Can I file a joint return with my spouse who is a nonresident?
Yes. As a U.S. citizen you can file a joint return with a nonresident spouse if your spouse elects to be treated as a resident. However, this might not be in your best interest. If your spouse files as a nonresident, his or her worldwide income is subject to U.S. taxation. However, there are many tax benefits that wouldn't otherwise be available to a nonresident.
If your spouse doesn't file as a resident, you can file as Married Filing Separately. This is the default filing status for a U.S. citizen married to a nonresident alien. Or if you are married to a nonresident alien, you might be able to use the Head of Household filing status. You can file as the Head of Household if you pay more than half of all household expenses, your dependents live with you and they have a valid U.S. social security number.
An H&R Block expat tax advisor can help you decide the best option for your circumstances.
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