Thanks for the reply. My visa status is H1B.
Just wanted to clarify a few points here.
1. Can I include my wife for tax exemption if I file the returns in the month of March 2014? If not, when is the ideal time to file the returns (as the last date for filing would be in april 2014)?
2. Since I do not qualify under dual status and need to use First Year choice option, how many forms should I fill and what are their names?
3. Which order should I fill these forms in and when do they need to be submitted?
#1;it depends;as you entered the US after
July 2nd 2013, you cannot meet the Substantial Presence Test and may file as a non-resident alien, but also MAY file a dual-status tax return under the First Year Choice. The First Year Choice option requires that you be in the US for at least 31 days in a row in 2013 AND be present in the US for at least 75% of the number of days from the beginning of your 31 consecutive day period and ending with the last day of 2013. You will also have to file a statement with your return concerning the First Year Choice. You must wait until you meet the Substantial Presence Test for 2014 before you can file, which means you might have to wait until late June of 2014 before you can file as a dual status filer.For this, you need to extend your return by oct 15 2014 however you need to pay tax on or before Apr 15, 2014.
As you are married and your wife is with you on a H-4 visa, you can both choose to be treated as resident aliens, regardless of whether you entered the US before or after July 3rd 2013. since you arrived after July 2nd,2013, you would have to use the First Year Choice option (and file the First Year Choice statement), then meet the requirements for choosing to file as a resident alien as well. These requirements are:be a non-resident alien at the beginning of the year 2013be a resident alien at the end of the tax year 2013.Be married at the end of the year.Your spouse must join you in this choice.
to sum it up, since you are married, you have some other options.
You can wait until you meet the substantial presence test in 2014. Then you can apply the so-called first year choice which would allow you to be treated as residnet alien starting the day you entered the US. That would make you a dual status alien.
However, since you are a residnet alien towards the end of the year using this choice, you can then choose to be treated as resident alien for the entire year together with your spouse and you will need to file as married filing jointly.
If you choose to do this, you need to add a statement to your return making these choices.
You will also have to report worldwide income for both of you for the entire year. Your wife might be able to use the foreign earned income esclusion and you can also use the foreign paid tax credit and your foreign income and any non-escluded income form your spouse.
You will have to apply for an ITIN for your wife /child in this case.
You would not be able to claim your child as the child would have had to spend some time, more than six months, with you in the US.
#2;UNLESS you are a dual status filer /resident for tax purposes , then, you are a nonresident alien and need to file 1040NR/1040NR-EZ.you can’t efile 1040NR/1040NR-EZ;as you came to the US in Aug 2013 (or any other day after July 1st 2013), you are a non-resident alien as you do not meet the substantial presence test as said previously.
As a non-resident alien you cannot file as married filing jointly. Youneed to file return / married filing separately.
#3;as mentioned above.youneed to file your return by Apr 15 2014 for your 2013 return;or by oct 15 2014 for the extension of your return.