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I am an international student in USA on F-1 VISA. My fiance works as an independent contractor from India and received his income in my US bank account which I sent to him in India. We did this for around 6 months for so, for a sum of around $1000 a month. I work as an instructional assistant. My college is now providing help to file taxes this year. I would like to know while filing taxes how much detail I should provide to the college regarding this personal arrangement, and what is the best course of action so that I do not get in trouble with the IRS or the immigration department.

  • I'm not sure I understand what the problem is. Do your husband's employers think they're paying you? Are they reporting to the IRS that you're the recipient? – littleadv Jan 21 '15 at 20:03
  • No, they are not filing 1099 since my fiance is working from India. The employers are aware of that. My problem is my bank statement that shows that such and such amount was credited to my account by the company. Will the IRS notice that? – Anita Jan 21 '15 at 20:20
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    The IRS doesn't get reports on your bank account(s) (except tax-advantaged plans like IRA or FSA/HSA that you put in a bank, or large offshore accounts commonly used for tax evasion) and even if they choose you for audit, either because of some suspicion or at random, they won't care about bank transactions that you can show are not taxable income to you. In this case if the payments from the company to you are demonstrably paid onward to someone else you're okay. They do mostly get reports about, and require you report, wages paid to you, interest paid to you, ... – dave_thompson_085 Jan 21 '15 at 22:54
  • ... grants paid to you unless used for qualified education expenses, etc. I don't know enough about immigration to say if there's any possible problem there. – dave_thompson_085 Jan 21 '15 at 22:55
  • Be careful if you live in a community property State - half of your husband's income becomes yours. If that States taxes you (for example - California) - you'll have to pay taxes on that income. – littleadv Jan 22 '15 at 3:35
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Since you are not (yet) legally married, he is a stranger to you and strictly speaking you don't need to worry about the tax impact of his income yet. File on your income alone.

That said, you may have to address the money transfer aspect at a later date as banks are getting skittish around money laundering regulations. It's really best if he has his own account for this, especially given you are not married.

The worst case scenario is that his income gets frozen due to money laundering regulations and the deposits in your account get treated as (unreported) monetary gifts to you. Again, you should be able to argue out of this but separate accounts make it much easier to do so.

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if the deposit earned interest, you could be liable for taxes on the interest earned. If it ended up in a checking account, then you will not be liable for any taxes since checking accounts do not earn interest anyway. Your bank may inquire about where these transfers are coming from and question the legality of it.

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  • Checking accounts can earn interest. You're liable for taxes if the bank sends a 1099-DIV or 1099-INT. – dg99 Feb 22 '15 at 20:59

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