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NRQuesti
Returning Member

Complicated Tax: Non-Resident + US Citizen Married, Want to File Jointly, but NR departed USA in 2023

Thankful in advance for any guidance.

 

Context

My spouse lived in IL the entire year. I (a non-resident alien for immigration purposes on F-1 STEM OPT) however did not. From 1/1/23 until early October 2023, I lived in IL state with my US citizen spouse. 

 

Then in early October 2023, I departed the US and returned to my home country because my F1 status was about to expire. Therefore, since October 2023, I have had to live in my home country while I've been awaiting my immigration case to proceed so I can eventually return to the US as an immigrant. 

 

In 2022, we filed federal & state taxes as "married filing separately" where I elected to file as resident alien for tax purposes.

 

I had no income outside the US in 2023. For both of us, all our income for tax year 2023 is IL-based. 

 

Issues

Q1: I want us to file our federal taxes as "married filing jointly" for tax year 2023, despite the fact that I did not spend the full 2023 year in the US - but my US citizen spouse did. Is this ok?

Q2: Is there any risk to me electing to be treated as IL full-year tax resident? My spouse was already a full-year IL tax resident, and it simplifies our tax filing process significantly. Reason: Namely, TurboTax Online does not support having one spouse as full-year resident and the other as part-year resident for state taxes. It requires the usage of desktop TT version and a very cumbersome process to prepare separate MFS state... something I am not interested in pursuing unless absolutely necessary. So, my question is: is there any risk to me electing to file as full-year IL tax resident for 2023?

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1 Reply
AmyC
Expert Alumni

Complicated Tax: Non-Resident + US Citizen Married, Want to File Jointly, but NR departed USA in 2023

1. MFJ is an option. See the rules here:  Nonresident Alien Spouse | Internal Revenue Service 

2. If you want to maintain your IL residency, you can. You intend to return and are temporarily absent so you can still be a resident. You can file your spouse as MFS since you are a part year resident. To do this, you can create a fake federal of MFS for your spouse and then file the IL created. See IL Filing Status

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