AOS Question

Old Jul 15th 2005, 3:10 pm
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Default AOS Question

My wife and I have been married about two years now and are finally ready to go ahead with the AOS process. It took a long, long time to get some of her medical records from Germany (her birth country) but now we're ready to go. Since she doesn't have a valid SSN so I had to file taxes as single last two years. We do have joined accounts, a lease together, pictures, common bills and some in her name and some in mine sharing the same home address and lots more of so called "evidence" to prove our marriage. Most importantly, my 7 year-old son loves her like a mom.

My concern is my 1040 because I filed as single. The form doesn't include a checkbox for "married and spouse undergoing processing" or something like that. Is this going to be a big problem or maybe a ground for denying our application? Please help!

Thank you in advance.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Originally Posted by Popsters
My wife and I have been married about two years now and are finally ready to go ahead with the AOS process. It took a long, long time to get some of her medical records from Germany (her birth country) but now we're ready to go. Since she doesn't have a valid SSN so I had to file taxes as single last two years. We do have joined accounts, a lease together, pictures, common bills and some in her name and some in mine sharing the same home address and lots more of so called "evidence" to prove our marriage. Most importantly, my 7 year-old son loves her like a mom.

My concern is my 1040 because I filed as single. The form doesn't include a checkbox for "married and spouse undergoing processing" or something like that. Is this going to be a big problem or maybe a ground for denying our application? Please help!

Thank you in advance.
Hi Popsters,

There are two correct choices you could have chosen when filing your taxes as a married person:

1. Married filing joint
2. Married filing separately

Which one did you choose? If you simply chose "single", that was wrong, and you need to do amended tax returns for those years.

Call the IRS 800 number and ask what you need to do to correct that ASAP, because yes, it will look bad that you filed single when you should have filed married...plus, married category usually gets a better tax break. Your wife could have (and should have) gotten an ITN number when you filed your first return together. Ask IRS about that, also. If your interview comes up before you've gotten the amended returns done, bring in all the paperwork to prove you are going about doing it.

Best Wishes,
Rene
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Hello,
The first time I filed I asked my tax guy and he said he would find out about all this. He told me that my 1040 was going to be used more for establishing financial security and the ability to provide for my wife while her AOS is processed.
I did file as single, the two other categories ask for name and SSN for your spouse. This was the only viable (but not logical) choice at the time.
What I want to know is the severity of this, how bad will it look if, for instance, I do file my next 1040 (2006) the right way and then go ahead with the AOS after that. Is it mandatory to file taxes together even when she didn't have a TPN?

Like I said, we do have other stuff to show. For instance, our bank account with both our names, tons of different bills, the lease, and other simmilar pieces of so-called "evidence".

Please advice.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Popsters,

As your tax guy told you, the USCIS' interest in your tax returns is your financial position, they are not likely to be concerned that you did not understand how to file correctly for your situation.

I am surprised that your tax guy did not explain how to apply for an ITIN for your wife and chose to have her file with you as a resident alien for tax purposes. Many people can save on their taxes by doing this - I know I did. I started filing joint returns while my wife was still back in her country waiting for my petition to be processed.

Regards, JEff

Originally Posted by Popsters
Hello,
The first time I filed I asked my tax guy and he said he would find out about all this. He told me that my 1040 was going to be used more for establishing financial security and the ability to provide for my wife while her AOS is processed.
I did file as single, the two other categories ask for name and SSN for your spouse. This was the only viable (but not logical) choice at the time.
What I want to know is the severity of this, how bad will it look if, for instance, I do file my next 1040 (2006) the right way and then go ahead with the AOS after that. Is it mandatory to file taxes together even when she didn't have a TPN?

Like I said, we do have other stuff to show. For instance, our bank account with both our names, tons of different bills, the lease, and other simmilar pieces of so-called "evidence".

Please advice.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

The thing of it is that, I waited till the last second (as always) to file, just a week or two before the 15th as always. I had an appointment with my tax guy and he made a couple calls and told me that the 1040 was important for the INS to determine that I did have a job and my wife was not likely to become a public charge. In fact, she did go to the hospital for a breathing treatment a year ago and the bill was paid in full by me.

I thought that I could file as married without her needing anything but that wasn't the case. I never took a close look at the 1040 since I always filed single. (I do have a kid with full custody but wasn't married to his mother).

My main concern is that the INS will deny our application because of my past 1040's. We have a full marriage complete with everyday stress and rutine. It's very sad that all of this could come to an end because of the tax returns.

