US citizen living abroad -- filing US tax return.


A

alisonlevi

Hello everybody.

I am a US citizen and my husband is a nonresident. We both currently
live abroad. I didn't work during the entire tax year (no personal
income of any kind). My husband did work for a local company. He's
total gross earnings were about $20,000.00. How should we file our tax
return with the IRS? When we lived in the US, we always used a CPA to
do our taxes, but I can't find anyone here who could help us, so some
of the questions might sound silly, sorry if they do.

If we file a joint income tax return (my husband has a US social
security number and he lived in the US before, but he is not a US
resident or a citizen), then my questions are:

1. Should we use form 1040 or 1040A? Our taxes should be really
simple. We didn't make a lot of money and we didn't have any
complicated income or whatever. Just the $20K and that's pretty much
it, but we do have a child.
2. On the 1040(A) form, who should be the primary taxpayer? Or should
there be a separate 1040 for my husband and myself? Again, we are
filing jointly.
3. What should I put on the 2555 form? No employer, no income? Or
should I put there my husband's employer and income?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 
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P

parrisbraeside

Hello everybody.

I am a US citizen and my husband is a nonresident. We both currently
live abroad. I didn't work during the entire tax year (no personal
income of any kind). My husband did work for a local company. He's
total gross earnings were about $20,000.00. How should we file our tax
return with the IRS? When we lived in the US, we always used a CPA to
do our taxes, but I can't find anyone here who could help us, so some
of the questions might sound silly, sorry if they do.

If we file a joint income tax return (my husband has a US social
security number and he lived in the US before, but he is not a US
resident or a citizen), then my questions are:

1. Should we use form 1040 or 1040A? Our taxes should be really
simple. We didn't make a lot of money and we didn't have any
complicated income or whatever. Just the $20K and that's pretty much
it, but we do have a child.
2. On the 1040(A) form, who should be the primary taxpayer? Or should
there be a separate 1040 for my husband and myself? Again, we are
filing jointly.
3. What should I put on the 2555 form? No employer, no income? Or
should I put there my husband's employer and income?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
1. You use either the 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ as appropriate to your
situation and income. See Pub 17 for a chart of the three returns and
when they are appropriately used. (I think you are going to be forced
into the full 1040 though.)

2. Primary taxpayer is the same as what you previously filed. If it
was your husband last year, he is primary. If it was you, you are
primary. If you got married, chose. (Again, if you got married, I
think that you as primary would be easier.)

3. Check out form 1116 over the 2555. If you use the 1116, you can
claim CTC and EIC. If you use 2555, you can't. And you can't exactly
change your mind either. I am suggesting this ONLY because you have a
child BUT I don't know where in the world you live. You may be barred
from CTC and EIC based on where you live. I know a US citizen in
Canada is allowed CTC and EIC but I don't know about living in, say,
England. (I prepare US returns in Canada... not England. That is why.)

There generally are people who prepare US returns around the world.
You can check on the irs.gov for EA (Enrolled Agents) for example. Or
speak to fellow US Citizens to find out who/how they do their returns.

Tim
 

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