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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My wife who has just got her dual nationality is off to the US embassy this week to get her social security card. We are trying to fill out the correct forms for her tax returns and are getting confused by the different ones.

When we were in the US we were told she only needs to register when she got her US passport, but we have also read it may be better to file for the last 3 years.

She has worked in the UK for the last 3 years and paid her taxes here, so we are trying to work out which form(s) she should fill out and how far back.

We have come across the Form 1040, 4868 and as its her first overseas return the from 2350.

Thanks for any help

Paul
 

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Whoa, had to go back through some of your old posts to recall the details.

Basically, your wife has finally claimed her US citizenship by virtue of having been born in the UK with a US citizen father. Frankly, I wouldn't bother back filing the last 3 years of returns unless you're looking to move over to the US on a spouse visa for you. (And even then, I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary. You could just indicate that your wife only got her citizenship as of whatever date and start filing from that date on.) But if you do decide to file, don't bother with the extension forms (i.e. the two you cited).

Her return for 2009 won't be due until June 15th 2010 (as long as you are still living in the UK as of April 15th 2010 - the filing date for US citizens living in the US). To file 3 years back, you'll be filing now for 2008, 2007 and 2006.

You can get the forms you need on the IRS website - though it may take a little hunting around to find the forms for the appropriate years. Unless she has income from investments or commercial ventures of her own, she should probably only need the form 1040 (possibly with the A and B schedules for the 1040) and 2555 if she had salary income during the years you are planning to back file. Despite the impressive looking instructions, filling out the forms is actually fairly simple if you have only the "usual" sources of income (salary and maybe a bank account paying a little interest).

You'll also want to download a copy of publication 54, which is for overseas residents. The IRS office at the Embassy may have a pamphlet that will give you the exchange rates you can use for converting sterling amounts to US$ for each of the years you plan to file. If not, the IRS office in Paris publishes this information.

Assuming you do not have US citizenship, she needs to file the back years as "married, filing separately" and she only has to report her own income. She does not have to claim part of your earnings. She should probably also file a Treasury form (explained in Publication 54) if her name is on bank accounts (separately or jointly with you) with a total of $10,000 or more in funds. But I think she could probably get away with holding off until next year to file this.

I'll be back in France next week (am currently in the US) so can offer any help you need to get the forms filled out after my return.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi Bev,

Thanks for the information.

Yes it has been a while between our posts, this is due to my wife getting her US passport, this took a lot of paperwork between her father in the US and her, it then it took quite a while to sell our house.

We have most things in place now but the filing of her taxes is the one area we still had/have to complete. We will print off the correct forms and try to complete them, we may have already seen those forms but as you could see we had seen other forms as well.

We are at the embassy on Wednesday, I am having my medical that day and my wife will look at taking the forms into the IRS walk in department.

We just have the normal paid jobs and no interest on savings in the year as we put any spare capital into paying off what we owed on the house. Now the house is sold we have the money in he bank and live in rented.

We are planning to move about March next year if everything comes off.

Thanks again

Paul.
 

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Hi Paul,
Have your wife just ask her questions at the IRS office when you're there on Wednesday. The folks staffing the overseas offices are generally pretty helpful (certainly more so than the domestic offices in the US). They should be able to tell her whether or not she needs to file the back taxes.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well we went and met a guy who works in the tax office....

He said as my wife only got her citizenship this year she is not required to file her taxes till next year.

We asked about the last 3 years and he said she does not have to file, he also said next year will be zero as she paid tax here in the UK and didnt earn over the taxable ammount.

Seems a bit to straight forward to me but we will see.

Paul...
 

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I think you might find she'll need to back file to successfully petition for a visa benefit. Which I presume is what she will be doing shortly.
 

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Well we went and met a guy who works in the tax office....

He said as my wife only got her citizenship this year she is not required to file her taxes till next year.

We asked about the last 3 years and he said she does not have to file, he also said next year will be zero as she paid tax here in the UK and didnt earn over the taxable ammount.

Seems a bit to straight forward to me but we will see.

Paul...
Officially, what you've been told is correct as far as I know. Whether they will expect to see her last 3 years' tax returns as part of her application to support your visa is another question, but assuming she probably has a brand spanking new social security number, you may be able to fall back on that as "proof" that she had no obligation to file.

If you get an argument anywhere along the way, you just file the last three years, writing "NO INCOME" across the front of the form. (Easiest sort of forms to fill out.) There shouldn't be any problem, however, if her social security number wasn't issued until this past year, as the IRS computers won't be looking for a match-up.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Bev and FatBrit,

Yes she got her social security number last week.

We will take the last 3 years forms down with us when we go to London just in case.

The guy at the tax office was pretty adamant that she didnt need to file but it may be a different scenario when we go down for the next interview!

Regards

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi,

Thanks for all your advice on my previous qestiuons, Fat Brit, Bev and Synthia. I got my visa delivered last week. We went to the embassy the week before and as my wife hadn't filed her taxes it did delay the process, but it was all sorted out on the day. The IRS at the embassy were helped us reslove the tax issue.It was a good job my wife was with me though as I dont think it would have been sorted on the day.

I am now in the process of looking at shipping some boxes, had some quotes for air and sea. Also looking at taking out about 6 months health cover.

We should be moving at the begining of March next year.

Thanks again for you help and advice without it we wouldnt be at the stage we are now with out it.

Paul
 

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I used to live in America but moved back to the UK. When I moved back to the UK I didn't fill any paperwork for leaving the USA. I still have my social security number and green card. I know that officially my green card should be void, although it's an older one with no expiry date on it. I wonder what would happen if I simply flew back to the USA, started working again and filed taxes. I've got a bank account over in the USA still, and an address. Or what would happen if I filed a 1040a with NO EARNINGS. I can't send the IRS any P45s because I haven't been there to work. Would I simply fall back into the system nice and easily? I'm wondering this because I really want to go back to USA and work as a teacher.
 
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