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marks_scott
New Member

Can I still file jointly if my wife is no longer a Green Card holder? She is not a US citizen and is no longer required to report her income to the IRS. She has an SSN.

We live in Sweden and she has no US income.
2 Replies
SusanY1
Employee Tax Expert

Can I still file jointly if my wife is no longer a Green Card holder? She is not a US citizen and is no longer required to report her income to the IRS. She has an SSN.

You can only file jointly with your wife if you wish to elect to have her treated as a resident alien for tax purposes.  You would then include all of her worldwide income, and it would be subject to US tax.  

 

You are not required to file jointly with your wife, and it may be to your benefit to file separately using the Married Filing Separately status.  

 

If you would like to file jointly, report her income, and elect to have her treated as a resident for tax purposes, here are the steps:

 

  1. Prepare your return as you normally would in TurboTax.  
  2. Select "File by Mail" rather than e-File in the last step of your return.
  3. Print your return to mail into the IRS.
  4. Attach a statement to your return stating that you are a US citizen, and your wife is a nonresident alien and that you are electing to both be treated as residents for tax purposes.  You should each sign the statement, and you should each include your full name, address, and social security number.   (Note: this does not affect the nonresident alien's immigration status.) 

In future years, you do not need to mail your return with this statement.  Once you make the election to treat a nonresident alien as a resident for tax purposes, this election stays in effect until it is suspended or revoked.  Also, it is a once in a lifetime election. If revoked, the nonresident alien spouse cannot elect to be treated as a resident in the future, even if married to someone else

 

You can learn more about the taxation of nonresident alien spouses by clicking on this link: Tax treatment of nonresident alien spouses.

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jtax
Level 9

Can I still file jointly if my wife is no longer a Green Card holder? She is not a US citizen and is no longer required to report her income to the IRS. She has an SSN.

As @SusanY1 says you can elect to file jointly. You really have to do your taxes both ways (joint and separate) to see which is best. Joint has lower tax rates but you have to include your spouse's worldwide income. But the US has such low tax rates and there a foreign tax credit, so you may save a lot of money doing that.

Again you really need to try both ways to see which is best.

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