My wife made income in the first month of 2016 as a visa holder, before returning to her country. At that time she did not file federal or state tax. She did not receive the W-2 in her home country. She returned in 2017 and we got married that year.

I am a US citizen and we are starting to work through her adjustment of status as a permanent resident. We requested and received her 2016 W-2 from her old employer. We want to back file with a refund.

My questions are:

  1. Should she use her maiden or married name? I read that she should use the married name as otherwise a name mismatch would show up with social security. Is this true when back filing?

  2. On the 1040NR-EZ 2016 form page 2 (Schedule OI), it asks if

"Have you ever applied to be a green card holder of the United States?"

Would this be "No" since its considering her status in 2016?

  • What form are you referring to? It seems you meant to say "On the 2016 form [...] page 2" but left out the form number. It appears you are referring to Schedule OI for Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.
    – user102008
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 3:56
  • @user102008 Correct. I have updated the question.
    – Shawn
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 3:59

2 Answers 2


She should use her current name and current address, even if different from the name and address she had during the year in question.

As for the question about whether she had applied to be a permanent resident, my personal opinion is that she should say Yes, since the question is not about "during the year" but rather "ever", which means any time up until now (when she is filing the form). I do not believe that saying Yes to this question will affect her tax return.

  • 1
    I'm not 100% sure about your 2nd paragraph - indication about application for PR, I believe (though I am not sure), is used to help determine whether someone is a PR for tax purposes in a given year. Indicating as such in a backfiled year may incorrectly indicate something about residency status for tax purposes. Do you have a source for this? Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 13:40
  • @Grade'Eh'Bacon: There is no such thing as "PR for tax purposes". Once someone becomes a permanent resident, they pass the Green Card Test to be a resident alien, but applying doesn't count. There are some other things, like having applied for permanent residency means you can't claim "Closer Connection to a Foreign Country" in rare cases when someone who would otherwise be a resident wants to be a nonresident, but for that Form 8840 specifically asks about whether you applied during the year.
    – user102008
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 15:19
  • yes, that is precisely what I mean - and you don't want a discrepancy between two forms filed for the same year. You may be correct, but without a source it is unclear if this should be investigated further. You indicate this is a rare circumstance, but for individuals deemed to be a resident of 2+ countries for tax purposes in the same year, this is not so uncommon. Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 16:39

I called the IRS tax help center and they confirmed:

  1. The name should be the current name due to matching SSN to name.
  2. The information otherwise including the filing status, should be represented by the situation in the tax year being filed. In this case the answer would be "No" as that was the status at that time.

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