Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

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2m2037
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Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 4:48 pm

Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by 2m2037 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:22 pm

I was reading through this thread -viewtopic.php?f=2&t=220484 - and saw this post
Globalviewer58 wrote:Another option is to have a religious wedding ceremony but never file the state marriage license. The ceremony may fulfill your cultural and family beliefs.

As long as you have not submitted the signed marriage certificate to the state you would still be able to file as two single earners.
My fiancee and I want to max out our Roth IRA accounts for 2017 but are not sure if we will be able to contribute the full $5,500 as we each earn approximately $100K. If we filed our taxes as Single we would be in the clear as the limit is $118K, but if we filed under MFJ status, the joint income limit is $184K.

So my questions are:
1 if we get married officially overseas, can we legally file as Single here?
2 if yes to question 1, are there any implications when we decide to file under MFJ status and submit our foreign marriage cert from a few years ago?
3 do we need to obtain an official marriage cert in the US to file as married in the US? This ties in with question 2 - i.e. we file as Single until we want to file as MFJ status in the US, then get an official US marriage cert to start filing as MFJ during that year

If the answer is question 1 is "No", then disregard questions 2 and 3. Don't want to run afoul of the law!

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:28 pm

No you can't. Even through religious wedding. You are considered to be married. Don't get marry for sake of money.

jebmke
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Re: Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by jebmke » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:30 pm

As far as I know there is no such thing as an official US marriage certificate. I believe that the IRS considers you married if you are considered legally married wherever you got married.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

boglephreak
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Re: Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by boglephreak » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:41 pm

dont know the official answer, but my gut says that if you're "legally" married overseas and then claim you're not on your U.S. tax forms, you are committing tax fraud. whether a religious ceremony overseas meets the definition of a legal marriage in the U.S. is questionable in my mind, and thus the quotes on legal--the requirements (in California) at least are not too strict, but there are requirements.

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dm200
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Re: Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by dm200 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:09 pm

No experience, but from what I read, in some countries clergy or religious entities cannot perform civil marriage. Folks there must have two weddings, unlike the US where almost all clergy can and do perform civil and religious weddings together.

runner540
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Re: Getting married oversesas -> can I file as single in US?

Post by runner540 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:10 pm

Leanr about making a nondeductible Trad IRA contribution, then converting to a Roth. No income limits apply.

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