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Hello, Everyone. I've been researching online for quite sometime and not only am I more confused, but I'm also very frustrated at this point. :( If someone could please help me, I greatly appreciate it. Here it goes

It's my first time filing on my own again.... The last ten years I've been filing with my (soon to be) husband. I'm in Brazil with my 4 children and made about $3k total for the year tutoring English.

I would like to file taxes. Will I need to pay SE taxes?

If I file, will I need to reflect my 4 children on the forms?

Also, for 2015, my spouse claimed me on his return but I don't remember signing it. I've asked for a copy but he refuses to give me one. My signature on that form is required, right?

Thanks in advance.
 

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From what you're saying, I kind of assume you meant >>The last ten years I've been filing with my (soon to be ex-) husband.<<

OK, first of all, if you were still married on December 31st, then you probably need to be filing as "married, filing separately" for 2016. And in that case, you don't need to file at all if your income is less that $4000.

If you insist on filing, you shouldn't have to pay SE tax on your income if you have been paying into the Brazilian social insurance/ social security system based on your work. In any event, your "earned income" (i.e. income from teaching English) can be fully excluded (using Form 2555 or 2555-EZ) and you certainly won't owe any income tax.

You don't need to indicate your children on your forms at all (and indeed probably can't unless they have US SSNs), given that your income is already below the level at which you would have to pay taxes.

I wouldn't worry about the 2015 form right now, but in any event, you can probably request a transcript of the forms online. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If I didn't pay into the Brazilian social insurance, does that mean I have to pay SE taxes?
Maybe. Under the (fairly new) US-Brazil Social Security treaty, you would need to produce a certificate showing that you are covered under the Brazilian social security in order to avoid the SE tax. However, if you don't have to file due to lack of income, it's kind of a moot point.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Another thought - if your 3k income is self employment income rather than employment income, you will still need to file a return, as the self-employment min filing amount is just $400, rather than $10,000 for employment income.
 
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