US Citizen married to a Belgium Citizen.

By Alex Oware on 06/24/2015 10:00 PM

Question: I am a US citizen who lives and works in Belgium and recently married a Belgium citizen. I have filed my returns for three previous years when I was single and living and working in Belgium.  Can I file MFS?

Answer: Yes, you can file as MFS. I  think that you would want to claim him as a dependent which you can do if he is a Non-Resident alien with no US Sourced Income. See Pub 54. However you are going to have to obtain an ITIN or SSN for your spouse.

You should also consider electing for your spouse to be taxed as U.S Person for tax purposes, and then filing joint returns. In that case, even if spouse has income, he will probably be eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion.

To file joint returns, the non-resident spouse MUST have an ITIN. If you file without requesting for ITIN, IRS will deny your joint status. The return is filed on paper along with the W-7 and supporting documentation.

To file separately and claim the spousal exemption, an ITIN is also required.

References/Related Topics

Claiming a Non-Citizen Spouse and Children on Your Taxes

Should I claim my spouse as a dependent on my taxes?

Need ITIN for wife even though "Married, filing separately"?

Choosing Your Tax Filing Status as Resident Alien with a Foreign Spouse

Can I Claim Head of Household If Married?

US Citizens and Non- Resident Aliens Abroad - Head of Household

ITIN Number – Tax ID Number Documentation Requirements

What is an ITIN - and who needs one?

***Disclaimer: I am a tax accountant and a CPA , but I am not your accountant or advocate (Unless you have signed up to my services). This communication is not intended as tax advice, and no tax accountant -client relationship results**