:

I have to disagree with you. You can't file single when you are married. You must file MFJ or MFS. And USCIS does care how you filed. If you are filing for marriage based AOS, the USCIS wants to see MFS or MFJ tax returns as evidence of bone fide marriage.

Pretty sure you can. But filing married separately is the better. 


Cateogory: CR1

  • NOA1/Notice of receipt: Sept. 15, 2015
  • NOA2/I130 Approved: February 8, 2016 (NO RFE) :)
  • Process slowed down by us
  • Sent documents to NVC: April 11, 2016
  • Scan date: April 14/ May 7th (NVC said both I dont know why)
  • Case Complete: May 31, 2016 (No checklist) :dancing:
August 17, 2016: Visa Approved!!!! :dancing:

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7 minutes ago, Keas said:

Pretty sure you can. But filing married separately is the better. 

Pretty sure you can file as single when married...? 😕


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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2 minutes ago, Keas said:

Pretty sure you can. But filing married separately is the better. 

So wait what? You’re saying that one can file as single even when one is married? Please provide your source, because that is news to me. I stand by what I previously said.


2014.10.04 - First Met

2018.12.18 - Married

 

AOS

2019.xx.xx - AOS Package Sent

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9 minutes ago, junkmart said:

So wait what? You’re saying that one can file as single even when one is married? Please provide your source, because that is news to me. I stand by what I previously said.

There's obviously no official IRS source that will tell you that you can. Point is during immigration process specifically this comes up a lot. My husband was advised to file single and amend later by the CPA. And that's exactly what we did with no issues from either the IRS nor the embassy. Like I said. Filing married separately is the " correct" thing to do. 


Cateogory: CR1

  • NOA1/Notice of receipt: Sept. 15, 2015
  • NOA2/I130 Approved: February 8, 2016 (NO RFE) :)
  • Process slowed down by us
  • Sent documents to NVC: April 11, 2016
  • Scan date: April 14/ May 7th (NVC said both I dont know why)
  • Case Complete: May 31, 2016 (No checklist) :dancing:
August 17, 2016: Visa Approved!!!! :dancing:

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1 minute ago, Keas said:

My husband was advised to file single and amend later by the CPA. And that's exactly what we did with no issues from either the IRS nor the embassy.

The CPA advised him to file improperly on purpose? They can get in major trouble for doing so.

It typically won't matter to the IRS as long as you amend before they catch it and did not claim any benefits that you were not entitled (some deductions and credits apply to Single and MFJ but not MFS).

The embassy won't care, true.


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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1 hour ago, Keas said:

There's obviously no official IRS source that will tell you that you can. Point is during immigration process specifically this comes up a lot. My husband was advised to file single and amend later by the CPA. And that's exactly what we did with no issues from either the IRS nor the embassy. Like I said. Filing married separately is the " correct" thing to do. 

Thank you for clarifying. It sounded like you were saying that filing single while married was acceptable to the IRS.


2014.10.04 - First Met

2018.12.18 - Married

 

AOS

2019.xx.xx - AOS Package Sent

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