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baze92

Will be legally married late 2020. Can i file taxes jointly?

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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13 hours ago, baze92 said:

Actually she already has a ssn from when she worked at Disneyland for 3 months, 4 years ago. So I will have to do some research if we will need to do anything regarding that..

One fewer step for you.  That will remain her SSN.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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I'm actually doubtful that filing 2019 taxes now will result in the advance rebate. Many people who already filed are either still waiting for it or they used the 2018 return instead. Since your income was too high to qualify, they likely already "processed" your account for the advance rebate.

 

That said, when you file 2020 taxes, you can claim the tax credit still and get the money at that time. So it's not losing out on anything...just getting it later.

 

14 hours ago, baze92 said:

Trump just added more bad news to the mix. If I file jointly I won't get my $1200 stimulus check credit (Didn't get it this year because I have not filed 2019 taxes yet and 2018 income was too high).

Incorrect. Only people who file jointly and use an ITIN will disqualify them from the credit (and therefore advance rebate). If you file jointly with an SSN for both people, then it's no different than anybody else filing as a tax resident.

 

However, if she does not qualify as a tax resident due to the substantial presence test in 2020, she will need to attach a statement to elect to be considered one as the spouse of a USC (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/nonresident-alien-spouse).

This means you'll need to

1) File by paper (you can't attach a letter when filing electronically, at least not with consumer software), and

2) Claim her worldwide income for the entire tax year. Assuming she earns income abroad, the FEIE (2555/2555EZ) may be used to exclude the taxes caused by this foreign income, up to ~$100k in foreign income.


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

12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: 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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So chiming in here, my situation was this..

 

i married my USC wife in 2019, still in the process of AOS and there is (or at least was) a massive kicker here.... so my wife hadn't filed her 2018 taxes as she had no requirement to do so but she was due a refund so with the virus we had the time to go and complete all this, i went to H&R Block who advised me to file as Married filing Jointly rather than Married filing Separately for the wife as i had no SSN (at the time) as i believed USCIS had shutdown for a long while before i would receive my EAD + SSN, so H&R block then did a ITIN application for myself which at the time i thought would be beneficial for us with the stimulus but there was an unknown thing at the time in the CARES ACT then anybody in the family files with a member that has an ITIN then the whole family is ineligible which means a potential $3,600 for a family of 4 gone....

 

So quite literally a few days after filing our taxes, guess what? only my SSN + EAD were produced and sent out to me! i thought it was too late to add that to the 2019 tax return as we already mailed in but i was informed i can then file our 2020 tax returns with my newly established SSN and receive the stimulus money in our next tax refund, oh well.. have to wait a year or so 😕

 

Then something weird i thought happened, the 2018 tax return that was e-filed... the tax refund cheque came back in the mail but no news at all on the 2019 Tax returns or even my ITIN application, most likely due to mailing in would result in massive delays at this time anyway and i'm sure an ITIN application would be very low priority even at the best of times, i went back to H&R Block today to see if we could e-file with my new SSN on our 2019 Tax returns and yup, we were successful and now eligible for the money and anything else that will come every Americans way in the near future (talk of a $2k for every American a month)

 

Still a huge kicker when an Alien is trying to do the right thing.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Brazil
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, wilcouk said:

So chiming in here, my situation was this..

 

i married my USC wife in 2019, still in the process of AOS and there is (or at least was) a massive kicker here.... so my wife hadn't filed her 2018 taxes as she had no requirement to do so but she was due a refund so with the virus we had the time to go and complete all this, i went to H&R Block who advised me to file as Married filing Jointly rather than Married filing Separately for the wife as i had no SSN (at the time) as i believed USCIS had shutdown for a long while before i would receive my EAD + SSN, so H&R block then did a ITIN application for myself which at the time i thought would be beneficial for us with the stimulus but there was an unknown thing at the time in the CARES ACT then anybody in the family files with a member that has an ITIN then the whole family is ineligible which means a potential $3,600 for a family of 4 gone....

 

So quite literally a few days after filing our taxes, guess what? only my SSN + EAD were produced and sent out to me! i thought it was too late to add that to the 2019 tax return as we already mailed in but i was informed i can then file our 2020 tax returns with my newly established SSN and receive the stimulus money in our next tax refund, oh well.. have to wait a year or so 😕

 

Then something weird i thought happened, the 2018 tax return that was e-filed... the tax refund cheque came back in the mail but no news at all on the 2019 Tax returns or even my ITIN application, most likely due to mailing in would result in massive delays at this time anyway and i'm sure an ITIN application would be very low priority even at the best of times, i went back to H&R Block today to see if we could e-file with my new SSN on our 2019 Tax returns and yup, we were successful and now eligible for the money and anything else that will come every Americans way in the near future (talk of a $2k for every American a month)

 

Still a huge kicker when an Alien is trying to do the right thing.

