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milo3
Level 1

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Hello,

 

I am a resident alien on H1-B status for filing taxes in the US.

I got married in Dec 2020 in India and my spouse came to the US in the middle of Jan 2021 an a student visa (F-1).  She wasn't in the US for the entire 2020.

 

So I have the below questions:

a) Should I file my taxes for 2020 as single or Married Filing Jointly?

b) If I need to file Married File Jointly; do I need to declare my spouse's India income in the US? [She is in the process of filing taxes in India since she worked in an organization till Dec 2020]

 

Please suggest.

2 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
LinaJ2020
Employee Tax Expert

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Generally, you cannot file Single.  You can only file either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. You can only file single if you both are nonresidents and meet certain exceptions.  See https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf ( page 17 under Single / Exception)

 

Since your spouse is a nonresident, to file jointly, you would need to make an election to claim her as a resident.  TurboTax does not provide any tools or forms to assist you to make the election, unfortunately.  You would need to follow IRS's instructions to attach the statement to your 2020 tax return.  You cannot e-file.  Instead, print out all your tax forms along with the statement and paper-file.  Click here to see Nonresident to resident

 

You have an option to file between Jointly or Separately.  Generally, married filing jointly does give you more benefit to maximize your total refund.  To see the pros and cons between the two filing statuses, click here:  Jointly vs Separately.

 

Yes, if you filed MFJ, you have to report both of your worldwide income including those earned in India. If your spouse paid taxes to India in 2020, she can claim a foreign tax credit by filing a Form 1116 on your joint tax return.  

 

Here are the steps: 

  • Open up your TurboTax account and select Pick up where you left off
  • At the right upper corner, in the search box, type in "foreign tax credit" and Enter
  • Select Jump to foreign tax credit
  • Follow prompts

If you have paid taxes to both foreign and the US tax authorities, the IRS allows you to claim a foreign tax credit on your US tax return.  To claim this foreign tax credit, you would need to file a Form 1116.  

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

npierson7
Level 1

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Yes, your spouse is eligible to file ITIN.

 

There is a good source of information for international students:

 

Guide for international students on F-1 visas

View solution in original post

3 Replies
LinaJ2020
Employee Tax Expert

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Generally, you cannot file Single.  You can only file either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. You can only file single if you both are nonresidents and meet certain exceptions.  See https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf ( page 17 under Single / Exception)

 

Since your spouse is a nonresident, to file jointly, you would need to make an election to claim her as a resident.  TurboTax does not provide any tools or forms to assist you to make the election, unfortunately.  You would need to follow IRS's instructions to attach the statement to your 2020 tax return.  You cannot e-file.  Instead, print out all your tax forms along with the statement and paper-file.  Click here to see Nonresident to resident

 

You have an option to file between Jointly or Separately.  Generally, married filing jointly does give you more benefit to maximize your total refund.  To see the pros and cons between the two filing statuses, click here:  Jointly vs Separately.

 

Yes, if you filed MFJ, you have to report both of your worldwide income including those earned in India. If your spouse paid taxes to India in 2020, she can claim a foreign tax credit by filing a Form 1116 on your joint tax return.  

 

Here are the steps: 

  • Open up your TurboTax account and select Pick up where you left off
  • At the right upper corner, in the search box, type in "foreign tax credit" and Enter
  • Select Jump to foreign tax credit
  • Follow prompts

If you have paid taxes to both foreign and the US tax authorities, the IRS allows you to claim a foreign tax credit on your US tax return.  To claim this foreign tax credit, you would need to file a Form 1116.  

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

milo3
Level 1

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Hey,

 

Thank you for your reply.

Are F1 international students eligible to file for ITIN?

I suppose in my case; since my spouse is non-resident and on F1 visa status; is she eligible to file ITIN?

 

Thanks.

npierson7
Level 1

Claiming Spouse on H1b (Resident alien)

Yes, your spouse is eligible to file ITIN.

 

There is a good source of information for international students:

 

Guide for international students on F-1 visas

View solution in original post

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