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joshg345

How should we file taxes for the first year

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Hi,

 

I entered the USA via K1 visa in September 2019 and got married to my spouse in October 2019. I'm pending AOS and waiting for EAD.

 

I've been doing some research on how to file taxes for the first year after K1 visa and while waiting for AOS. I have seen there are two options, MFS or MFJ. Apparently there are more benefits to MFJ but I'm not sure we will even notice the benefits of MFJ. My spouse is saying that when she files her taxes usually she doesn't pay anything so she doesn't see the point of filing jointly. She only earns about $30,000 a year (gross).

 

So do you think it would be more beneficial to file jointly and if so, what are the benefits? Or should we just file MFS?

 

Thanks! I appreciate the help

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51 minutes ago, joshg345 said:

Hi,

 

I entered the USA via K1 visa in September 2019 and got married to my spouse in October 2019. I'm pending AOS and waiting for EAD.

 

I've been doing some research on how to file taxes for the first year after K1 visa and while waiting for AOS. I have seen there are two options, MFS or MFJ. Apparently there are more benefits to MFJ but I'm not sure we will even notice the benefits of MFJ. My spouse is saying that when she files her taxes usually she doesn't pay anything so she doesn't see the point of filing jointly. She only earns about $30,000 a year (gross).

 

So do you think it would be more beneficial to file jointly and if so, what are the benefits? Or should we just file MFS?

 

Thanks! I appreciate the help

In almost every case it is better to file MFJ.   You can calculate it both ways to check it out.


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The majority of the time MFJ gets you the best Tax credits and benefits for most people. Best thing to do is run your taxes both ways if you are using Tax software, or even at a HR block, or tax place it only takes a few clicks to change the return between MFJ and MFS and see what way makes the most financial sense for your situation. DO what benefits you the most Tax wise, USCIS doesn't care about which one you use, so go with the best for your situation.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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6 hours ago, joshg345 said:

My spouse is saying that when she files her taxes usually she doesn't pay anything so she doesn't see the point of filing jointly. She only earns about $30,000 a year (gross).

 

So do you think it would be more beneficial to file jointly and if so, what are the benefits? Or should we just file MFS?

She pays taxes held out of every paycheck so may not owe more at the end when she files. And she may get a refund if too much tax was held out of her paychecks.  Would she like to get over $1000 extra back in refund just by filing with you jointly? If not, then MFS is fine. 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Croatia
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We're in the same position and according to Tax Act we'll get money back using MFJ. Even though my husband hasn't gotten his EAD yet he was able to get a SSN. That's all we need to file jointly, correct? I keep reading about how you have to mail in and can't file online and how other couples are applying for an ITIN.

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Filed: F-2A Visa Country: Nepal
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If the other spouse has a SSN, MFJ can be filed online. ITIN are for those not having a SSN.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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53 minutes ago, Dani and Alex said:

We're in the same position and according to Tax Act we'll get money back using MFJ. Even though my husband hasn't gotten his EAD yet he was able to get a SSN. That's all we need to file jointly, correct? I keep reading about how you have to mail in and can't file online and how other couples are applying for an ITIN.

A joint return requires both have either a SSN or ITIN. Some new K1s didn’t go get their SSN when they were eligible and now have to wait for one. That’s why they are getting ITINS in order to file. 
 

Your spouse without a green card is a Nonresident alien (NRA) to the IRS. A NRA isn’t allowed to file jointly.  But if married to a US citizen you can choose for him to be treated as a Resident alien for tax purposes. To choose, you have write and sign a statement and attach to the Form 1040. The only way to include a signed statement like that is by mail. 
 

Also when you file jointly, both incomes earned in the year 2019 have to be reported...even money the immigrant earned in his home country. There is a tax form (Form 2555)  that can excluded the foreign earned income from being taxed...so reported to the IRS,  but not taxed.  However, to be allowed to exclude the foreign income, the foreign country has to have a tax treaty with the US. 