IRS is not processing any paper filed tax return because of covid-19. That's why only her e-filed 2018 was first processed.

Edited by Ayrton

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5 hours ago, geowrian said:

That said, when you file 2020 taxes, you can claim the tax credit still and get the money at that time. So it's not losing out on anything...just getting it later.

I'm beginning to think that is the route I will have to take....but it's OK.....


"What I am to be, I am now becoming" - Ben Franklin         

 

      :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US 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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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand
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With Trump in office, nothing is certain so I don't like to count on something in the future. In regards to the " substantial presence test", it sounds like she will have to be in the US for at least 31 days to get the tax benefits (married tax benefits and $1200 stimulus check). Is this correct?

I was going to file my 2019 taxes and then use the IRS tool to enter my info. Perhaps this will update the system. 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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4 hours ago, Lucky Cat said:

I'm beginning to think that is the route I will have to take....but it's OK.....

I disagree. It's taking awhile, but they do have plans to address our circumstances, hence why they accepted the bank details.

No idea when it will happen, but the advance rebate is likely to come at some point before 2020 taxes.

 

2 hours ago, baze92 said:

With Trump in office, nothing is certain so I don't like to count on something in the future.

I have no idea on what he will or won't do in the future, but the rules of the stimulus payment are defined by the CARES Act and cannot be overruled with a PP or EO. It would take an act of Congress to change it at this point, not just the POTUS.

 

2 hours ago, baze92 said:

In regards to the " substantial presence test", it sounds like she will have to be in the US for at least 31 days to get the tax benefits (married tax benefits and $1200 stimulus check). Is this correct?

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/substantial-presence-test

It's 31 days within the current year and

Quote

183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:

  • All the days you were present in the current year, and
  • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
  • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

So assuming she never steps foot in the US prior to entering on the visa in 2020, that means at least 183 days in the US in 2020.

 

That said, if she does not meet that requirement, follow the instructions I posted before about electing to be treated at a resident alien as the spouse of a USC. That will qualify for jointly fling and the stimulus as well.

She just can't qualify without filing jointly (since she doesn't meet that test or have a green card), and non-resident aliens (this is in a tax context, not immigration context) are excluded from the tax credit. But if she is treated as a resident alien, she does qualify for it, regardless of immigration status.


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

12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: 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, geowrian said:

I disagree. It's taking awhile, but they do have plans to address our circumstances, hence why they accepted the bank details.

No idea when it will happen, but the advance rebate is likely to come at some point before 2020 taxes.

 

I hope you are correct......😃


"What I am to be, I am now becoming" - Ben Franklin         

 

      :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US 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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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, baze92 said:

@geowrian Thank you!

 

How about this - Since we are getting married this year, will she have to pay (USA) taxes on her 2020 income earned in Thailand?

 

If so, is there a way to avoid this? By just not filing jointly?

There's a few ways to answer this as there are multiple ways to approach it...

1) File MFS. She doesn't need to report anything earned abroad prior to coming to the US.

2) File MFJ. She needs an SSN (or ITIN) and to elect to be claimed as a resident alien (from my prior link above). She needs to report her worldwide income for the entire tax year. She may be able exclude the taxes from this income via the FEIE (2555/2555EZ). That's why I used the word "report" and not "pay". In most cases, the FEIE applies and excludes most to all (~$100k/year max) of that foreign income (more precisely, the taxes generated by that income are excluded). The advantage is getting double the standard deduction as MFS. In my wife's case, this was close to $5,000 extra in a refund that year...more work to do with taxes, but well worth it.

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

12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: 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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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand
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Definitely option 2 is a huge advantage if she is not taxed on her worldwide income. How exactly would I make sure that she wouldn't be taxed?

 

My understanding is that all foreign income is taxed in the US, but it sounds like this might be an exception for first year resident alien?

 

Are there any downsides of registering as a resident alien? And can she still register as a resident alien if she has her green card?

 

Thanks fir the help!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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6 minutes ago, baze92 said:

Definitely option 2 is a huge advantage if she is not taxed on her worldwide income. How exactly would I make sure that she wouldn't be taxed?

 

My understanding is that all foreign income is taxed in the US, but it sounds like this might be an exception for first year resident alien?

 

Are there any downsides of registering as a resident alien? And can she still register as a resident alien if she has her green card?

I would suggest verifying this, but a quick Google search appears to show that Thailand has a tax treaty with the US. If so, then she very likely will qualify for the FEIE.

The IRS has a guide and an assistant to walk through it: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-earned-income-exclusion

 

My wife fell under the bona fide resident test in 2017 since she was a bona fide resident of the foreign country for over 1 entire tax year prior to coming to the US. I would assume your wife will as well. Check out the 2555. The main things in Part II are the dates for her residence abroad.