At this point and time, I don't care much about getting a bigger return, just being able to get through this AOS nightmare in one piece.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Popsters,

Interesting - you read the part of my post that mentioned tax savings, but you ignored what I, and your tax guy, told you about your primary concern.

Regards, JEff

Originally Posted by Popsters
...

My main concern is that the INS will deny our application because of my past 1040's. We have a full marriage complete with everyday stress and rutine. It's very sad that all of this could come to an end because of the tax returns.

At this point and time, I don't care much about getting a bigger return, just being able to get through this AOS nightmare in one piece.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

So, in other words, I shouldn't be worried about the AOS process because of the 1040's? I know you guys told me that the tax returns are used to prove financial responsibility but people talk a lot about proving a "viable marriage". My concern is that maybe they'll look at my taxes and have doubts that I actually live with my wife, that's all.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Popsters,

You seem to have plenty of good evidence of a life together, and a good (immigration-wise) explanation as to why you filed your tax returns as you did.

Regards, JEff

Originally Posted by Popsters
So, in other words, I shouldn't be worried about the AOS process because of the 1040's? I know you guys told me that the tax returns are used to prove financial responsibility but people talk a lot about proving a "viable marriage". My concern is that maybe they'll look at my taxes and have doubts that I actually live with my wife, that's all.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

I posted the question here because I read somewhere that it was MANDATORY that to present evidence of tax returns that were filed together, that scared the c$%p out of me to be honest.

In any case, maybe we'll wait till after Apr. 15th to file for AOS, that way we can file next one together to "please" USCIS. Is this wise or even recommended?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Actually, what I would like to know is if, even given the fact that I filed taxes as single because I honestly didn't know any better, do we still have a good chance of getting my wife's AOS approved based on the other evidence of our life together. Like I said before, I read somewhere that filing taxes together was kind of like a mandatory thing to do.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Originally Posted by Popsters
Actually, what I would like to know is if, even given the fact that I filed taxes as single because I honestly didn't know any better, do we still have a good chance of getting my wife's AOS approved based on the other evidence of our life together. Like I said before, I read somewhere that filing taxes together was kind of like a mandatory thing to do.

Thanks.
Since you have plenty of other evidence, I wouldn't stress over the tax issue for AOS purposes, but as I said before, you should look into it ASAP and re-file correctly. It should give you a tax break, and also will look good at the AOS interview that you are aware you did it wrong and are now correcting it.

Best Wishes,
Rene
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

I also think filing correctly now would be the way to go. I don't know all the details but from what I know you will probably be better off filing married so you have probably lost out on refund money that basically the goverment owes you. Even if there is a penalty fee you might actually make money in the end depending on your finacial situation. I would recommend talking to a tax expert about all this and see how it will work out.

Originally Posted by Noorah101
Since you have plenty of other evidence, I wouldn't stress over the tax issue for AOS purposes, but as I said before, you should look into it ASAP and re-file correctly. It should give you a tax break, and also will look good at the AOS interview that you are aware you did it wrong and are now correcting it.

Best Wishes,
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Thanks a lot for the info. I thought it was a mandatory thing to do. We even have magazine suscriptions to prove our point and if they get picky, we can show them how she paid out of her own account for some debts and things I had right after we got married and before we even had our account together.

This is why I don't understand the law sometimes, I KNOW we do have a full marriage but it's very hard to do things when she can't even get a regular driver's license, state ID or SS card.

If they use the tax return only for the income part of it, there's no problem since I make almost twice the amount of money they require.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: AOS Question

Originally Posted by kwisking
I also think filing correctly now would be the way to go. I don't know all the details but from what I know you will probably be better off filing married so you have probably lost out on refund money that basically the goverment owes you. Even if there is a penalty fee you might actually make money in the end depending on your finacial situation. I would recommend talking to a tax expert about all this and see how it will work out.
We'll try to file together for next year and at least have that for our records. I can't change the past and like I said, although I could use the refund I'm not concerned about that now, my wife and our future together comes first.
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Old Jul 15th 2005, 11:32 pm
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Smile Re: AOS Question

So what I'm getting is that filing joint taxes is yet another piece of evidence that you have a life together with your spouce, but it's not the only one.

This sure is good news for us here since we're missing only a single element of the puzzle. We'll try to fix that too so everything is good but I can tell you I do feel better already.

Thanks to all for posting!
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