General Instructions

What's New

Filing status for same-sex married couples.   If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you generally must use the married filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. See Filing Status, later.

Limit on itemized deductions.   You may not be able to deduct all of your itemized deductions if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000. See the instructions for line 11.

Personal exemption amount increased for certain taxpayers.   Your personal exemption amount is increased to $3,900. But the amount may be reduced if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000. See the instructions for line 13.

Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).   ITINs issued after 2012 are valid for only 5 years. SeeIdentifying Number, later.

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 1040NR-EZ and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to www.irs.gov/form1040nrez.

Other Reporting Requirements

You also may have to file other forms, including the following:

  • Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b).

  • Form 8840, Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens.

  • Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition.

  • Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.

If you have to file one or more of the forms listed earlier, you may not be able to file Form 1040NR-EZ. For more information, and to see if you must file one of these forms, see chapter 1 of Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Additional Information

If you need more information, our free publications may help you. Pub. 519 will be the most important, but the following publications also may help.

Pub. 597 Information on the United States—Canada Income Tax Treaty
Pub. 901 U.S. Tax Treaties
Pub. 910 IRS Guide to Free Tax Services (includes a list of  
all publications)

These free publications and the forms and schedules you will need are available from the Internal Revenue Service. You can download them at IRS.gov. Also see How to Get Tax Help, later, for other ways to get them (as well as information on receiving IRS assistance in completing the forms).

Resident Alien or Nonresident Alien

If you are not a citizen of the United States, specific rules apply to determine if you are a resident alien or a nonresident alien for tax purposes. Generally, you are considered a resident alien if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for 2013. (These tests are explained in Green Card Test next and Substantial Presence Test, later.) Even if you do not meet either of these tests, you may be able to choose to be treated as a U.S. resident for part of 2013. See First-Year Choice in chapter 1 of Pub. 519 for details.

Generally, you are considered a nonresident alien for the year if you are not a U.S. resident under either of these tests. However, even if you are a U.S. resident under one of these tests, you still may be considered a nonresident alien if you qualify as a resident of a treaty country within the meaning of an income tax treaty between the United States and that country and elect to be treated as a resident of that country. You can download the complete text of most U.S. tax treaties at IRS.gov. Enter “tax treaties” in the search box at the top of the page. Technical explanations for many of those treaties are also available at that site.

For more details on resident and nonresident status, the tests for residence, and the exceptions to them, see chapter 1 of Pub. 519.

Green Card Test

You are a resident for tax purposes if you were a lawful permanent resident (immigrant) of the United States at any time during 2013 and you took no steps to be treated as a resident of a foreign country under an income tax treaty. (However, see Dual-Status Taxpayers, later.) In most cases you are a lawful permanent resident if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (or its predecessor organization, INS) has issued you an alien registration card, also known as a green card.

If you surrender your green card, your status as a resident for tax purposes will change as of the date you surrender your green card if all of the following are true.

  1. You mail a letter to the USCIS stating your intent to surrender your green card.

  2. You send this letter by certified mail, return receipt requested (or the foreign equivalent).

  3. You have proof that the letter was received by the USCIS.

Keep a copy of the letter and the proof that the letter was received.

Until you have proof your letter was received, you remain a resident for tax purposes even if the USCIS would not recognize the validity of your green card because it is more than ten years old or because you have been absent from the United States for a period of time.

For more details, including special rules that apply if you give up your green card after holding it in at least 8 of the prior 15 years, see Pub. 519.

Substantial Presence Test

You are considered a U.S. resident if you meet the substantial presence test for 2013. You meet this test if you were physically present in the United States for at least:

  1. 31 days during 2013, and

  2. 183 days during the period 2013, 2012, and 2011, using the following chart.

(a) (b) (c) (d)
Year Days of physical presence Multiplier Testing days (multiply (b) times (c))
2013   1.000  
2012   .333  
2011   .167  
Total testing days (add column (d))  

Generally, you are treated as present in the United States on any day that you are physically present in the country at any time during the day. However, there are exceptions to this rule. In general, do not count the following as days of presence in the United States for the substantial presence test.

  • Days you commute to work in the United States from a residence in Canada or Mexico if you regularly commute from Canada or Mexico.

  • Days you are in the United States for less than 24 hours when you are in transit between two places outside the United States.

  • Days you are in the United States as a crew member of a foreign vessel.

  • Days you intend, but are unable, to leave the United States because of a medical condition that arose while you were in the United States.

  • Days you are an exempt individual (defined next).

You may need to file Form 8843 to exclude days of presence in the United States for the substantial presence test. For more information on the requirements, see Form 8843 in chapter 1 of Pub. 519.

Exempt individual.   For these purposes, an exempt individual is generally an individual who is a:

Note.

Alien individuals with “Q” visas are treated as either students, teachers, or trainees and, as such, are exempt individuals for purposes of the substantial presence test if they otherwise qualify. “Q” visas are issued to aliens participating in certain international cultural exchange programs.