 

CROATIA does not have a tax treaty, so his foreign income would be fully taxed. He would not be eligible for the exclusion. There is a form 1116 where he might get credit for income tax he paid to Croatia since he’s not eligible to exclude his income from a joint return, but whew I don’t begin to understand that form.  In your case it may be better to file Married Filing Separately and he files nothing because he didn’t earn any US income in 2019. It’s only on a joint return that worldwide income from both spouses has to be reported.


 

 

Edited by Wuozopo

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Croatia
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9 minutes ago, Wuozopo said:

A joint return requires both have either a SSN or ITIN. Some new K1s didn’t go get their SSN when they were eligible and now have to wait for one. That’s why they are getting ITINS in order to file. 
 

Your spouse without a green card is a Nonresident alien (NRA) to the IRS. A NRA isn’t allowed to file jointly.  But if married to a US citizen you can choose for him to be treated as a Resident alien for tax purposes. To choose, you have write and sign a statement and attach to the Form 1040. The only way to include a signed statement like that is by mail. 
 

Also when you file jointly, both incomes earned in the year 2019 have to be reported...even money the immigrant earned in his home country. There is a tax form (Form 2555)  that can excluded the foreign earned income from being taxed...so reported to the IRS,  but not taxed.  However, to be allowed to exclude the foreign income, the foreign country has to have a tax treaty with the US. 

 

CROATIA does not have a tax treaty, so his foreign income would be fully taxed. He would not be eligible for the exclusion. There is a form 1116 where he might get credit for income tax he paid to Croatia since he’s not eligible to exclude his income from a joint return, but whew I don’t begin to understand that form.  In your case it may be better to file Married Filing Separately and he files nothing because he didn’t earn any US income in 2019. It’s only on a joint return that worldwide income from both spouses has to be reported.


 

 

This was incredibly helpful! Thank you so much for explaining our individual circumstances and taking the time to look up his origin country.

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23 minutes ago, Wuozopo said:

A joint return requires both have either a SSN or ITIN. Some new K1s didn’t go get their SSN when they were eligible and now have to wait for one. That’s why they are getting ITINS in order to file. 
 

Your spouse without a green card is a Nonresident alien (NRA) to the IRS. A NRA isn’t allowed to file jointly.  But if married to a US citizen you can choose for him to be treated as a Resident alien for tax purposes. To choose, you have write and sign a statement and attach to the Form 1040. The only way to include a signed statement like that is by mail. 
 

Also when you file jointly, both incomes earned in the year 2019 have to be reported...even money the immigrant earned in his home country. There is a tax form (Form 2555)  that can excluded the foreign earned income from being taxed...so reported to the IRS,  but not taxed.  However, to be allowed to exclude the foreign income, the foreign country has to have a tax treaty with the US. 

 

CROATIA does not have a tax treaty, so his foreign income would be fully taxed. He would not be eligible for the exclusion. There is a form 1116 where he might get credit for income tax he paid to Croatia since he’s not eligible to exclude his income from a joint return, but whew I don’t begin to understand that form.  In your case it may be better to file Married Filing Separately and he files nothing because he didn’t earn any US income in 2019. It’s only on a joint return that worldwide income from both spouses has to be reported.


 

 

Good info.  That is the situation my wife and I faced when she arrived.  Taiwan, also,  does not have a tax treaty with the US.  Since she has significant foreign income, she filed as a dual status alien that first year......that way, only the income generated after she arrived had to be reported.....so, by filing separately, our tax liability was lower......


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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8 hours ago, Angelalfred said:

Is their any problem With the uscis if my husband filled mfs interns of AOS?

No problem because that return says he is MARRIED, right? And it also has a place where he states your name. I don’t really think the AOS people are even looking at how he filed. They just want to see his income for the affidavit of support. They aren’t the IRS checking that his return was filed correctly. 

 

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Croatia
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@Jay Jones I saw in the August 2019 filers group you had questions about filing your taxes. This thread really helped me and has more details, if needed. Good luck!

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