For first time immigrants where spouse is unemploy...
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ranpiasam
New Member

For first time immigrants where spouse is unemployed with 1 child, should you file single or married filing jointly?

 
3 Replies
DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

For first time immigrants where spouse is unemployed with 1 child, should you file single or married filing jointly?

Since you are married you do not have the option to file single.  You can file married jointly (usually the best option) or married separately.  Married filing jointly produces the best tax rates and allows credits and deductions that are not available to married separate filers.

 

Here is a link with more information.    

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ranpiasam
New Member

For first time immigrants where spouse is unemployed with 1 child, should you file single or married filing jointly?

Thank you.

DawnC
Employee Tax Expert

For first time immigrants where spouse is unemployed with 1 child, should you file single or married filing jointly?

If you're required to file a federal return for 2020, you can use Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) if any of these are true:

  • You're a U.S. citizen;
  • You're a resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico;
  • You have a Permanent Resident Card ("green card");
  • You're a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen/resident alien with whom you will file a joint return; or
  • You meet the substantial presence test, which means you were physically present in the U.S. for at least 31 days in 2020 and at least 183 days in 2018 through 2020 according to this formula:

2020 days + (2019 days)/3 + (2018 days)/6 >= 183

 

Generally, you cannot file as married filing jointly if either spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. However, nonresident aliens married to U.S. citizens or residents can choose to be treated as U.S. residents and file joint returns. For more information, refer to Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident.

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