Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/filing status


If my spouse is neither a citizen nor a resident of the us, and lives outside the us, doesnt have an income either,can i still file as married filing jointly?
I searched over the web and found out that probably i can file it this way. But in this case another question arises that why do they ask to set status as single on w4 (box3) incase if the spouse is a nonresident?


Dear sd,

You can file married jointly, however it would require taking a number of steps: see

Your question about form W4 is unclear; therefore I cannot answer.

Anyway, you cannot file as single. Your filing status may be either mailing filing jointly, mailing filing separately or head of household if you have dependents other than your spouse.

Hope this helps
I.J.Zemelman, EA  

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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IJ Zemelman, EA MBA


I am an IRS-authorized EA and principal of a Tax Preparation firm focusing on U.S. Expatriates. We specialize in all tax issues faced by American citizens living abroad - such as foreign earned income, tax treaties, foreign spouse, etc. Visit our website - - for more information.


18 years professional tax experience, 12 with expatriate taxes.

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