Building a Family

If you get married to a non U.S. Citizen you must choose to file your tax return as either Married Filing Jointly, or Married Filing Separately.

In either case your new spouse needs to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN.

If you choose to file a joint return with your spouse, the income your spouse earned worldwide during the tax year is now subject to taxation in the United States.

Generally speaking, if your spouse has little or no income, it could save you tax money by filing jointly.

If your spouse has an income it may be best for you to file a return as Married Filling Separately. You can not file as Single. However, there are many deductions and credits you may lose is you file as Married Filing Separately. It is important to consider which filing status will result in the lowest tax bill for your family.

If your new spouse has children that are not citizens or residents of The United States, Canada, or Mexico, you may not be able to claim them as dependants, even if you fully financially support the children. You may be able to claim them as dependents if you legally adopt them, however.

If you and your spouse have a child together, it is important that you inform the U.S. Embassy of your new family member. This will enable you to apply for a social security number and U.S. citizenship.

This should be done promptly.

Contact Us

For clients located in Costa Rica, U.S. Tax International is conveniently located in Rohrmoser, just a few blocks north of the United States Embassy. We can be reached at the phone numbers below or by e-mail at

Plaza Rohrmoser, Second Floor, Unit 38, Geroma, San José, Costa Rica

M-F: 8am-5pm, S-S: Closed