I am the spouse of an American citizen. We both live in a foreign country. My wife doesn't work, but I do, as an independent worker. I understand that I am able to voluntarily report American taxes, with the purpose of receiving Child Tax Credit. However, I have heard different opinions from different accountants about whether I would have to pay for social security, which would make the whole process pointless. Does anyone have clear documentation about whether I would have to pay for social security in my situation?

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I don't think you can ever be worse off for filing a tax return if you are not required to file.

If you are a US citizen and you have more than $400 of self-employment net earnings, you are required to file a tax return. (See Form 1040 instructions, section "Do You Have to File?", Chart C.)

If you have less than $400 of self-employment net earnings, you do not owe any Self-Employment Tax (Social Security and Medicare tax). (See Form 1040 Schedule SE schedule and instructions.) So there is no difference with respect to Social Security tax between if you file or not.


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