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YouTube video text script - International Taxpayers-Filing Status If Married to a Nonresident Alien

WELCOME TO THE IRS’S INTERNATIONAL INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS ASSISTANCE, OR IITA, VIDEO SERIES.

ARE YOU MARRIED TO A NONRESIDENT ALIEN AND NEED HELP TO DETERMINE YOUR TAX FILING STATUS?  

IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW YOUR FILING STATUS BECAUSE IT MAY AFFECT YOUR U.S. TAXES.

THIS VIDEO EXPLORES ALL THE POSSIBLE FILING STATUS OPTIONS IF YOUR SPOUSE IS A NONRESIDENT ALIEN, SOMETIMES KNOWN AS A FOREIGN PERSON.

IN GENERAL, WHEN A U.S. CITIZEN OR RESIDENT ALIEN IS MARRIED TO A NONRESIDENT ALIEN, THEIR FEDERAL TAX FILING STATUS IS MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY.

HOWEVER, YOU MAY CHOOSE ANOTHER FILING STATUS IF YOU QUALIFY.

ONE OPTION IS THAT BOTH YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE CAN CHOOSE TO TREAT THE NONRESIDENT ALIEN SPOUSE AS A U.S. RESIDENT FOR TAX PURPOSES.

IF YOU MAKE THIS CHOICE, YOUR FILING STATUS IS MARRIED FILING JOINTLY.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT MAKING THIS CHOICE DOESN’T CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE’S U.S. IMMIGRATION STATUS.

IF YOU MADE THIS CHOICE IN A CURRENT OR PRIOR YEAR AND DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGE, IT WILL CONTINUE.

IF YOU CHOOSE THE MARRIED FILING JOINTLY STATUS, BOTH SPOUSES MUST REPORT THEIR COMBINED WORLDWIDE INCOME.

THIS MAY ENTITLE YOU TO ADDITIONAL EXEMPTIONS AND HIGHER DEDUCTIONS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE PUBLICATION 519, U.S. TAX GUIDE FOR ALIENS.  

THE CHAPTER TITLED “NONRESIDENT ALIEN OR RESIDENT ALIEN?” EXPLAINS THIS IN MORE DETAIL.

TO FIND IT, GO TO IRS.GOV AND TYPE “PUB 519” IN THE SEARCH BOX.

FOR MORE DETAILS, YOU CAN ALSO SEARCH OUR WEBSITE FOR PUBLICATION 54, TAX GUIDE FOR U.S. CITIZENS AND RESIDENT ALIENS ABROAD.

IF YOU DO NOT TREAT YOUR NONRESIDENT ALIEN SPOUSE AS A TAX RESIDENT, YOU CANNOT USE THE MARRIED FILING JOINTLY STATUS.  

HOWEVER, YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR ANOTHER FILING STATUS.

OPTION NUMBER TWO IS TO FILE AS HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD.

IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THIS STATUS, YOU MUST HAVE PAID MORE THAN HALF THE COST OF KEEPING UP YOUR HOME FOR THE YEAR.

IN ADDITION, A QUALIFYING PERSON MUST HAVE LIVED WITH YOU IN YOUR HOME FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE YEAR.

TO FIND OUT IF YOU QUALIFY, USE WORKSHEET 1, “COST OF KEEPING UP A HOME,” IN PUBLICATION 501 TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU PAID MORE THAN HALF OF THE COST OF KEEPING UP YOUR HOME.

YOU CAN USE TABLE FOUR IN PUBLICATION 501 TO SEE IF YOU ARE A QUALIFYING PERSON.

ANY PERSON NOT DESCRIBED IN TABLE FOUR  IS NOT A QUALIFYING PERSON.

BUT IF BOTH CONDITIONS WE JUST DISCUSSED DO EXIST.

THAT IS, YOU MUST HAVE PAID MORE THAN HALF THE COST OF KEEPING UP YOUR HOME FOR THE YEAR AND A QUALIFYING PERSON MUST HAVE LIVED WITH YOU IN YOUR HOME FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE YEAR.

THEN, YOU MAY CHOOSE THE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD FILING STATUS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE DIFFERENT FILING STATUSES, PLEASE SEE PUBLICATION 501.

BUT, IN GENERAL, REMEMBER…IF YOU DO NOT CHOOSE TO TREAT THE NONRESIDENT ALIEN SPOUSE AS A U.S. RESIDENT FOR TAX PURPOSES, AND YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD FILING STATUS, THEN YOUR FILING STATUS WILL BE MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY.

THIS SUMMARIZES SOME OF THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR TAXPAYERS WHO ARE MARRIED TO A NONRESIDENT ALIEN.

FOR INFORMATION ON ALL TYPES OF INTERNATIONAL TAXPAYERS, PLEASE VISIT IRS.GOV AND TYPE “INTERNATIONAL TAXPAYERS” IN THE SEARCH FIELD.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 10-May-2016