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F1 student with 2 dependents on F2. File federal tax jointly or separately?

"I am student on F1 and have 2 dependents on F2. I have been in US for more than 5 years now but my dependents have only just arrived a couple of months back. Of the two dependents one is my kid (minor) and the other is my wife. I want to know if I can/should file federal tax jointly or seprately and who can I claim as dependent in either case. TIA"

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3 Replies
CP3
New Member

F1 student with 2 dependents on F2. File federal tax jointly or separately?

1.  you cannot use Turbotax for your tax filings as a non-resident alien.

2.  if you are required to file a state return and you are planning on filing a joint state return, you most liekly will need an ITIN for your spouse

3.You are not eligible to file separate since your spouse in on F2, definition of F2 itself states that your spouse in on dependent

F1 student with 2 dependents on F2. File federal tax jointly or separately?

sorry, but there are several mistakes in this answer. For example, a visa dependent is not necesariiy a tax dependent. A spouse is never a dependent on a tax return.

F1 student with 2 dependents on F2. File federal tax jointly or separately?

Since you are in the US for more than 5 years, you would be a resident alien if you meet the substantial presence test.

As a resident alien with a nonresident alien spouse you have two options:

1. File married filing separately. Your spouse would need to only file form 8843 if she had no income if she had income, form 1040NR plus 8843.

2. Add a statement that you both choose to treat the nonresident alien spouse as a resident alien for the entire year. You can then file jointly, but your spouse would have to declare worldwide income for the entire year.

If your spouse has no ITIN/SSN, you would need to apply for one if you file jointly. If she is not eligible for an SSN, you would need to apply for an ITIN with the return.

I am not sure about the child, as you cannot claim nonresident aliens as dependents and the choice for the spouse cannot be made for the child. I will try to get a clear answer to this.

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