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2014student
New Member

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

My parents are not US citizens and don't reside in the US, and thus they don't file taxes in the US.

I am filling out 8615 because I am a US resident for tax purposes and received a stipend income last year.

I am unable to complete Form 8615 without selecting my parent's US tax filing status on TurboTax and am only given a multiple choice with the following options: married filing separately, single, head of household.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

The IRS apparently never considered the possibility of a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is required to file Form 8615 and whose parents are foreign. They do not provide any instructions or guidance for this situation. Several SuperUsers and a forum moderator discussed this recently and could not come up with a solution that we're really satisfied with. The best I can do is to suggest the following, with thanks to another SuperUser, macuser_22, who suggested this approach.

 

First, a couple of screens before the filing status question that you are asking about, TurboTax asked whether your parents are filing a joint tax return for 2016. Answer Yes to that question, even though they aren't. That will eliminate the question with the three options for filing status. When it asks for your parents' taxable income, enter zero. That is true, since they have no U.S. taxable income. Leave all the other income questions blank. Also leave your parent's Social Security Number blank. When the error check tells you that the SSN must be entered, just click Continue. You will not be able to e-file. Print the tax return. In the space for the parent's Social Security number on Form 8615, write NRA (for NonResident Alien). File the return by mail.

 

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5 Replies
PatriciaV
Employee Tax Expert

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

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rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

The IRS apparently never considered the possibility of a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is required to file Form 8615 and whose parents are foreign. They do not provide any instructions or guidance for this situation. Several SuperUsers and a forum moderator discussed this recently and could not come up with a solution that we're really satisfied with. The best I can do is to suggest the following, with thanks to another SuperUser, macuser_22, who suggested this approach.

 

First, a couple of screens before the filing status question that you are asking about, TurboTax asked whether your parents are filing a joint tax return for 2016. Answer Yes to that question, even though they aren't. That will eliminate the question with the three options for filing status. When it asks for your parents' taxable income, enter zero. That is true, since they have no U.S. taxable income. Leave all the other income questions blank. Also leave your parent's Social Security Number blank. When the error check tells you that the SSN must be entered, just click Continue. You will not be able to e-file. Print the tax return. In the space for the parent's Social Security number on Form 8615, write NRA (for NonResident Alien). File the return by mail.

 

View solution in original post

PatriciaV
Employee Tax Expert

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

Interesting information, @rjs. Thanks!
vip2020
Level 1

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

Hi,

What is the parent is a non-resident and non-citizen but has an SSN obtained when she was in the US several years ago on a work visa? Should the SSN be entered or would you recommend going with NRA? 

 

 

rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Form 8615: what should I select for my parent's US tax filing status, if my parents don't file US taxes? (Options:married filing separately, single, head of household)

@vip2020  I don't know if that old SSN is still valid, or it might actually be an ITIN, not an SSN. It's worth trying to use the old SSN to see if it will allow you to e-file. If the e-file is rejected because of the old SSN, then I would use NRA instead, since you are going to have to file by mail anyway.

 

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