  • Foreign government-related individual;

  • Teacher or trainee who is temporarily present under a “J” or “Q” visa;

  • Student who is temporarily present under an “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” visa; or

  • Professional athlete who is temporarily in the United States to compete in a charitable sports event.

  See chapter 1 of Pub. 519 for more details regarding days of presence in the United States for the substantial presence test.

Closer Connection to Foreign Country

Even though you otherwise would meet the substantial presence test, you can be treated as a nonresident alien if you:

  • Were present in the United States for fewer than 183 days during 2013,

  • Establish that during 2013 you had a tax home in a foreign country, and

  • Establish that during 2013 you had a closer connection to one foreign country in which you had a tax home than to the United States unless you had a closer connection to two foreign countries.

See chapter 1 of Pub. 519 for more information.

Closer connection exception for foreign students.   If you are a foreign student in the United States, and you have met the substantial presence test, you still may be able to claim you are a nonresident alien. You must meet both of the following requirements.
  1. You establish that you do not intend to reside permanently in the United States. The facts and circumstances of your situation are considered to determine if you do not intend to reside permanently in the United States. The facts and circumstances include the following.

    1. Whether you have taken any steps to change your U.S. immigration status to lawful permanent resident.

    2. During your stay in the United States, whether you have maintained a closer connection with a foreign country than with the United States.

  2. You have substantially complied with your visa requirements.

You must file a fully completed Form 8840 with the IRS to claim the closer connection exception. See Form 8840 in chapter 1 of Pub. 519.

You cannot use the closer connection exception to remain a nonresident alien indefinitely. You must have in mind an estimated departure date from the United States in the near future.

Who Must File

File Form 1040NR-EZ (or Form 1040NR) if you were a nonresident alien engaged in a trade or business in the United States during 2013. You must file even if:

  • You have no income from a trade or business conducted in the United States,

  • You have no income from U.S. sources, or

  • Your income is exempt from U.S. tax under a tax treaty or any section of the Internal Revenue Code.

Other situations when you must file.   You also must file a return for 2013 if you need to pay social security and Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes.

Exceptions. You do not need to file Form 1040NR-EZ (or Form 1040NR) if:

  1. Your only U.S. trade or business was the performance of personal services; and

    1. Your wages were less than $3,900; and

    2. You have no other need to file a return to claim a refund of overwithheld taxes, to satisfy additional withholding at source, or to claim income exempt or partly exempt by treaty; or

  2. You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States under an “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” visa, and you have no income (such as wages, salaries, tips, etc., or scholarship or fellowship grants) that is subject to tax under section 871.

When To File

If you were an employee and received wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding, file Form 1040NR-EZ by April 15, 2014.

If you did not receive wages as an employee subject to U.S. income tax withholding, file Form 1040NR-EZ by June 16, 2014.

If you file after the due date (without extensions), you may have to pay interest and penalties. See Interest and Penalties, later.

Extension of time to file.   If you cannot file your return by the due date, file Form 4868 to get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file. You must file Form 4868 by the regular due date of the return.

Note.   An automatic 6-month extension of time to file does not extend the time to pay your tax. If you do not pay your tax by the original due date of your return, you will owe interest on the unpaid tax and may owe penalties. See Form 4868.

Where To File

Mail Form 1040NR-EZ to:

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0215  
U.S.A.

If enclosing a payment, mail Form 1040NR-EZ to:

Internal Revenue Service  
P.O. Box 1303  
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303  
U.S.A.

Private Delivery Services

You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the “timely mailing as timely filing/paying” rule for tax returns and payments. These private delivery services include only the following.

  • DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service.

  • Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First.

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.

For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS.gov and enter “private delivery service” in the search box. The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of the mailing date.

Private delivery services cannot deliver items to P.O. boxes. You must use the U.S. Postal Service to mail any items to an IRS P.O. box address.

Election To Be Taxed as a Resident Alien

You can elect to be taxed as a U.S. resident for the whole year if all of the following apply.

  • You were married.

  • Your spouse was a U.S. citizen or resident alien on the last day of the tax year.

  • You file a joint return for the year of the election using Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.

To make this election, you must attach the statement described in chapter 1 of Pub. 519 to your return. Do not use Form 1040NR-EZ.

Your worldwide income for the whole year must be included and will be taxed under U.S. tax laws. You must agree to keep the records, books, and other information needed to figure the tax. If you made the election in an earlier year, you can file a joint return or separate return for 2013. If you file a separate return, use Form 1040 or Form 1040A. You must include your worldwide income for the whole year whether you file a joint or separate return.

If you make this election, you may forfeit the right to claim benefits otherwise available under a U.S. tax treaty. For more information about the benefits that otherwise might be available, see the specific treaty.

Dual-Status Taxpayers

If you elect to be taxed as a resident alien (discussed earlier), the special instructions and restrictions discussed here do not apply.

Dual-Status Tax Year

A dual-status year is one in which you change status between nonresident and resident alien. Different U.S. income tax rules apply to each status.

