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Old 04-09-2013, 11:55 PM
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Question I'm in USA, my wife and daughter in China, how to file tax return?

I'm a USA citizen, got married with a Chinese citizen in China in 2010, and had a daughter in China in 2011.
My daughter is with my wife in China all time while I'm in the states most of time. I went to China and live with them for one to two months every year.
I got a ITIN number for my wife in 2011.
My daughter is a USA citizen born abroad, I got her USA passport and SSN this year.

Should I file tax return as Married filing jointly? That's what I did last and this year.
How many months should I answer to the question that whether my daughter is living with you? I answered '1 month' last year while interpreting that YOU as me only; then realized that YOU could mean me and my wife cuz I filed married filing jointly, I answered '12 months' this year.

Did I answer any of these wrong?

JFR, I did try to have it done by professionals, I went to Philadlephia and Manhattan Chinatown, but the accountants told me that I should decide for myself. I was totally pissed off, so I decided to do it online with TurboTax myself.
But I'm still confused, could anybody help?



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Old 04-10-2013, 02:50 AM
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“Should I file tax return as Married filing jointly? That's what I did last and this year.”=====Of course however, it depends; UNLESS your spouse in China has taxable earned and unearned income , you can file your US return as MFS; as long as you file your US returns(fed and sate returns) jointly, you need to report all of your taxable US source and world wide income(including earned income that you/your spouse earned in US and China);however, if you file your US returns under MFS status(since your Chinese spouse doesn't have any U.S. income, she is not required to pay taxes on her Chinese income to the IRS. In such case, you can choose the marriage filing separately for your own tax return), then, you need to report only your taxable earned income/unearned income that you earn in US (as you have no income that you earned in China)to the IRS/state.SO, you need to weigh your options whether you choose to file joint return (MFJ), you want to file separate returns (MFS) .If you and your spouse decide to file jointly, you have to declareyour worldwide income (including exemptions, deductions and credits) as a couple in your U.S. return. Joint filing assumes you elect to be taxed on all your worldwide income and supply all pertinent and necessary documentation of tax liability. Filing separately has higher tax rates and fewer benefits (you won't be able to claim the elderly and disabled tax credit, child and dependent care tax credit and earned income tax credit, among other deductions and credits). Yet, filing separately generally releases you from the burden of any issues or lies made by your spouse in their own tax return.



“How many months should I answer to the question that whether my daughter is living with you? I answered '1 month' last year while interpreting that YOU as me only; then realized that YOU could mean me and my wife cuz I filed married filing jointly, I answered '12 months' this year.Did I answer any of these wrong?”===To claim your daughter in China as your dependent as your qualifying child,you must have lived with her for more than half the year, the person must have been in your home.



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Old 04-13-2013, 03:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wnhough View Post
Of course however, it depends.
Thank you for your answer and explaination. I am clear on this part now. My wife is a full time housewife taking care of my daughter, no income at all. So, it should perfectly okay for me to do MFJ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wnhough View Post
To claim your daughter in China as your dependent as your qualifying child,you must have lived with her for more than half the year, the person must have been in your home.
I'm still not clear about this. My daughter was and is living with my wife almost every single day; but I can only afford to spend one to two months away from the States with no income, and lived with my wife and daughter in China. In other words, my daughter lived with both parents for only one to two months a year; but twelve months with my wife. The questions are, must a child lived with both parents to qualify? or must the child be in the States? If the answer to any of these two is "YES," then I did the tax report wrong this time; if both answers are "NO," that's great, I did nothing wrong.



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Old 04-13-2013, 03:45 AM
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“The questions are, must a child lived with both parents to qualify? or must the child be in the States?”========> To be claimed as a dependent, she must live with you or your spouse ( or both you and your spouse) for more than half the tax year. However, she must have been in the US(UNLESS she is a resident of Mexico and Canada), NOT in China; I mean as said, your daughter MUST have lived with you for more than half the year in US while your spouse doesn’t have to live with you for more than 6 months in US . You can’t claim your spouse as your dependent; Spouses are not dependents of each other.



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