filing status

Expert: [email protected]
Date: Friday March 02, 2007
Time: 08:48 AM -0500


I am a US Citizen, Working in the US, PR of Canada. When i file my US return I have been checking 'Married Filing Separate' for the last 9 years. Should I have been filing 'Married Filing Joint'? My husband is Canadian, working in Canada.


david ingram replies:

If you are only reporting your income. then MFS is the correct way to do it. If you wanted to pay less US tax, then you should have been filing a joint return and deducting your husband's income on form 2555 or claiming a foreign tax credit on form 1116. If you have children, the 1116 is the way to go.

The big question is whether you are reporting your income to Canada. If you are living in Canada with your husband and commuting to work in the US, the MFS is likely the way to go because the US tax will be enough to wipe out the Canadian tax. If you are living in the US and not paying Canadian tax, then the Joint return is the way to go.

Either one might / could be the correct way.