She ended up with like $xx,xxx earned abroad prior to coming to the US and $102,100 (FEIE max in 2017) * 0.5 (she arrived 184 days int the year) = $51,050 max exclusion. Her income was under this amount, so all of her income was excluded.We did not need to complete Part III, most lines in Part IV an Part V, (only 19/24/26/27...all with the same number), or parts VI, VIII, and IX.

 

It's not an exception for a first year resident alien per-se...USCs living and working abroad can (and should) use the FEIE if they qualify.

Foreign income earned after coming to the US is different..that isn't excluded. It may or may not fall under a different provision (Foreign Tax Credit) to avoid double taxation (paying both countries for the same dollar earned).

 

There is no "registering" as a resident alien to the IRS. It's electing to be treated as one despite not having a green card or meeting the substantial presence test for that year (in either of those cases, the only way to file is as a resident alien).

 

As for hypothetical...

If she gets a green card mid-year, she can either be treated as a dual-status alien or as a resident alien (for the same reason as above - spouse of a USC/LPR).

The dual-status alien option means they are a non-resident alien for the part of the year until they got the green card (and foreign income does not need to be reported) and a resident alien for the rest of the year (where worldwide income must be reported).


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

12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: 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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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, baze92 said:

My understanding is that all foreign income is taxed in the US, but it sounds like this might be an exception for first year resident alien?

Foreign income is reported is the correct terminology. To file a joint return, worldwide income must be reported as income...that’s yours and hers no matter where earn. Reported doesn’t necessarily mean it’s taxed.  
 

So get your head around filing jointly gives you that extra standard deduction of $12,200 for the wife, while her taxation will be excluded using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. That extra deduction will in effect reduce your taxable income an extra chunk. How much lower will you taxes be by reducing your income by $24,400 over $12,200? 
 

Married man filing separately earning $50k

$50,000

-12,200 deduction

$37,800 to be taxed

Tax $4345

 

Married man filing jointly  earning $50k

Wife earned $3000 abroad

$53,000 their worldwide income

-24,400 deduction

$28,600 to be taxed

Tax $3047

 -$303  deduction of the tax the wife’s income generated using Foreign income exclusion

 Final tax $2744

 

He saved $1601 filing with the wife and reporting her foreign income.

Taxes aren’t that simple but it illustrates a joint return should be considered because it is usually a good deal.

 

 

 

Edited by Wuozopo

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I came back to the States, for a new job, mid-2019 and my wife stayed in Thailand...we were waiting to get the visa process started. With the intention of showing a "comingling of funds" for the I-130 filing and evidence of bona fide marriage, we filed Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) for the 2019 tax year. Like the OP, my wife has a SSN because of a Work and Travel program that brought her to the U.S. for a few months to work. We were married a decade ago, but she never changed her surname until recently. Her SSN that I had to put on the tax return (and all NVC required documents) is a legit SSN but for a different name now that she officially took my surname (not sure if this will be problematic with the IRS or the NVC to be honest, filed 2019 paper return and they aren't being processed because of Covid).

 

So, the benefit of filing MFJ was more than just an extra standardized deduction (which is nice), but also for documentation purposes for getting our I-130 approved. Previous returns I filed Single as I was living in Thailand and just filing taxes for filing sake. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)  is huge so I ended up owing no taxes. She obviously doesn't live here in the States yet, but like others mentioned, we sent a letter with our tax return that stated that we wanted to have her treated as a resident alien rather than a nonresident alien (as long as her SSN is okay as it has her maiden name on it). We can still file as MFJ and claim the FEIE for her next year if Immigration gets off of Covid lockdown soon. We just submitted our package to the NVC today, so we're crossing our fingers.

 

Good luck, OP!! Oh, and while you are waiting for the end of the year and your marriage, make sure you and your wife take plenty of photos (before you get married as well as wedding), screenshot your Skype or Facetime calls, start a blog, make a photo book, stuff like that to make sure that you have a lot of evidence when the time comes ! Apologies as my comment took more of an Immigration slant, but you have to always be preparing for that as a next step. Don't let it all sneak up on you. Also, if you get married in Thailand, make sure to get both the Thai version and English version of the Marriage Certificate. The English version is not a translation, it's an actual document that they provide for the foreigner :) Same if she goes and changes her surname to yours...Ask for the Thai certificate and the English one as well. It will come in handy if you two ever plan to come to the U.S.

 

Oh, here are the forms we filed with our Joint 2019 form (remembering that I worked in Thailand half of the year, U.S. half year and wife remained working in Thailand all of 2019) **remember, all situations and filings will be different, but this is just based on our situation:

Form 1040 Individual Tax Return 2019

Form 2555 FEIE x2 (one for my income and one for her income)

Schedule 1 (you need to put info from the Form 2555 on there)

Foreign Exchange calculation from THB salary to USD (x2 one for her F2555 and one for mine)

Statement electing to treat wife as a nonresident alien

 

No feedback on our tax filing...I hope it is all correctly done!!

I hope this helps a little bit. Good luck again.

 

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