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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/how to file-different countries


My wife and I are US citizens and happily married. I am currently living and working in Oman and my wife lives with our two daughters in the USA. Most of our income is made in abroad, about 90%. I am planning on filing abroad since I live and work abroad. Can my wife and I file married filing jointly, even if she lives in the states? If not, how should we file? Thank you for your help. Have been trying to find an answer for my situation for weeks online and have not been able to.

Dear Mostafa,

Thank you for your question.
Yes, you can file jointly with your wife and claim your daughters as dependents.

However, in order to decide with filing option - joinly or separately is more effective for your family, we would need to know your personal income, whether your employer pays for your housing, which state your wife and daughters live in, whether they have health coverage in the U.S.

In other words, you can save a little and file return by your self but chances are you will lose much more than you save compared to paying a professional to do this challenging assessment.

This article discusses advantages of filing jointly and separately when one of the spouses is a non-US citizen

When both are U.S. citizens/green card holders, there are even more variables that should be taken into account.

I.J.Zemelman, EA

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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.

Expatriate tax information on

MBA from Zicklin School Of Business, IRS Enrolled Agent

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