Would a tax deduction be based on married or single status for a green card holder who was married outside the United States?

by Susan E. S. Howe, CPA | Aug 07, 2018

I'm currently a green card holder, and I'm married in Malaysia. Should my salary tax deduction be based on married or single status?

I assume your question is about U.S. income tax. As you probably know, as a green card holder you are subject to the same worldwide income taxation as a U.S. citizen. As a married person, you are considered married for U.S. tax purposes. You don't have to have been married in the United States to be legally married for U.S. income tax purposes. If you are living and working outside the country, there may be some special tax breaks available to you that could reduce or eliminate your U.S. income tax liability, but these rules are complex, especially for green card holders.

It's best to consult a CPA or tax professional with knowledge in this area of taxation.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Susan E. S. Howe, CPA, is principal of Howe Advisory in Strafford, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
Financial FAQs

Search the most frequently asked finance and accounting questions and read the responses from PICPA members. Always consult a CPA before taking action.