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Do I need to include my Irish spouse on my US tax return?

Generally, no, apart from their name.

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When should I include more details about my Irish spouse?

More detailed information is required if you choose to file jointly. In this case, you must include your spouse’s complete income and financial information. 

If your spouse is not eligible for an SSN; they will need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). To obtain an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS.

When might I need to include my Irish spouse’s information?

  • Qualifying for the Child Tax Credit Refund: Provides substantial financial benefits.
  • Filing a Joint Tax Return: Can result in lower taxes if one spouse has a high income and the other has little or no income.
  • Claiming Other Tax Credits and Deductions: in some scenarios, it includes benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or educational tax credits, which are more generous for joint filers.
  • Claiming a Tax Treaty Benefit: If the US and Ireland have a tax treaty offering advantages, including your spouse’s information may be necessary.

Including your spouse’s details can offer immediate benefits like increased tax credits or deductions. Still, it will also expose your spouse to US tax laws and filing requirements, including reporting worldwide income, which could increase your overall tax liability.

Can I claim the Child Tax Credit Refund for my non-US citizen children?

No, your children must hold US citizenship, their own Social Security Number and be under 17 years old.

My children have US citizenship. Can I claim the Child Tax Credit Refund if I’m not working in Ireland?

It’s unlikely because you need income to create the Child Tax Credit. If you’re married and your spouse is working and they’re not a US citizen, we can usually add your spouse to your US tax return to generate the refund. This is often done when a stay-at-home parent is a US citizen and the non-US spouse is working.

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Living outside of the US can make your tax filing requirements complicated. To ensure you pay the minimum amount of taxes, it’s critical to work with an accountant who understands every aspect and avenue for reducing your tax liability. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants who work exclusively with US expats earning and investing in Germany. Partnering with a specialist expat accountant can help you navigate complex tax regulations and optimize your tax situation.


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