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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 7, 2016.


I am a US citizen and I am getting married to a Bahamian citizen this year. For the first year or so, he will continue to work in the Bahamas and I will continue to work in the US. I would like to know how this is going to impact my tax returns.


If you are a US Citizen married to a non-resident alien, you have 2 choices when it comes to filing your taxes, according to the IRS: 

  1. You can elect Married, filing Joint.  Your spouse will be considered a resident for tax purposes, and will be required to report all worldwide income on the joint return. 
  2. Married, filing Separate.  Only your income is reported and it will be taxed at the higher Single filer rate.  If you choose to file separately, you will lose the ability to claim certain credits including education credits, child and dependent care credits, and the earned income credit among others.

Consult with a CPA who specializes in non-resident alien taxation to determine the best filing status for your situation.  Visit to find a specialist in your area.


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