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Please confirm-foreign spouse (Resident Alien with ITIN)

filing jointly with her US...
Please confirm-foreign spouse (Resident Alien with ITIN) filing jointly with her US Citizen husband has to pay self-employment tax on her foreign business income event though ITIN holders are not eligible to collect US social security. Please note, country of residence does not have a totalization agreement with the US. Both husband and wife live outside of US.
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
9/5/2017
emc011075
emc011075, Tax Adviser
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3,388
Experience: Tax adviser IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

If you are married and at the end of the year one of you is US citizen or resident and the other spouse is a nonresident alien, a joint return may be filed ONLY IF BOTH OF YOU make a special election to treat the nonresident alien spouse as a US resident. It manes both of you with will be taxed on your worldwide income just like US citizens. US citizens are required to pay self employment tax on any business, US based or foreign. The fact that she is not eligible to collect social security benefits does not change the requirements.

While it is true that paying SE tax (or have SS taxes withheld from your paycheck - same thing) makes you eligible for social security benefits (but does not guarantee the benefits), self employment tax is also a tax, not a voluntary contribution. Yes, even nonresident alien spouse with ITIN is subject to SE tax if she choose to file a joint return and be treated as US resident for tax purposes.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No, I am good, just got pulled onto something else. Thank you for your prompt response.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
the rating area is grayed out so I have not been able to submit, I will check later, i am leaving for the day.

You're welcome.

emc011075
emc011075, Tax Adviser
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3,388
Experience: Tax adviser IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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