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cavalier
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US tax question

Postby cavalier » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 12:09 pm

I hope someone who is in the same situation can please help me with a tax question. The IRS webpage doesn't seem to address this explicitly.

I am an American citizen married to a Singaporean citizen. We are both working here. How do I file? Married filing separately? (and my wife doesn't file because she isn't a US citizen?) Do I need to report her income?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 2:29 pm

If you wife is an non-resident alien and you have never filed jointly on the US return they you don't need to report her income, but neither can you claim her as an exemption. If you have dependents (e.g., qualifying children) then you can file as Head of Household and claim those children as exemptions otherwise, yes, Married filing separately. You still will qualify for Income Earned abroad exclusion if you otherwise qualify.

I've been filing for 25 years and listing my Singaporean wife as NRA where her SS# should be. She's always worked here in Singapore. We got her a Green Card 20 years ago but gave it up after 3 years when we decided to stay here for the longer term as it seems a waste of time and money having to fly her to the US once a year to satisfy the requirements.

For your reference:

See page 6 & 7 of Publication 54 "Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad" (PDF File)

sms

cavalier
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Postby cavalier » Mon, 13 Apr 2009 2:53 pm

Thanks for the info, SMS.

Stoven
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Postby Stoven » Tue, 14 Apr 2009 1:06 pm

Thanks for the info SMS,

I had no clue about the US PR requirement. Now I know my wife will have to return to the US every year. I guess she can get a re-entry permit that allows her to stay outside the US for up to 2 years.

That does seem like a waste of money to fly back to the US just because of that requirement. If only Singapore allowed dual citizenship.


Steve


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