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rogerinho

Filing 2018 taxes while waiting for EAD/SSN and foreign income

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Hello all,

 

My wife moved to the US on a K-1 visa on 2018. We got married last year and she applied for AOS (green card) and also for EAD (employment authorization). In the EAD we have requested for a SSN to be assigned to her, because she currently does not have one. Her case is still pending. As per current estimates, she should be getting her EAD approved by end of April.

She worked in her home country during 2018 before moving to the USA. I was looking at the threads about similar cases, but did not find clear guidance. If we were to attempt to file as married jointly, I am aware we would have to get an ITIN.  My question is, would she need to report her income for the 2018 year and then try to get it exempted? And do you need to submit any documents supporting the provided foreign income amount?

If anybody is/was in a similar situation I would love to hear their thoughts and experience in this matter.

 

Thanks.

Edited by rogerinho

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8 minutes ago, rogerinho said:

My question is, would she need to report her income for the 2018 year and then try to get it exempted?

Yes. To file jointly, you must be a resident alien the entire tax year. A resident alien must report their worldwide income. As the spouse of a USC, she can elect to be treated as a resident alien for the entire tax year. There's a pinned thread in this forum noting this:

While your spouse is not located abroad anymore, they effectively fall into the same bucket as an NRA.

 

Quote

And do you need to submit any documents supporting the provided foreign income amount?

No, no supporting documentation needs to be submitted for the foreign income. However, be sure to hold on to the documentation as it is reviewable in the event of an audit (just as you would a W-2 for US income).

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

 

 

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18 hours ago, rogerinho said:

My question is, would she need to report her income for the 2018 year and then try to get it exempted? 

Yes. If you file a joint return with your wife, then all 2018 income (of both filers) is reported no matter where it was earned. If you file Married Filing Separately only your income is reported.  She files no return.

 

18 hours ago, rogerinho said:

And do you need to submit any documents supporting the provided foreign income amount?

 If anybody is/was in a similar situation I would love to hear their thoughts and experience in this matter.

No documentation of the foreign income is required. I was in a similar situation and reported my best guess of foreign income from Jan-July.  My refund was processed promptly and I was not audited. 

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Thanks for the info guys.

 

3 hours ago, Wuozopo said:

No documentation of the foreign income is required. I was in a similar situation and reported my best guess of foreign income from Jan-July.  My refund was processed promptly and I was not audited. 

It's good to know you did it without any issues. Did you do it with an ITIN rather than a SSN? Also, did you request to get a foreign earned income exception?

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16 minutes ago, rogerinho said:

Thanks for the info guys.

 

It's good to know you did it without any issues. Did you do it with an ITIN rather than a SSN? Also, did you request to get a foreign earned income exception?

I got my SSN within a couple of weeks of arrival on K1,  so no to ITIN.

We filed (as part of the return) Form 2555EZ for the foreign income exclusion. We also included the statement electing for me to be treated as a resident alien for income tax purposes because I did not have a greencard during the tax year and had not lived in the US 180 days that year. 

 

 

 

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Wuozopo, your situation sounds very similar to ours.  My wife worked nearly the entire 2018 year in Canada and she was granted her K-1 mid December so we got married in December and she moved to the US then.  She already had a SSN from years back working in the US so have that taken care of as well.  What's the easiest way to prepare your taxes since we can't efile?  I've been a Turbo Tax W-2 and mortgage statement for years so this is another ballgame for me. Thanks

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3 hours ago, MattND3 said:

Wuozopo, your situation sounds very similar to ours.  My wife worked nearly the entire 2018 year in Canada and she was granted her K-1 mid December so we got married in December and she moved to the US then.  She already had a SSN from years back working in the US so have that taken care of as well.  What's the easiest way to prepare your taxes since we can't efile?  I've been a Turbo Tax W-2 and mortgage statement for years so this is another ballgame for me. Thanks

My wife has been using TurboTax for 20 years,  so of course we used TurboTax. It handles the foreign income and does a Form 2555. She buys the software and installs it every year on her desktop computer. (Around $30 this year). She has tried online and it's not as flexible. H&R Block software gave her a free copy a few years ago. The taxes came out exactly the same on H&R and Turbo, but she found Turbo was much better on the foreign income.  

 

Anyway, you asked about filing. There is a choice for "print the return for filing". She printed the return, attached her required W2 to the first page, added the statement (created in Word), and mailed it. TurboTax provides the address specific to yourhome address and some instructions for mailing.

 

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