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Old Sep 24th 2017, 5:50 pm   #1
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Default Joint taxes

Was wondering if anyone has experience of joint taxes .

I came to the USA on k1 in march and we got married in April . I have been lucky with work and managed to do work till next month . We have our interview next Monday and just got my employment card yesterday.

As I understand that my wife has to do her taxes early next year , do we include my income that I made from January? I have already paid taxes etc on my wages in the uk .

Sorry if this has been posted already .
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 6:07 pm   #2
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Default Re: Joint taxes

It may be advantageous to file taxes jointly, and if you do so you would claim a credit for tax already paid in the UK on your income in the UK.

That said, the best/ideal way is to calculate taxes both separately and jointly, and with you filing a split (partial) year, or taking a deduction, and see which leads to the smallest tax bill.
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Old Sep 24th 2017, 6:12 pm   #3
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It may be advantageous to file taxes jointly, and if you do so you would claim a credit for tax already paid in the UK on your income in the UK.

That said, the best/ideal way is to calculate taxes both separately and jointly, and with you filing a split (partial) year, or taking a deduction, and see which leads to the smallest tax bill.
This. TurboTax supports foreign earned income and calculates everything for you.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 9:19 pm   #4
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Default Re: Joint taxes

It would be better to file married filing separately (MFS) if you start working between now and the end of the year. If you have worked since you arrived in march then Married Filing Jointly is probably better for you but without knowing the amounts it will be tricky.

The others above have mentioned that you could elect to file as married filing jointly, however this does take into account all foreign earned income earned in that calendar year.

The situation that you have described is that of a dual status alien. Essentially if you file MFS you will only be taxed on the income that is from the time that you are working in the states for that tax year. So if you work and make about $10k that will be practically tax free at both a state and federal level so its an option worth considering
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 10:07 pm   #5
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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It would be better to file married filing separately (MFS) if you start working between now and the end of the year. .....
You don't know that to be a fact - you would need to know all the OP's income before and after entering the US, as well as information about his allowable deductions and expenses, not mention his spouse's income and chargeable gains, deductions and expenses, to be able to determine which is the best tax strategy. Even a tax professional wouldn't say "we're going to do it this way" without working the numbers both ways and comparing the outcome.
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Old Sep 25th 2017, 10:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You don't know that to be a fact - you would need to know all the OP's income before and after entering the US, as well as information about his allowable deductions and expenses, not mention his spouse's income and chargeable gains, deductions and expenses, to be able to determine which is the best tax strategy. Even a tax professional wouldn't say "we're going to do it this way" without working the numbers both ways and comparing the outcome.
Correct. I moved in November of 2016 and it was still very advantageous to be MFJ.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 4:15 pm   #7
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Originally Posted by Dominic0012 View Post
The situation that you have described is that of a dual status alien. Essentially if you file MFS you will only be taxed on the income that is from the time that you are working in the states for that tax year. So if you work and make about $10k that will be practically tax free at both a state and federal level so its an option worth considering
Does that mean, if we were to file jointly, I would have to declare my UK income, and pay tax on it again?

I don't see how income earned prior to becoming a LPR needs to be declared.

I know my wife and I will be trying out a few scenarios in TurboTax to lawfully minimize our tax burden. Something to look forward to early next year.

Also, I'm amused by the fact that America broke away from the UK due to 'no taxation without representation', yet, those of us who are not citizens but still pay taxes don't get to vote! Talk about double standards
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 4:27 pm   #8
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Does that mean, if we were to file jointly, I would have to declare my UK income, and pay tax on it again? .....
Yes, and no. You would get a credit for tax already paid.
Quote:
.... I don't see how income earned prior to becoming a LPR needs to be declared. ....
Because it might reduce your tax bill. Filing jointly with your spouse is financially advantageous under most circumstances.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 4:33 pm   #9
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Originally Posted by ivanidea View Post
Also, I'm amused by the fact that America broke away from the UK due to 'no taxation without representation', yet, those of us who are not citizens but still pay taxes don't get to vote! Talk about double standards
Just like the majority of countries in the world.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 4:45 pm   #10
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Default Re: Joint taxes

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Just like the majority of countries in the world. ....
I might be persuaded to give up my vote if I didn't have to pay taxes.
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Old Sep 26th 2017, 5:06 pm   #11
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I might be persuaded to give up my vote if I didn't have to pay taxes.
Yeah, right....
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 8:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Joint taxes

The other posters are correct that it depends on what you earn and what your spouse earns and the net effective tax rate that you would come out at.

That being said, you are only allowed to use the foreign tax credit(FTC) on taxes that you do not expect to be refunded. In the year of arrival it provides you with an opportunity to claim your U.K. income tax back in the current tax year using P85 which you cannot use towards the FTC.

The reason why I argue that MFS may be favorable is that you can file as a dual status alien on the money that you earn between now and the end of the year. This means you would be in the effective rate of 0%-15% federal bracket unless you are a high earner. It's either that or your total income throughout the year is

If you file MFS your income in the U.K. that you earn prior to the day that you enter in the U.S. is excluded from the calculation.

As the others have mentioned be sure to compare both when sitting down to doing your first set of taxes.

Enjoy your first U.S. tax filing experience
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