Taxation of Nonresident Aliens

An alien is any individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national. A nonresident alien is an alien who has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.

A.  Who Must File

If you are any of the following, you must file a return:

  1. A nonresident alien individual engaged or considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States during the year.
  2. A nonresident alien individual who is not engaged in a trade or business in the United States and has U.S. income on which the tax liability was not satisfied by the withholding of tax at the source.
  3. A representative or agent responsible for filing the return of an individual described in (1) or (2),
  4. A fiduciary for a nonresident alien estate or trust, or
  5. A resident or domestic fiduciary, or other person, charged with the care of the person or property of a nonresident individual may be required to file an income tax return for that individual and pay the tax (Refer to Treas. Reg. 1.6012-3(b)).

NOTE: If you were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States on an “F,””J,””M,” or “Q” visa, you are considered engaged in a trade or business in the United States. You must file Form 1040NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return (or Form 1040NR-EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents) only if you have income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc. Refer to Foreign Students and Scholars for more information

Foreign Students and Scholars

Aliens temporarily present in the United States as students, trainees, scholars, teachers, researchers, exchange visitors, and cultural exchange visitors are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of their income.

Withholding Taxes on Foreign Students

Withholding Taxes on Foreign Teachers, Foreign Researchers, and Other Foreign Professionals

Income of Foreign Students and Scholars