Does anyone file U.S. tax returns as "single" or "MFS" when his wife lives outside the US?

I came across this situation a few years ago because my uncle’s wife lived abroad. He asked for my help with his taxes. (My firm handles tax and business law). I’m wondering if the situation is very common?



Hi Andrew,

The 1040 form asks the question about dependent residency and calculates costs / deductions based on that. The category that may apply to visitors to this website are ‘married filing separate’ with spouse having no income in the US. Married filing jointly also works even if only one person had income but the residency test will not be met in either scenario. The “single” status must not be invoked because it has previously been identified as false categorization of a married individual even if the marriage happened abroad.

Best wishes

Hi Sandeep,

Thanks for your note. I realize the correct filing status for someone who is married is either MFS or MFJ.

I’m just curious if anyone is filing “single” or “MFS.” Both of these can be very disadvantageous. The good news is that under the right facts, these can be corrected and money can be reclaimed. We describe the situation in more detail on our website.

Like I was saying earlier, I was able to assist a family member in this as well as others. I’m here because I wanted to see if it was an isolated problem or something that was more widespread.


Thanks Andrew. I am sure many readers here will find the information very helpful. Thank you