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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15607
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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I have question regarding W4 status change
, I'm on F1

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** I have question regarding W4 status change
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I'm on F1 visa with OPT, which is started from 15th January 2016. I got married last year in October 2015. My wife will be coming to USA on March 2016. So, now I'm just employed and filling my W4 application. I'm bit confused about the status to put in W4 form
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. When you are here for basically the entire year, you will be a US Resident for tax purposes (not immigration purposes). As such, you can file a joint tax return and treat your wife as a US resident as well. You can select married. This is just to withhold your tax -- you will calculate your tax next year around this time and pay any shortfall or get a refund of overpayment

Please let me know if you need anything additional. If not, please rate positive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
W4 form suggest that non resident aliens should put 'single' status even if they are married. Right now I'm on F1 visa and my wife is on F2 visa, which makes both of us non resident aliens. So, if I ignore those instruction on W4 and put my status as 'married', it will deduct less tax from my monthly salary but what proof do I need to provide while filing tax in next year?
Expert:  Robin D. replied 1 year ago.

You cannot ignore the instructions on the W4.

An F1 VISA holder under the substantial presence test is not considered to be "present in the United States" during the exempt individual period for purposes of determining the residency starting date under the substantial presence test.

A nonresident alien may claim only "single" filing status on line 3 of Form W-4, even if he is married. Unless you have stayed past your VISA requirement under F1 status you are a nonresident and you cannot claim married.

With certain exceptions, a nonresident alien cannot claim more than one personal exemption on Form W-4. Based on treaty provisions some F1 holders are allowed to claim their spouse and dependents as allowances. This would provide a lower withholding.

You may be able to claim an exemption for a spouse and a dependent if you are described in any of the following categories.

  • If you are a resident of Mexico or Canada or a national of the United States, you can also claim a personal exemption for your spouse if your spouse had no gross income for U.S. tax purposes and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. In addition, you can claim exemptions for your dependents who meet certain tests. Residents of Mexico, Canada, or nationals of the United States must use the same rules as U.S. citizens to determine who is a dependent and for which dependents exemptions can be claimed.
  • Pursuant to tax treaties certain residents of South Korea and certain students and business apprentices from India may be able to claim exemptions for their spouse and dependents.

Claiming an additional allowance as long as you qualify is allowed but you may not claim married on the W4.

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