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Old 02-20-2012, 04:08 PM
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Reporting pre-marriage income

I got married in Oct. 2011. My husband is a Korean national. He was in the US on an E-2 visa from Feb - May 2011, working for a US company, but getting paid by the Korean branch of the company in Korea and paying Korean taxes. We are hoping to file jointly for immigration proof of marriage reasons, but I am not sure how much of his income I need to report. Also, do I need to report his foreign bank account holdings?
Thanks for your help.



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Old 02-21-2012, 02:12 AM
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“ We are hoping to file jointly for immigration proof of marriage reasons, but I am not sure how much of his income I need to report. “---->I assume that your Korean spouse has a GC, then, you, as a married taxpayer, need to either file under MFJ or MFS. If filing jointly, it is important to also determine the amount of your own and your spouse's foreign income (your spouse’s Korean income/ or Your Korean income if you have any), as well as your own and your spouse's U.S. income (if your spouse has US income).I mean both you and your Korean spouse are subject to US taxes on your US source and your world wide income to the IRS/your state. However, as long as you or your Korean spouse paid taxes on income that your spouse (or you) earned in Korea to Korean taxing authority(ies), then you can claim foreign tax crddit on your US return by filing Form 1116 and reporting the credit on From 1040 line 47. If your Korean spouse doesn't have any U.S. income,but has only his Korean income, then, he is not required to pay taxes to the IRS. In such case, choose the marriage filing separately for your own tax return to report your US income to the IRS/ your state. Either you or Your Korean spouse can NEVER file your return as single.I guess your Korean spouse can NOT claim his foreign earned income exclusion credit as he got married in Oct 2011( I mean he didn’t liv ein Korea for lee than 330 days after he became a US resident).
“Also, do I need to report his foreign bank account holdings?”----->As long as you or your spouse has(ve) a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account in Korea, then the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the IRS by filing Form TD F 90-22.1;you, as a US person, are required to file Form TD F90-22.1 as long as the aggregate value of all your Korean bank account exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, 2011. The form TD F 90-22.1 is due by June 30 of the year following the year that you, as an account holder, meet the $10,000 threshold. So, if you(or your Korean spouse) have a Korean bank account holding more than $10,000 in the aggregate any time during 2010, you can face big penalties or even jail if you fail to file by June 30, 2012.



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Old 02-21-2012, 11:56 AM
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"I assume that your Korean spouse has a GC" ----> He does not have a green card yet. We have filed the paperwork, had our interview and have been asked for more information. One of the things they asked for was a jointly filed tax return.
"If your Korean spouse doesn't have any U.S. income,but has only his Korean income, then, he is not required to pay taxes to the IRS. In such case, choose the marriage filing separately for your own tax return to report your US income to the IRS/ your state. Either you or Your Korean spouse can NEVER file your return as single.I guess your Korean spouse can NOT claim his foreign earned income exclusion credit as he got married in Oct 2011( I mean he didn’t live in Korea for lee than 330 days after he became a US resident)" ----> He doesn't have any US income. If he cannot claim exclusion, can I just not include his Korean earned income, as he was not a resident at that time? Or is it best to just do MFS to avoid problems in the future?
Thanks! Very informative.



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Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 PM
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“He doesn't have any US income. If he cannot claim exclusion, can I just not include his Korean earned income, as he was not a resident at that time?”---->Even though he has no US source income, I fyou (your spouse) want, then both of you still can file MFJ return; then he needs to report his Korean income as his world wide icnome(You need to report your US income) on US return.
“Or is it best to just do MFS to avoid problems in the future?”----> You ALSO may choose the MFS option as long as your Korean spouse does not choose to be taxed on his Korean source income. However, filing separately has higher tax rates after single status and fewer benefits. UNLESS your Koran spouse has no US source income, he doesn’t need to file his US return.So, it is not necessary for your Korean s spouse without any U.S. income to file at the IRS.



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Old 02-21-2012, 01:50 PM
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"then he needs to report his Korean income as his world wide icnome(You need to report your US income) on US return."----> So, just to confirm, if we do report his Korean income, he will be taxed again (he paid taxes in Korea) because he was not physically present in Korea enough of the year. He was only there approximately 2 months last year.



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Old 02-21-2012, 10:27 PM
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"So, just to confirm, if we do report his Korean income, he will be taxed again (he paid taxes in Korea) because he was not physically present in Korea enough of the year. He was only there approximately 2 months last year."--->No;under the tax treaty between US and Korea, he is NOT subject to double taxation. As said previously, as long as your Korean spouse paid taxes on income that he earned in Korea to Korean taxing authority(ies), then he can claim foreign tax credit on his US returns, fed and state return, by filing Form 1116 and reporting the credit on Form 1040 line 47 or on Sch A line 8.



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Old 02-21-2012, 10:58 PM
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OK I misunderstood. Thanks so much for your help!



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