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Tax Questions

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Old Dec 14th 2009, 6:51 pm
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Default Tax Questions

Hi guys,

I have two tax related questions and was hoping someone here might be able to help me out....

Q1...I opened a bank account here and since then the bank keep sending me a form that I do not think I need to complete. They have sent me a letter explaining that as I am an non-resident alien I must complete a W-8BEN in order to avoid possible witholding penalties on my account. I called them about it initially and they told me to ignore it, I didn't like the sound of that so I sent it back with a covering letter explaining my circumstances and asking if there is some other form I am required to complete to send me that. Some time passed and they have now sent me the same form again. The form is titled Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Ownder for United States Tax Withholding and it specifically says that if you are a resident alien individual then you shouldn't use this form.

Can anyone shed any light on this or what form I should fill in? I do not want to look as though I am not doing something I should be, but the bank seem even more ignorant than me on the subject. I don't have my permanent residency yet (but all my AOS forms and my employment auth request are filed), but I am no longer a resident/tax resident of any other country and I am not earning any money here either so I'm really unsure of my position.

Question 2....
When my husband does his tax return in January, should he include anything to do with me in it? Ultimately I am a dependent and we are married so I would have thought he should, but he isn't sure how that works or if we should be filing jointly since we are married even though I don't have my permanent residency yet, but I do have a Social Security number. Help?

Thanks
J
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Originally Posted by jetbedlam View Post
Q1...I opened a bank account here and since then the bank keep sending me a form that I do not think I need to complete.
My husband entered the USA on a K-1 visa. We filed AOS and it took 14 months for him to get his green card in hand. He became a USC this year. He has a US personal checking account, bank credit card, debit card, and a business checking account, credit card, and line of credit. He's never had to fill in anything such as you describe. I think it would be safe to ignore it.

Question 2....
When my husband does his tax return in January, should he include anything to do with me in it? Ultimately I am a dependent and we are married so I would have thought he should, but he isn't sure how that works or if we should be filing jointly since we are married even though I don't have my permanent residency yet, but I do have a Social Security number. Help?
The biggest thing to note is that he MUST file in the "married" category. Now whether it's more beneficial to file "married jointly" or "married separately" is just a matter of working the numbers both ways to see what nets him the bigger refund. Usually, filing "married jointly" gets you a better tax refund.

Rene
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Thanks Rene. I think he just wasn't sure if I could file....so, as long as I have a SS number then I can do it jointly with him then?

Re the bank...I wonder if they've somehow got me down on their systems as something that I'm not ie a non-resident. Could just be a mistake I suppose, I might go back in and see if they can change it. I'm not sure what they mean by tax withholding, but definitely wouldn't want them to withhold funds or anything like that! It's not like I've got much anyway.
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Originally Posted by jetbedlam View Post
Thanks Rene. I think he just wasn't sure if I could file....so, as long as I have a SS number then I can do it jointly with him then?
That's correct.

Rene
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

jb,

Q1 Note that if your bank account is an interest paying account, as most savingins accounts and some checking accounts are, then you are earning money here. The bank needs either a SSN or an ITIN to report the interest income to the IRS, and apparently they do not have your SSN on record.

Q2 You and your husband should probably file a married-joint return if you have little or no income for 2009. It will allow him to apply your personal exemption along with his own against his income, and the tax rate will be lower than if he files married-separate.

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by jetbedlam View Post
I have two tax related questions and was hoping someone here might be able to help me out....

Q1...I opened a bank account here and since then the bank keep sending me a form that I do not think I need to complete. They have sent me a letter explaining that as I am an non-resident alien I must complete a W-8BEN in order to avoid possible witholding penalties on my account. I called them about it initially and they told me to ignore it, I didn't like the sound of that so I sent it back with a covering letter explaining my circumstances and asking if there is some other form I am required to complete to send me that. Some time passed and they have now sent me the same form again. The form is titled Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Ownder for United States Tax Withholding and it specifically says that if you are a resident alien individual then you shouldn't use this form.

Can anyone shed any light on this or what form I should fill in? I do not want to look as though I am not doing something I should be, but the bank seem even more ignorant than me on the subject. I don't have my permanent residency yet (but all my AOS forms and my employment auth request are filed), but I am no longer a resident/tax resident of any other country and I am not earning any money here either so I'm really unsure of my position.

Question 2....
When my husband does his tax return in January, should he include anything to do with me in it? Ultimately I am a dependent and we are married so I would have thought he should, but he isn't sure how that works or if we should be filing jointly since we are married even though I don't have my permanent residency yet, but I do have a Social Security number. Help?

Thanks
J
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
jb,

Q1 Note that if your bank account is an interest paying account, as most savingins accounts and some checking accounts are, then you are earning money here. The bank needs either a SSN or an ITIN to report the interest income to the IRS, and apparently they do not have your SSN on record.
They should have my SSN, I didn't open an account until I had one and they took all that when I opened it up. I will go and check this with them though.

Q2 You and your husband should probably file a married-joint return if you have little or no income for 2009. It will allow him to apply your personal exemption along with his own against his income, and the tax rate will be lower than if he files married-separate.

Regards, JEff
Thanks, we will do this.
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Originally Posted by jetbedlam View Post
Thanks Rene. I think he just wasn't sure if I could file....so, as long as I have a SS number then I can do it jointly with him then?

Re the bank...I wonder if they've somehow got me down on their systems as something that I'm not ie a non-resident. Could just be a mistake I suppose, I might go back in and see if they can change it. I'm not sure what they mean by tax withholding, but definitely wouldn't want them to withhold funds or anything like that! It's not like I've got much anyway.
If you have a Social Security number, go into the bank and have them update your record with that. The W-8 is for people without a SSN.

You are not your husband's dependent, you are his spouse. You both must file as married if you were married even one day in 2009.


edit: don't confuse the bank folk with 'resident' and 'non-resident' as relates to your PR status.. I have a feeling that's what happened. You are a resident.
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Old Dec 14th 2009, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Tax Questions

Thanks
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