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    USTX5454's Avatar
    USTX5454 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jan 2, 2019, 11:28 AM
    US presence clarification
    We are Indian Citizens on H1..

    My wife/kids traveled to India for vacation in end of May 2018. My wife traveled back alone twice for her office meetings (1 week short trips). Last depart from US was 10Sep2018 (kids were in India with grandparents enjoying long vacation). Due to health reasons, she could not come back in Sept. Kids started going to school in India so everyone will travel back in May 2019 only.

    I was in US entire 365 days of 2018 (primary).

    For tax filing purposes, should I SAY for family lived with me entire year? Kids lived with me entire year?
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #2

    Jan 2, 2019, 11:41 AM
    You are allowed to file a JOINT return with your wife irrespective of her physical location; she could be on Mars for all the IRS cares, just as long as she signs the joint return.

    Assuming you WILL file a joint return, the children were considered to be with their mother for purposes of custodianship, so as long as they have Social Security Numbers you CAN legally claim them as dependents on the joint return whether they lived in India or the United States. With SSNs, they qualify for the full $2,000 Child Tax Credit per child.

    Now, if the children have ITINs AND they were in the United States for ALL of 2016 and 2017, you can still qualify for the $500 "Other Dependent" tax credit per child on your return because they were with their mother for the requisite amount of time in 2018 AND they qualify for the Substantial Presence Test.
    USTX5454's Avatar
    USTX5454 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jan 3, 2019, 07:12 PM
    Thanks for the answer.. Yes.. My kids have SSNs and I will be filing joint return.


    However I remember there is a question last time, did family lived with you entire year? (I used turbotax in 2016 and credit karma in 2017 tax filing). Should I have to mention they lived with me till June only? OR it doesn't matter..
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #4

    Jan 3, 2019, 07:34 PM
    In the context of the question, YOU means you OR your wife.

    While the children did not live with you the entire year, they DID live with your wife, so you will be fine.
    USTX5454's Avatar
    USTX5454 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Feb 9, 2019, 08:46 PM
    Question in taxact or creditkarma was "did kids live with you in USA"?

    Doesn't "irs substantial presence test" apply in this case?
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #6

    Feb 9, 2019, 09:20 PM
    The Substantial Presence Test (SPT) does NOT apply if the children are U.S. citizens with U.S. Social Security Numbers. They can be claimed as dependents for purposes of the $2,000 Child Tax Credit irrespective of their physical location.

    SPT only applies if the children have ITINs.

    You know, this would be a LOT easier for you if you let me prepare your tax return.

    If interested in a fee quote, please email me at the email address in my profile.
    USTX5454's Avatar
    USTX5454 Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Mar 16, 2019, 11:50 AM
    Thanks.. What about healthcare coverage question? If family is here in US for 6 months and they had health coverage. When they were in India, they had Indian health coverage through employer. Does this mean they had coverage for full year?
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
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    #8

    Mar 17, 2019, 05:21 PM
    Yes, in my considered opinion.

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