I am currently a H1B visa holder, and have been a resident (for tax purposes) for the last few years. I got married in Dec 2021, and my wife (who will be traveling to the US soon on an H4 visa for the first time) was not a US resident/citizen as of Dec 31 2021. We are planning to file the tax returns jointly for this year, and I want to have her treated as a US resident as part of this return. From my research, I believe the following are the steps I need to take to make that happen - would be great to know if that's correct, and if anyone has additional suggestions.
- Draft a declaration about my wife being a non-resident, and me wanting to treat her as a resident for tax purposes, signed by both of us - as part of the 2021 return.
- Fill out the usual Form 1040 listing both myself and my wife on it, leaving my wife's SSN field blank.
- Apply for an ITIN simultaneously with the 1040, using Form W-7. We are planning to visit a Certified Acceptance Agent so they can verify her documents without having to mail them to IRS.
- Add my wife's international income using Form 2555, and use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (Part VII) to remove her tax liability.
- File returns by mail as opposed to online, because it includes an ITIN application.
Am I missing anything else?