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PeterP

US Expat Tax - Married NRA File Jointly or Separately?

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Well, this is a whole new territory for me just as I was getting used to filing as a single.

Married now to a Chinese national, and was wondering for expats in a similar situation whether you file taxes separately or jointly? Any insight as to why you chose your method would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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If you are both living here , and if she does not have a US passport yet then don't file jointly .

If you are seeking her US passport then you are in shady territory, that being said , are you out of the US for 6 or more months at the time ?

if so then you will be exempt for Federal tax payment anyway so while is a bot more paperwork if you are seeking her US passport it will make it easier in the long run .

If you have property in the US then it depends on the state on which the property is registered for tax purpose but the same as above applies how important is the US passport . That will be the major consequence in the long run.

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We're here about 95% of the time, and no properties anywhere...I'll be hearing about that one for some time until we buy our first house.

Should I even bother trying to get her an ITIN or SSN at the moment? Not planning on moving back to the US anytime soon, but was wondering if we should start with this now.

Also, a family friend mentioned I have to register our marriage with the US Consulate otherwise its not valid and would be difficult to start the green card process. Any truth to it?

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If she does not have a green card or US passport, then you must mark on your tax return married filing separately. You have to show your married status correctly not to have problems later. Even though you mark filling separately, she does not need to file until she gets a green card or passport.

they recommend not getting a green card until you both plan on living in the states. It will only make her exposed to global taxation. And you don't need to worry about the green card abandonment issue.

She should be able to get a one year multiple entry visa every year without much trouble after the first one.

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If you plan at some point to go back with her yes start now and yes you have to register your marriage in the consulate here .

As she does not have a green card she can not get a SSN but she can get a Tax payer ID number ( you have to love the IRS )

For you tax liability it would not make a difference as you do not spend enough time in the US and have no property . But at the time you want to get her a US passport or a green card the first thing you have to provide is tax records so having her in the filing papers will save you a lot of aggravation later on .

As for the Roth IRA Really not sure sorry.

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