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Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

We were married in Cozumel November2023 we didn't receive our license till 2024 from Mexico and we didn't register it in the USA till 1/18/2024 so do we file as married then for 2023 or do we still file as single since our marriage is not registered in the states till 1/18/2024?  I didn't start any name changes till it was officially registered in the United States with the county.  

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5 Replies
Vanessa A
Employee Tax Expert

Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

The US does not require that you be married in the US to be considered married.  So since you were married before January 1, 2024, you would file as a married person.  So your choices to file a return are married filing jointly or married filing separately.  

 

Are you and your spouses both US Citizens?  If only one of you are a US Citizen, then still your only filing options are Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.  In both situations, your spouses SSN or ITIN must be included on the return in order to e-file. 

 

If they do not have an SSN or ITIN and you choose to file Married Filing Separate , you will need to still enter their information and then choose that your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year. You will then enter NRA in as your spouses last name.  Make sure you put a check mark in the box that says My spouse is a Non-Resident alien in the My info section. When you get to the end and try to transmit the return, ignore the e-file errors regarding your NRA spouse and select transmit your return.  If your return does is rejected for this, you will need to print and mail your return.

 

If you file as Married Filing Separate, then you would only include your income. 

 

 If your spouse chooses to be treated as an US Citizen for tax purposes, and you want to file as Married Filing Joint, you would need to include their income on your return as well (even if it is under the table) and they would be taxed on it. If you choose filing jointly, you will need to print and mail your return along with the W-7 and any other required documents to

IRS

ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

 

 

Married Abroad

Married Filing Joint versus Separate

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Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

We are both US Citizens, we were just married on a destination wedding but our license took 6 to 8 weeks so we couldn't register or file our marriage in the states till 2024.  And I couldn't legally change anything till 2024.  Which is why I am not sure is our marriage considered 2023 for taxes or not 

TomK2023
Employee Tax Expert

Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

The United States has no national registration of marriages, foreign or domestic. U.S. states recognize marriages performed in other states and in other countries. If your marriage was legally performed in the country or state where you got married, then the marriage is recognized in the United States.

 

You can file as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS).

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Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

According to IRS Publication 501 (2023), Page 6

Taxpayers are considered married for the entire year if: 

  • They were married as of the last day of the tax year
  • The spouse died during the year and the surviving spouse has not remarried
DavidD66
Employee Tax Expert

Married in 2023 out of the Country but didn't register in USA till 2024 do we file as married

You were married on December 31, 2023.  Therefore, you must either file Married Filing Joint o Married Filing Separate.  

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