05-09-2017 11:28 AM
Welcome to the H&R Block community.
Since you are in the country legally you are actually a resident alien for tax purposes if you lived in the United States for more than 183 days out of the year. Therefore, provided that you live in the USA for more than that 183 days during 2017, you can treat your wife as a resident alien and file jointly (2017 will be 7 years for your wife so she will likely be a non-resident alien if she does not meet the 183 day rule or you do not treat her as a resident alien and file jointly). You can also claim your kids as your dependents if they meet the dependent child requirements (and I'm sure they do if they're here living with you). You'll be able to claim an exemption for each of them and potentially some child tax credit, however you must by a U.S. citizen (have a social security number) to claim the earned income credit so you won't be able to get that (your kids have SSNs but if you're on a VISA then you would have an ITIN number. If I'm wrong and you do have a social security number though then you can potentially claim the earned income credit as well.
My suggestion for you would be to meet with a tax professional in your area when you get ready to complete your tax return. That way you can put everything on the table and they will be able to make all of the necessary determinations and prepare an accurate tax return for you with the best result that you're able to get.
If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.
Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)