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Tax status pre-greencard and MFJ

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Country: Canada

Hi all, just... confused about how to file. 


My wife came on a K-1 and we married in May 2019 (which is reflected on my W2). Until then, she was working in Canada, and has no US income for 2019. 


If I understand correctly...


1. she is considered a dual status resident alien despite not having her green card yet, and we should file MFJ

2. she doesn't need an ITIN, as she has an SSN

3. she does need to provide her 2019 Canadian tax forms, although she would not owe taxes on them


Do I have all this right? 🤔



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1.  Dual status residents must file "Married- Filing Separately".  They cannot file a joint return.  

2.  Correct.

3.  A dual status resident only reports US income.  


I would highly recommend running the numbers as a dual status resident and as a full year tax resident using foreign income exclusion.  Sometimes, it is beneficial to consult a competent tax professional the first year......good luck.

Edited by missileman

"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"


Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager



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