QUESTION: I have called the the IRS several times and have gotten differing answers on what to do. I assume I file the 1040 and not the 1040NR, but how do I file? My husband is a Canadian citizen and works in Canada. Do I file married filing jointly or filing seperately? Someone told me I should be filing jointly becasue I can use him as an exemption and get more money back, but how do I do that without disclosing his income or do I have to disclose his income. WE have an accountant on the Canadian side filing for us competently but I have called 4 different accountants here in Buffalo new York and none of them have a definitive answer for me on what to do and the IRS is just baffled that I live in a foreign country and still work in the US. Thank you for your help --------------------------------------------- david ingram replies: As a US citizen you ALWAYS file a 1040. You have the right to file a joint return which will lower your US tax. However, you are also required to file a Canadian T1 return and the lower US tax will result in a Higher Canadian tax because your foreign tax credit will be lower. The same person should do your Canadian and US returns at the same time to maximize your tax situation. Your situation is the typical return in our office. Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $800 to $2,000 for a dual country tax return. $800 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year. $1,000 would be the same with one rental $1,200 would be the same with one business no rental $1,200 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes. $1,500 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits no move in or out $2,000 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country. This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with a three or four slips and no capital gains, etc. for $100 or $125.00 With a Rental for $300 A Business for $300 - Rental and business likely $400 And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return. .TDF 90-22.1 forms are $25 for the first and $10.00 each after that when part of a tax return. 8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each. 18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple) Capital gains *sales) are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that. Just a guideline not etched in stone. ============================= David Ingram's US / Canada Services US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists US / Canada Real Estate Specialists My Home office is at: 4466 Prospect Road North Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7 Cell (604) 657-8451 - (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325 Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week Vancouver (LA) time - (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) email to taxman at centa.com <mailto:taxman at centa.com> www.centa.com <http://www.centa.com/> www.david-ingram.com <http://www.david-ingram.com/> Disclaimer: This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment. Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation in connection with personal or business affairs such as at www.centa.com <http://www.centa.com> . If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." Be ALERT, the world needs more "lerts"
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