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New Member

I moved to Germany when I was 4.5 months pregnant and had my daughter in Germany. I am a US citizen, but my husband is not. Can I include my daughter as a dependent on 2016 tax return (born Oct. 2016)?

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New Member

I moved to Germany when I was 4.5 months pregnant and had my daughter in Germany. I am a US citizen, but my husband is not. Can I include my daughter as a dependent on 2016 tax return (born Oct. 2016)?

Yes.  It is possible to claim a child born overseas to a United States citizen parent as a dependent on a US income tax return.  There is more information on this from the IRS itself here:

It is also important to note that, for US tax purposes, a child born during the year is considered to have been alive for the entirety of that tax year.  So, for example, a child born on December 30th, 2016 entitles the parent to one full dependency exemption for 2016 (in other words, the exemption isn't prorated simply because the child was born later in the year).

With that said, there is actually much more to your US tax situation than just a child born overseas.  Some of this you may know already, and some of it you may not.  Please bear with us while we explain.

If you are a United States citizen (or a Permanent Resident) and are married to a non-citizen, then you have some options on how to file your USA tax return, although current United States tax laws do not make this process particularly easy.

Option # 1:  You can file your US tax return as Married Filing Separately (which is usually a somewhat unfavorable tax filing status), and just report your own income there.  TurboTax can walk you through this process, and help you create the necessary Form 1040.  If your spouse does not already have an ITIN number, or a Social Security number, then this return would have to further be printed and paper filed.  If your spouse has a valid ITIN or SSN, then the tax return would be eligible for e-filing.  If there is no ITIN or SSN, then in any place where the nonresident spouse's taxpayer ID number is required on a tax form, you would take a black or blue pen and manually write "nonresident alien" or abbreviate as "NRA."

You can also claim a personal exemption for your spouse, if your spouse had no gross taxable income for U.S. tax purposes, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer.  This mirrors the similar rule for US citizens and resident aliens filing as Married Filing Separately to claim the personal (dependency) exemption for their spouse, where that spouse has no taxable income, is not filing a separate tax return, and is not claimed as a dependent on any other taxpayer’s return.  But, in order to do this and claim the personal exemption, your spouse must also have a valid Social Security Number or an ITIN.

Option # 2:  You can elect to include your nonresident spouse on your US income tax return (which may be more or less tax favorable than Married Filing Separately); and file as Married Filing Jointly; but you would need to file a paper Form 1040 tax return in order to do so.  The somewhat complicated process for completing this type of tax return is explained in detail at the website here:

Such a tax return (Option # 2) is probably best done by a professional tax preparer.

If you choose Option # 1 and have any difficultly with that, then having the tax return prepared by a professional is also an option here too.

TurboTax has a helpful Frequently Asked Questions webpage about this subject, and you may wish to look at that as well.  Here is the link:

Also, you can read the complete answer to a similar question that was asked here about a year ago.  There is some good information and advice in there as well:

This TurboTax FAQ article is also helpful:

Now then, assuming that you own a bank account or maintain other financial assets in Germany or any other foreign country (that includes in the EU as well as elsewhere), there are certain foreign financial account reporting requirements that you must meet annually as a US citizen, in addition to filing a primary tax return (Form 1040, etc.)

In fact, there are two separate disclosure forms that may be required; each also has different reporting rules.  One is known as IRS Form 8938, and can be attached to the relevant yearly Form 1040 tax return.  The other is FinCen Form 114, which can only be filed via the internet.  The following Internal Revenue Service webpage describes them in some detail, and provides their dollar value reporting levels:


Form 8938 is included in TurboTax; FinCen Form 114 is not, and you may need to access that reporting webpage separately, if your foreign financial assets total over the limit(s).  Note that you can get to the FinCen reporting internet site through the above IRS link.

We understand that this can be a lot of information to absorb; but it is all (potentially) relevant to you and your situation.  Now you have it for a future reference source.

Thank you for asking this important question, and congratulations on your new daughter.

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