For information call now:
Internal Revenue Service
Austin Service Center
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a resident alien and a nonresident alien for tax
For tax purposes, an alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen. Aliens
are classified as resident aliens and nonresident aliens. Resident aliens are
taxed on their worldwide income, the same as U.S. citizens. Nonresident aliens
are taxed only on their U.S. source income.
What is the difference between the taxation of income that is effectively
connected with a trade or business in the United States and income that is not
effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States?
The difference between these two categories is that effectively connected
income, after allowable deductions, is taxed at graduated rates. These are the
same rates that apply to U.S. citizens and residents. Income that is not
effectively connected is taxed at a flat 30% (or lower treaty) rate.
I am a student with an F-1 Visa. I was told that I was an exempt individual.
Does this mean I am exempt from paying U.S. tax?
The term �exempt individual� does not refer to someone exempt from U.S. tax. You
were referred to as an exempt individual because as a student temporarily in the
United States on an F Visa, you do not have to count the days you were present
in the United States as a student during the first 5 years in determining if you
are a resident alien under the substantial presence test
I am a nonresident alien with no dependents. I am working temporarily for a U.S.
company. What return do I file?
You must file Form 1040NR if you are engaged in a trade or business in the
United States, or have any other U.S. source income on which tax was not fully
paid by the amount withheld. You can use Form 1040NR-EZ instead of Form 1040NR
if you meet all 11 conditions listed under Form 1040NR-EZ.
I came to the United States on June 30th of last year. I have an H-1B Visa. What
is my tax status, resident alien or nonresident alien? What tax return do I
You were a dual-status alien last year. As a general rule, because you were in
the United States for 183 days or more, you have met the substantial presence
test and you are taxed as a resident. However, for the part of the year that you
were not present in the United States, you are a nonresident. File Form 1040.
Print �Dual-Status Return� across the top. Attach a statement showing your U.S.
source income for the part of the year you were a nonresident. You may use Form
1040NR as the statement. Print �Dual-Status Statement� across the top.
When is my Form 1040NR due?
If you are an employee and you receive wages subject to U.S. income tax
withholding, you must generally file by the 15th day of the 4th month after your
tax year ends. If you are not an employee who receives wages subject to U.S.
income tax withholding, you must file by the 15th day of the 6th month after
your tax year ends.
My spouse is a nonresident alien. Does he need a social security number?
A social security number (SSN) must be furnished on returns, statements, and
other tax-related documents. If your spouse does not have and is not eligible to
get an SSN, he must apply for an individual taxpayer
identification number (ITIN). If you are a U.S. citizen or resident and you
choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident and file a joint tax
return, your nonresident spouse needs an SSN or an ITIN. Alien spouses who are
claimed as exemptions or dependents are also required to furnish an SSN or an
I am a nonresident alien. Can I file a joint return with my spouse?
Generally, you cannot file as married filing jointly if either spouse was a
nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. However, nonresident aliens
married to U.S. citizens or residents can choose to be treated as U.S. residents
and file joint returns.
I have an H-1B Visa and my husband has an F-1 Visa. We both lived in the United
States all of last year and had income. What kind of form should we file? Do we
file separate returns or a joint return?
Assuming both of you had these visas for all of last year, you are a resident
alien. Your husband is a nonresident alien if he has not been in the United
States as a student for more than 5 years. You and your husband can file a joint
tax return on Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ if he makes the choice to be treated
as a resident for the entire year. If your husband does not make this choice,
you must file a separate return on Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Your husband must
file Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.
Is a �dual-resident taxpayer� the same as a �dual-status taxpayer�?
No. A dual-resident taxpayer is one who is a resident of both the United States
and another country under each country�s tax laws. You are a dual-status taxpayer when you are both a resident alien and
a nonresident alien in the same year.
I am a nonresident alien and invested money in the U.S. stock market through a
U.S. brokerage company. Are the dividends and the capital gains taxable?
If yes, how are they taxed? The following rules apply if the dividends and
capital gains are not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business.
Capital gains are generally not taxable if you were in the United States for
less than 183 days during the year. See Sales or Exchanges of Capital Assets in
chapter 4 for more information and exceptions.
� Dividends are generally taxed
at a 30% (or lower treaty) rate.
The brokerage company or payor of the dividends
should withhold this tax at source. If tax is not withheld at the correct rate,
you must file Form 1040NR to receive a refund or pay any additional tax due. If
the capital gains and dividends are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or
business, they are taxed according to the same rules and at the same rates that
apply to U.S. citizens and residents.
I am a nonresident alien. I receive U.S. social security benefits. Are my
If you are a nonresident alien, 85% of any U.S. social security benefits (and
the equivalent portion of tier 1 railroad retirement benefits) you receive is
subject to the flat 30% tax, unless exempt, or subject to a lower treaty rate.
Do I have to pay taxes on my scholarship?
If you are a nonresident alien and the scholarship is not from U.S. sources, it
is not subject to U.S. tax. If your
scholarship is from U.S. sources or you are a resident alien, your scholarship
is subject to U.S. tax according to the following rules.
� If you are a
candidate for a degree, you may be able to exclude from your income the part of
the scholarship you use to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment
required by the educational institution. However, the part of the scholarship
you use to pay for other expenses, such as room and board, is taxable.
� If you are not a candidate for a degree, your scholarship is taxable.
I am a nonresident alien. Can I claim the standard deduction?Nonresident aliens cannot claim the standard deduction.
I am a nonresident alien . What exemptions can I claim?Nonresident aliens generally can claim only personal exemption for themselves on
their U.S. tax return. There are special rules for residents of Mexico, Canada,
and South Korea; for U.S. nationals; and for students and business apprentices
I am a nonresident alien student. Can I claim an education credit on my Form
1040NR?If you are a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you generally cannot
claim the education credits. However, if you are married and choose to file a
joint return with a U.S. citizen or resident spouse, you may be eligible for
I am a nonresident alien, temporarily working in the U.S. under a J visa. Am I
subject to social security and Medicare taxes?Generally, services you perform as a nonresident alien temporarily in the United
States as a nonimmigrant under subparagraph (F), (J), (M), or (Q) of section
101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act are not covered under the
social security program if you perform the services to carry out the purpose for
which you were admitted to the United States.
I am a nonresident alien student Social security taxes were withheld from my pay
in error. How do I get a refund of these taxes?If social security or Medicare taxes were withheld in error from pay that is not
subject to these taxes, contact the employer who withheld the taxes for a
refund. If you are unable to get a full refund of the amount from your employer,
file a claim for refund with the Internal Revenue Service on Form 843, Claim for
Refund and Request for Abatement.