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    letstalk_1978's Avatar
    letstalk_1978 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 13, 2008, 01:01 PM
    Claim Dependents on tax return

    I am a residential alian for tax (indian citizen , H-1B) and planning to claim my wife who is a canadian citizen and staying with me since Oct 2008 on visitors visa. She moved here permanently and we are waitng for her TN visa sponsorers thus didn't move to H-4.

    Can I claim her as my dependent. If so, How? What all documents I will need to prove her stay?

    Thanks ,
    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
    Senior Tax Expert

    Nov 13, 2008, 01:11 PM

    You CAN claim her as a dependent once she meets the Substantial Presence Test (SPT), but it would be MUCH better f you filed jointly with her, because doing that DOUBLES the standard deduction from $5,450 to $10,900.

    Filing jointly also removes the SPT requirement. Your spouse's physical location is irrelevent when you file jointly; she could be on Mars for all the IRS cares.

    You will need to file Form W-7 with your tax return to get her an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) regardless of how you file. For the W-7, you will need a notarized photocopy of her passport. The notarization can be done at any bank or, if you live in California, at any post office or IRS office.
    letstalk_1978's Avatar
    letstalk_1978 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 18, 2008, 08:23 AM

    Dear Atlanta Tax expert.

    Thanks for your reply. She was working in canada from Jan - Sep 2008 and will be filing her tax return in canada. Since Oct she moved to USA for good. She is on Visitors visa at present. What kind of passport documents we should notarize. Also, can I still file joint return even thought she will be filing her own for part year stay in canada.

    AtlantaTaxExpert's Avatar
    AtlantaTaxExpert Posts: 21,818, Reputation: 846
    Senior Tax Expert

    Nov 18, 2008, 08:30 AM

    You need to have the entire passport (pages with actual information on them) photocopied, then have the photocopy notarized as a true copy. This can easily done at any bank in any state other than California.

    California has a state law that prohibits notarizing passport photocopies, so, if you are in California, you need to go to a U.S. post office or the local IRS office to get the photocopy certified as a true copy.

    Yes, you can file jointly even if she files a Canadian return. You will need to file either Form 1116 to claim a credit for the Canadian taxes paid, or Form 2555 to exclude the Canadian income.

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