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Level 1

Should i change my filing status ?

I am on H1b in USA and i have been filing my taxes "Married - Filing Jointly" for the last 5 years since my wife was on H1b as well.  This tax year, she has zero income, she is out of status due to VISA issues, and she was out of the country.

 

So, my question is can I still file "Married - Filing Jointly" with 0 income for my wife? or should i switch to Single filing status? 

 

I appreciate if you can provide an answer. Thanks in advance.

2 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Employee Tax Expert

Should i change my filing status ?

You can still file Married Filing Jointly with your wife even when she has no income.  When you are married, you can only file using Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately, never Single.

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Employee Tax Expert

Should i change my filing status ?

As long as you were still married on December 31, 2020, you are considered as married.  You cannot file Single.  You can file either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.  .  You can still MFJ even your wife has no income.  Generally, married filing jointly gives you more benefit to maximize your total refund.  For comparisons, see Jointly vs Separately.

 

No, you cannot claim your spouse as your dependent.  Not anymore.  With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the removal of personal exemptions is one of the largest changes. Before the 2018 tax year, you likely received a personal exemption for each qualifying member of your household. This may have included yourself, your spouse and any qualifying dependents.  For more information, click here: Dependent

 

@baalubhali

 

 

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3 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Should i change my filing status ?

You can still file Married Filing Jointly with your wife even when she has no income.  When you are married, you can only file using Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately, never Single.

View solution in original post

Level 1

Should i change my filing status ?

Oh k, got it but what would that make her, a dependent?

 

Can I claim her as a dependent (she is not in the country for the whole tax year and she does not have any VISA status either)?

 

Employee Tax Expert

Should i change my filing status ?

As long as you were still married on December 31, 2020, you are considered as married.  You cannot file Single.  You can file either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.  .  You can still MFJ even your wife has no income.  Generally, married filing jointly gives you more benefit to maximize your total refund.  For comparisons, see Jointly vs Separately.

 

No, you cannot claim your spouse as your dependent.  Not anymore.  With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the removal of personal exemptions is one of the largest changes. Before the 2018 tax year, you likely received a personal exemption for each qualifying member of your household. This may have included yourself, your spouse and any qualifying dependents.  For more information, click here: Dependent

 

@baalubhali

 

 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

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