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Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Old May 30th 2020, 5:11 am
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Default Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

My wife(USA) and I(UK) are getting mixed messages on whether she should file "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately". If the former, do I need an ITIN? I've never lived in the US, we both live in Japan, looking into immigration for me in the future, but I can't find anything concrete on whether a non-resident alien has to pay taxes if married to an American. If the latter, will filing separately hurt my immigration chances in the future?
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Old May 30th 2020, 6:44 am
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

As long as she's filing in one of the married categories, you are fine.

In a situation like yours, it is probably easier to file "married filing separately", simply because you don't have to worry about how to deal with your income on her tax return, which can be complicated when you aren't resident in the USA.

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Old May 30th 2020, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

If you choose the "married filing separately" option, you don't need an SSN or ITIN and your wife will not need to count your worldwide (i.e. Japenese) earnings ias income for U.S. tax purposes. The only downside is that you won't get some of the tax benefits you would if you were to file jointly.

If you choose the "married filing jointly" route you would need an SSN (or ITIN) and would elect to be treated as a US resident alien for tax purposes (see: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...t-alien-spouse). In this case, in addition to your wife, you would also need to report your worldwide income for the entire tax year. However, you would most probably be able to exclude this income from US taxation via the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (~$100,000 per person).

As Rene said, in your case, since you don't have an ITIN/SSN it would be easier to file as "married filing separately". This won't have an impact on immigration in the future.
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Old May 31st 2020, 4:01 am
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Thank you!!
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Old May 31st 2020, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Just echoing everyone here. I filed "married filing separately" for years and years, and put "NRA" (non-resident alien) on the spouse SSN bit. We applied for my husband's green card visa last year and it all went fine.
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Old Oct 8th 2020, 11:48 am
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Question Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Looking at the IRS page for ITIN it says:

Do I need an ITIN?

Does the following apply to you?
  1. You do not have an SSN and are not eligible(link is external) to obtain one, and
  2. You have a requirement to furnish a federal tax identification number or file a federal tax return, and
  3. You are in one of the following categories.
  • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
  • U.S. resident alien who is (based on days present in the United States) filing a U.S. tax return
  • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
  • Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
  • Nonresident alien student, professor or researcher filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception
If so, then you must apply for an ITIN.
I am the spouse of a USC but have no visa and no taxable interests in the US or indeed dual tax treaty "issues"... yet. I like permanently in the UK (for now).

Would getting an ITIN then put me on the "big brother" radar re CIS, CBP, etc? Any advice?
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Old Oct 8th 2020, 11:55 am
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

If your spouse wants to file "married filing joint" and include your income on the tax return, then yes, an ITIN is needed.

The easier way to go is for your spouse to file in the "married filing separately" category and not include your income, thus no ITIN needed.

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Old Dec 9th 2020, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Hi - just picking this back up following some investigations and I see that the deduction for "married filing jointly" is double that of "married filing separately" - is this simply because there are 2 people on the submission? Are there any other headline benefits for filing jointly?


I see a "massive" downside in that dual-tax treaty exemptions are excluded, so in my case I could be taxed in both the UK and US? "Generally, neither you nor your spouse can claim tax treaty benefits as a resident of a foreign country for a tax year for which the choice is in effect. However, the exception to the saving clause of a tax treaty might allow a tax treaty benefit on certain specified income." Source: irs.gov - non-resident alien spouse

I think my spouse will be filing "head of household" as her child resides with her.

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Old Dec 9th 2020, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Where do you see that dual tax treaty exemptions are excluded? When doing our US taxes the monies earned by my husband in Canada were taxed by the Canadian government and thus when he files in the US, there is a section on the 1040 where those monies are deducted from our income. He doesn't pay dual taxes and I believe this is the same for the UK earnings under a certain amount.

You're married and as such I don't believe your wife can claim head of household. It has been over 30 years since I've used that category and believe it is for those of single parent households.
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Old Dec 9th 2020, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Where do you see that dual tax treaty exemptions are excluded?
IRS:
https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...t-alien-spouse
See the last bullet under "Election to file joint return" - I am assuming this is referring to dual tax treaties?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You're married and as such I don't believe your wife can claim head of household.
The IRS specifically says that "If you are a U.S. citizen married to a nonresident alien, you may qualify to use the head of household tax rates."
https://www.irs.gov/individuals/inte...d-of-household
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Old Dec 9th 2020, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

"To qualify for the Head of Household filing status while married, you must: File your taxes separately from your spouse. Pay more than half of the household expenses. Not have lived with your spouse for the last 6 months of the year. Provide the principle home of a qualifying dependent."

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Old Dec 9th 2020, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Yep, so all good there.
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Old Jan 14th 2021, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Spouse filing her taxes, does it affect my immigration chances?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
there is a section on the 1040 where those monies are deducted from our income. He doesn't pay dual taxes and I believe this is the same for the UK earnings under a certain amount.
Just following-up on this after some investigations. If we file "married jointly" and I put on my UK P60 income (Apr-Mar, not Jan-Dec - is this an issue?) I can also enter the tax deducted at source. However I cannot declare it as foreign earned income (form 2555) as that form is only for USC or resident aliens... Following the 1040 form through (including instructions) it seems that it will be taken as taxable income and taxed, so double taxed?? Am I missing any forms or something?
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