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01-04-2018 05:20 PM
My husband immigrated into the states last January (2017) to California. He has some income earned in the states (under 3k). He entered in on a K1 visa and is currently waiting for his green card/ permanent residence status. should we file separately or joint.
I will earn around 31k
How will the health care tax apply to him? He had no health insurance in 2017 but had emergency health coverage from his country.
01-05-2018 06:42 PM
Welcome to the H&R Block community.
You should file jointly.
Not only is a joint return almost always the best option, but for you it is definitely the best option. You'll get an extra personal exemption and a bigger standard deduction. Your husband's income is not enough to cause a significant tax liability increase so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by filing jointly. I can actually do a comparison of the two options for you if you would like.
If you file separately you have to use the "married & filing separately" filing status unless you qualify for head of household status under the MFS exception. MFS is a much more restrictive status with a higher tax rate and far fewer (if any) benefits in most situations.
Note that in order to file jointly, if your husband does not have an ITIN number or a social security number then he will need to apply for an ITIN by attaching Form W-7 to your tax return. You'll need to write "NRA" in the space for his ITIN/SSN and mail the return to the IRS.
If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.
Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)