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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Oct 10, 2012.

Question

i m asking this question for my sister. she is a greencard holder in USA. her husband recently came to usa from uk. they have been married for 4 years. her husband got greencard and social security number after coming here. my sister never showed him as a dependent when she filed taxes for last four years. can she get any benefits this year by showing him as dependsnt for last four years?

Answer

First, I would presume she has been filing federal form 1040NR as a single person. I would recommend she file as a married person in 2012 (choose box 5 under filing status) and choose box 7b under exemptions (spouse has no income). He qualifies as a dependent.

However, she cannot claim four years of exemptions in the current year. Amended returns would have to be filed for the prior 3 years.


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