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My wife is in india. do i still file married filing joint?

 
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My wife is in india. do i still file married filing joint?

You have the option of filing Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. There are tax advantages to filing jointly versus separately. However for tax purposes, a nonresident alien spouse can be treated as a US resident, which allows you to file as married filing jointly, based on the conditions below. 

Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident

If at the end of your tax year, you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien (even if you were NOT for the whole year) and married to a nonresident alien, you can choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a U.S. resident for U.S. Federal Individual Income Tax purposes.

  • You must file a joint income tax return for the year you make the choice (but you and your spouse can file joint or separate returns in later years).
  • For the year to make the choice, you and your spouse are both taxed on worldwide income.
  • Generally, neither you nor your spouse can claim tax treaty benefits as a resident of your foreign spouse’s country for the tax year for which the choice is in effect. However, there may be exceptions on certain tax treaties that allow a resident alien to claim a tax treaty benefit on certain specified income.

For more information, please view the IRS Publication on Nonresident Spouse Treated As A Resident.  http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Nonresident-Spouse-Treated-as-a-Resident

How To File Your Return:

If your spouse does not have a social security number or ITIN, you can complete your return using TurboTax; however, you are unable to efile. When working through the system, leave the social security blank. When you are finished, you will print your return and submit a Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number  with your return. 

Please see the TurboTax FAQ below for assistance with completing a W-7 and the link to retrieve the forms. 

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