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mendygn
Returning Member

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint

Hi I went through a "forced/coerced" divorce in a foreign country that I contested twice in the local court and in the high court of that country.

 

At this time it is unclear to me if I am "properly-fully" divorced from her or not.

 

Either way on American papers I am still married since I or her never filed for civil divorce here in the states.

 

I live here and she lives there.

 

I have traditionally been the one to file the tax return etc... 

 

I have 4 kids who are the subject of a lengthy custody battle etc I hope to have them back with me where they were born and belong soon.

 

In the meantime, last year I filed "married filing joint" since on American papers I have a civil marriage certificate that I made here after returning from marrying her at the time locally in that foreign country.

 

So we lived here for 12+ years and then she abandoned me and stole my 4 children with her as mentioned, and that will hopefully come to a happy ending soon.

 

Bottom line :for comingthe last 2 years I was contesting to rescind the divorce based on many legal grounds, which by now I have spent to much in lawyer fees there and pretty much have up. So for 2020 should I file as "Head of household"? Or so long as I have not yet registered any divorce on American soil therefore I must file like before as "married filing joint"

 

Bottom line: I prefer not to have to face an audit from the IRS and so if for my situation I will be less in trouble for filing "Head of household" I would prefer that albeit it comes with a lower standard deduction.

 

Of course my children, although not currently physically with me (yet) I do plan to claim them as dependents since I was forced into paying child support and therefore I have supported them for the entire year.

 

(Same as last year since the child support enforcement was enacted here in the USA based on a court decision in that foreign country that she filed and presented for international enforcement)

5 Replies
DoninGA
Level 15

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint

If you are legally married as of 12/31/2019 then you can only file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.

Since you do not have a dependent child living with you as a member of your household for over one-half of the year then you cannot file as Head of Household.

 

See this TurboTax support FAQ for HOH when married - https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/can-a-married-person-claim-head-of-household-filing-s...

mendygn
Returning Member

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint

So I gather that I have no choice but to file married filing joint until the day comes that on American papers I/her change that in a formal way for separating or divorce.

 

Please let me know if this is correct?

I don't really care that much about filing as head of household, in fact there is a bigger deduction when filing married joint versus HOH, all I really cared about is not to be audited and if I do get audited what should I say in defense.

 

Afaik i'll keep filling married filing joint for the next 50 years... As long as I know positive from a CPA that thats the best way to file in my peculiar situation.

 

Thanks!

 

mendygn
Returning Member

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint

It's seems clear to me that the IRS goes only based on your married status in America on American papers.

 

Accordingly, someone who got divorced abroad but has not yet registered or filed his divorce on American papers is still considered married for the purposes of filing taxes and if he files anything else like HOH then he will be subject to a visit by the IRS.

 

Cheers!

DoninGA
Level 15

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint


@mendygn wrote:

It's seems clear to me that the IRS goes only based on your married status in America on American papers.

 

Accordingly, someone who got divorced abroad but has not yet registered or filed his divorce on American papers is still considered married for the purposes of filing taxes and if he files anything else like HOH then he will be subject to a visit by the IRS.

 

Cheers!


 

If you have divorce paperwork from a foreign country that is your proof that you are no longer married.  The IRS recognizes both marriages and divorces from foreign countries.

mendygn
Returning Member

Head of Household Versus Married filing joint

I have divorce paperwork from a foreign country.

 

As I said before upto last year I contested/appealed it twice on the grounds of coersion and obtaining it out of  me involuntary and via illegal means but by now I gave gave up fighting that and let it be.

 

Therefore I understand that I should file HOH this coming year 2020 for year ending 2019 (& subsequent years)  and if the IRS flags me down for an audit I will have the paperwork for it at the ready.

 

Thanks for your concise answers.

 

 

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