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dashentax
New Member

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

I am Resident Alien F1. My husband has F2 but only stayed in US for half a month in 2018 (thus he had no US health insurance).

He had F1 from 2015 to 2017, then changed to F2 in late 2017. He has SSN, and his only US income in 2018 was state refund from 2017 tax return (itemized deduction). He is now working in my home country, and had income there for 2018. 

Does he need to file US tax return?

If we file jointly, will his income outside US be taxed for US tax?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

He's not required to file a U.S. Resident return.  However, you can choose to include him in your return by filing as Married Filing Jointly.  If you do, you would include a statement saying that you wish for him to be treated as a resident for US tax purposes.  However, if you make that election, his income earned in your home country will be taxable in the US, although you may claim a US credit for any tax he pays on the income to your home country.

You also have another option.  You may also choose the option of Married Filing Separately.  His name and SSN do appear on your tax return, but his income does not appear.  If he had no US-source income, you may claim him as a dependent.  If you have a child (or children) that lived with you all year, and your husband did not spend any time with you after July 1, you would be eligible to file as Head of Household instead of Married Filing Separately.  (TurboTax can assist you to determine the correct filing status between Married Filing Separately and Head of Household).  With either of these two statuses, your husband's income is not reportable nor taxable to the United States.

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7 Replies
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

How long was he in the US on F1 visa?
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dashentax
New Member

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

He was in US on F1 for 2 years.
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

He's not required to file a U.S. Resident return.  However, you can choose to include him in your return by filing as Married Filing Jointly.  If you do, you would include a statement saying that you wish for him to be treated as a resident for US tax purposes.  However, if you make that election, his income earned in your home country will be taxable in the US, although you may claim a US credit for any tax he pays on the income to your home country.

You also have another option.  You may also choose the option of Married Filing Separately.  His name and SSN do appear on your tax return, but his income does not appear.  If he had no US-source income, you may claim him as a dependent.  If you have a child (or children) that lived with you all year, and your husband did not spend any time with you after July 1, you would be eligible to file as Head of Household instead of Married Filing Separately.  (TurboTax can assist you to determine the correct filing status between Married Filing Separately and Head of Household).  With either of these two statuses, your husband's income is not reportable nor taxable to the United States.

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**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
JDI21
New Member

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

I have a follow-up question about this topic. If I decide to not file jointly with my non-resident spouse (I am a resident for tax purposes), and she does not earn any U.S. income, can I claim the standard deduction? I'm a bit scared that if I choose this option I'd be doing something wrong or illegal.

DoninGA
Level 15

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse


@JDI21 wrote:

I have a follow-up question about this topic. If I decide to not file jointly with my non-resident spouse (I am a resident for tax purposes), and she does not earn any U.S. income, can I claim the standard deduction? I'm a bit scared that if I choose this option I'd be doing something wrong or illegal.


If you are a US resident then when you file a tax return, married or single, you automatically receive the Standard Deduction on a US federal tax return.  The Standard Deduction is always used unless Itemized Deduction are greater than the Standard Deduction for your filing status.

 

If you are a US citizen or US resident and your spouse does not have a Social Security number or an ITIN and you are not applying for an ITIN with the tax return then you can only file your tax return as Married Filing Separately.  Where asked to enter the spouse's Social Security number enter 999-88-9999.  You can only print and mail your tax return, it cannot be e-filed.  When you print the tax return erase the Social Security number for your spouse and manually enter NRA for non-resident alien.

See this TurboTax support FAQ for the procedure to print and mail a tax return using the online editions - https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1944348-how-do-i-print-and-mail-my-return-in-turbotax-online

JDI21
New Member

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse

Another follow-up, but first, thanks for your help.

My wife does have an ITIN, although she does not earn US income. She does file the 8843 via snail mail. Can I still e-file (married filing separately) if she has an ITIN, or do I need to print the forms and file my taxes via mail?

Thanks again!

DoninGA
Level 15

Resident Alien F1 and non-resident Alien F2 spouse


@JDI21 wrote:

Another follow-up, but first, thanks for your help.

My wife does have an ITIN, although she does not earn US income. She does file the 8843 via snail mail. Can I still e-file (married filing separately) if she has an ITIN, or do I need to print the forms and file my taxes via mail?

Thanks again!


If she has an un-expired ITIN then you can e-file your tax return.  You enter the ITIN in the space for the Social Security number when entering her personal information.

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