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I got married to my husband in Dominican Republic, May 1st 2018. We filed for Petition I-130 on July 19th 2018, and we have yet to receive any notice apart from the receipt.  I am now filing my taxes for 2018 and I'm not sure what to file, Married- filing separately or Married filing jointly? My accountant suggested for me to get a Passport certificate to obtain an identification number to file for my husband and I under Married filing jointly. Is this the best option? He currently is not working so he would not report any income. 

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Posted (edited)

You say that he is currently not working.  Did he have any income in 2018? 
 

To file jointly, your spouse would need to file for an ITIN with your tax return.  He would volunteer to be treated as a US taxpayer and you must include his foreign income.  Generally, this works out great when the foreign spouse has little or no income and entitled to a personal deduction that shields $12,000 from income tax and bumps you into a more generous tax table than filing separately. 

 

If your spouse has a good income last year, then you would have to do the math to figure out whether filing jointly or separately is better.   

Edited by aaron2020

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On 3/23/2019 at 1:05 AM, aaron2020 said:

You say that he is currently not working.  Did he have any income in 2018? 
 

To file jointly, your spouse would need to file for an ITIN with your tax return.  He would volunteer to be treated as a US taxpayer and you must include his foreign income.  Generally, this works out great when the foreign spouse has little or no income and entitled to a personal deduction that shields $12,000 from income tax and bumps you into a more generous tax table than filing separately. 

 

If your spouse has a good income last year, then you would have to do the math to figure out whether filing jointly or separately is better.   

He wouldn’t report any income, currently he is not working. He has a hobby where he gets paid some money but it won’t total up to more than 1000$ for the entire year due to the money conversion 

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, scarletffalcon said:

He wouldn’t report any income, currently he is not working. He has a hobby where he gets paid some money but it won’t total up to more than 1000$ for the entire year due to the money conversion 

File jointly.  File the W-7.  You will get a bigger refund.  

 

Currently not working in 2019 is not relevant to a 2018 tax return.  It's only what he make in 2018 that would be reported on a joint 2018 tax return.

Edited by aaron2020

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My Husband is in DR as well...I was advised to file as head of Household and you would be fine so that’s what I did...if you filed as single then it would be a problem. To file him and file MFJ you would have to apply for a ITIN Number with his passport and that would take an extra 3 weeks or MFS you would have to file by mail and just put NRA in the area were his social would go. 

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