I'm at loss how to proceed here. I'm a J-1 student graduating with a Ph.D. in May. The whole previous academic year I've been abroad working on my dissertation. My wife has had a J-2, which expired last May, but we didn't apply for an extension as there was no need. She didn't set her foot on US soil during 2014, but would need to file, since she had a valid J-visa for the spring last year.
Here's my problem. I have a child who was born in the US in November 2013 and who is a US citizen. I didn't realize until today that I should have filed a tax return for her for 2013, since the IRS seems to require this from children too (this is contrary to my home country, where no filing is necessary before you turn 18 if you haven't had any income).
In other words, I need to file taxes for her now. My questions are the following:
I've read that you can claim dependents on your tax return? Is this possible for J-1 visa holders too?
Are there any deductions that one can claim based on supporting a child.
The problem is that since I'm a student I don't have the money to consult a tax attorney to file... Does anyone have any idea how this works. A high-level overview would help. I can ask more detailed questions later.
My knowledge of US tax law is very limited, zero in fact. I've just clicked next next through the web platform that my university subscribes that fills the forms for you. It asks simplified stupid questions and works if you're a "template" case. Now it seems like this way of proceeding won't work, since if you give a nonstandard answer on a question it will bail out telling you, you need to fill out the forms yourself.