Author Topic: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing  (Read 566 times)

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Offline donna

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US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« on: March 10, 2017, 07:00:43 PM »
Hello,

In November of 2016, I moved to the UK on Spouse Visa from the USA. I have been able to open 2 bank accounts in the UK (one is joint with my husband), however both a very small (less than £4,00) amount. I have not secured a job yet. All of the 2016 taxes I need to file are therefore relatively simple - I held 2 jobs last year in the States and have some student loans.

Having never done my taxes from abroad I'm very confused on how to approach it. My tax returns were sent to my parents house in the states, and they are mailing them to me so I can file from here. I've read that I get an automatic extension for living abroad, but since my returns were still sent to my previous address, how does the IRS know that I'm abroad? Can I not get an extension?

I'm thinking about hiring an accountant here in the UK who can help me file. Can anyone recommend a particular firm or individual? In the meantime, just hoping to have the basics explained to me here. Feeling really out of my depth.

Thank you in advance!

Offline guya

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »
Donna - nothing has changed; expect possibly your residence for State tax purposes and that I would probably include Schedule B and Form 8965 (even though these won't change your tax).

Offline tlandry

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 07:08:26 PM »
PLEASE HELP!

I'm also confused. First year living here and married. Moved here in October and I need to file as married? How do I do this, my partner has no SSN. Do I file married filing separately or filing jointly or what?

Does anyone have advice or know someone I can go to for advice and assistance. This makes things seriously confusing.

Thank you so much
Met Husband: November 1st, 2014 (UK)
Married: July 29th, 2016 (USA)
Biometrics: August 19th, 2016
Visa Arrived In Sheffield: August 24th, 2016
Confirmation of Documents Received E-Mail: September 16th, 2016

Not so patiently waiting approval :)
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Offline jj2201

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 07:22:09 PM »
Hi Tlandry, whether you file jointly or separately depends on both your and your husbands circumstances. If you file jointly, as you say your husband will need to get a SS number and a US personal tax identification number. Don't forget you can claim exclusions such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion now you're an expat. I'd recommend you consult one of the major online expat tax services firms, which are reasonably priced and generally very good. Maybe contact 2 or 3 of them and see what they recommend. You can find them on google. You should then have a clearer idea of what's required. Good luck!

Offline nun

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 08:09:18 PM »
PLEASE HELP!

I'm also confused. First year living here and married. Moved here in October and I need to file as married? How do I do this, my partner has no SSN. Do I file married filing separately or filing jointly or what?

Does anyone have advice or know someone I can go to for advice and assistance. This makes things seriously confusing.

Thank you so much

It's generally advisable to do "married filing separately" if you have an NRA spouse to save them from US taxes on their finances.

If fro some reason you want to file jointly with an NRA spouse you will need to get them an ITIN as they don't qualify for a SSN.

Offline guya

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 09:58:15 AM »
Hi Tlandry, whether you file jointly or separately depends on both your and your husbands circumstances. If you file jointly, as you say your husband will need to get a SS number and a US personal tax identification number. Don't forget you can claim exclusions such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion now you're an expat. I'd recommend you consult one of the major online expat tax services firms, which are reasonably priced and generally very good. Maybe contact 2 or 3 of them and see what they recommend. You can find them on google. You should then have a clearer idea of what's required. Good luck!

This answer is confused in places and might confuse you further. To file jointly with a non-resident alien spouse you would both have to elect to file jointly. This election can be revoked in the future; but once revoked can never be made again.

Only if you want to make that election would your non-resident alien spouse need an ITIN (as he would not qualify for a US Social Security Number).

A random online firm that claims to be in the United States might actually be in Russia or China or elsewhere and may not even be qualified to advise on both US and UK tax. Get a personal recommendation of someone in the UK who is both US and UK qualified should you decide you need professional advice.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2017, 09:59:20 AM by guya »

Offline JackieStew

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 02:46:00 PM »
I moved here last April and just filed my taxes. I had one job in the US and that's it. I had to choose 'married filing separately' as my husband doesn't have a SS number. I also did this last year but I did it from the US as I was still living there. I mailed them in as if you don't gave a SS for your partner, you can not electronically file. Another think is that if you have student loan interest deductions, you will not be able to get anything back if you are married filing separately. This was a huge shock to me but it is an IRS rule.

Offline guya

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 11:21:31 AM »
I moved here last April and just filed my taxes. I had one job in the US and that's it. I had to choose 'married filing separately' as my husband doesn't have a SS number. I also did this last year but I did it from the US as I was still living there. I mailed them in as if you don't gave a SS for your partner, you can not electronically file. Another think is that if you have student loan interest deductions, you will not be able to get anything back if you are married filing separately. This was a huge shock to me but it is an IRS rule.
Well done for filing so early. The due date for the income tax return is 15 June (as you live overseas). The due date for your FBAR is 18 April, but this can be extended to 15 October.

Offline durhamlad

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 11:35:37 AM »
Well done for filing so early. The due date for the income tax return is 15 June (as you live overseas). The due date for your FBAR is 18 April, but this can be extended to 15 October.

Is the FBAR extension automatic for overseas residents or is there an option on the Fincen site to file for an extension?
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Offline Anchor

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Re: US Citizen, new to the UK - very confused about filing
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 11:57:21 AM »
Is the FBAR extension automatic for overseas residents or is there an option on the Fincen site to file for an extension?

It is automatically extended, no request for an extension is required.

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/report-of-foreign-bank-and-financial-accounts-fbar

Offline durhamlad

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