Most dual-status years are the years of arrival or departure. Before you arrive in the United States, you are a nonresident alien. After you arrive, you may or may not be a resident, depending on the circumstances.

If you become a U.S. resident, you stay a resident until you leave the United States or are no longer a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. You may become a nonresident alien when you leave if you meet both of the following conditions.

  • After leaving (or after your last day of lawful permanent residency if you met the green card test, defined earlier) and for the remainder of the calendar year of your departure, you have a closer connection to a foreign country than to the United States.

  • During the next calendar year you are not a U.S. resident under either the green card test or the substantial presence test.

See Pub. 519 for more information.

What and Where To File for a Dual-Status Year

If you were a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year, file Form 1040. Enter “Dual-Status Return” across the top and attach a statement showing your income for the part of the year you were a nonresident. You can use 
Form 1040NR-EZ as the statement; enter “Dual-Status Statement” across the top. Do not sign Form 1040NR-EZ. Mail your return and statement to the following address.

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0215  
U.S.A.

If enclosing a payment, mail your return and statement to the following address.

Internal Revenue Service  
P.O. Box 1303  
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303 
U.S.A.

If you were a nonresident on the last day of the tax year, file Form 1040NR-EZ. Enter “Dual-Status Return” across the top and attach a statement showing your income for the part of the year you were a U.S. resident. You can use Form 1040 as the statement; enter “Dual-Status Statement” across the top. Do not sign Form 1040. Mail your return and statement to the following address.

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0215 
U.S.A.

If enclosing a payment, mail your return and statement to the following address.

Internal Revenue Service 
P.O. Box 1303  
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303  
U.S.A.

Statements.   Any statement you file with your return must show your name, address, and identifying number (see Identifying Number, later).

Income Subject to Tax for Dual-Status Year

As a dual-status taxpayer not filing a joint return, you are taxed on income from all sources for the part of the year you were a resident alien. Generally, you are taxed on income only from U.S. sources for the part of the year you were a nonresident alien. However, all income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States is taxable.

Income you received as a dual-status taxpayer from sources outside the United States while a resident alien is taxable even if you became a nonresident alien after receiving it and before the close of the tax year. Conversely, income you received from sources outside the United States while a nonresident alien is not taxable in most cases even if you became a resident alien after receiving it and before the close of the tax year. Income from U.S. sources is generally taxable whether you received it while a nonresident alien or a resident alien (unless specifically exempt under the Internal Revenue Code or a tax treaty provision).

Restrictions for Dual-Status Taxpayers

Standard deduction.   You cannot take the standard deduction even for the part of the year you were a resident alien.

Head of household.   You cannot use the Head of household Tax Table column in the Instructions for Form 1040.

Joint return.   You cannot file a joint return unless you elect to be taxed as a resident alien (see Election To Be Taxed as a Resident Alien, earlier) instead of as a dual-status taxpayer.

Tax rates.   If you were married and a nonresident of the United States for all or part of the tax year and you do not make the election discussed earlier to be taxed as a resident alien, you must use the Married filing separately Tax Table column to figure your tax on income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. If you were married, you cannot use the Single Tax Table column.

Deduction for exemptions.   As a dual-status taxpayer, you usually will be entitled to your own personal exemption. Subject to the general rules for qualification, you are allowed an exemption for your spouse in figuring taxable income for the part of the year you were a resident alien. The amount you can claim for these exemptions is limited to your taxable income (determined without regard to exemptions) for the part of the year you were a resident alien. You cannot use exemptions (other than your own) to reduce taxable income to below zero for that period.

  Special rules apply for exemptions for the part of the year a dual-status taxpayer is a nonresident alien if the taxpayer is a resident of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea; a U.S. national (defined later); or a student or business apprentice from India. See Pub. 519 for more information.

Tax credits.   You cannot take the earned income credit, the credit for the elderly or disabled, or any education credit unless you elect to be taxed as a resident alien (see Election To Be Taxed as a Resident Alien, earlier) instead of as a dual-status taxpayer. For information on other credits, see chapter 6 of Pub. 519.

How To Figure Tax for a Dual-Status Tax Year

When you figure your U.S. tax for a dual-status year, you are subject to different rules for the part of the year you were a resident and the part of the year you were a nonresident.

All income for the period of residence and all income that is effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States for the period of nonresidence, after allowable deductions, is combined and taxed at the same rates that apply to U.S. citizens and residents.

Credit for taxes paid.   You are allowed a credit against your U.S. income tax liability for certain taxes you paid, or are considered to have paid, or that were withheld from your income. These include:
1. Taxes withheld from wages earned in the United States and taxes withheld at the source from scholarship income from U.S. sources.
  When filing Form 1040, show the total tax withheld on line 62. Enter amounts from the attached statement (Form 1040NR-EZ, lines 18a and 18b) in the column to the right of line 62 and identify and include them in the amount on line 62.
  When filing Form 1040NR-EZ, show the total tax withheld on lines 18a and 18b. Enter the amount from the attached statement (Form 1040, line 62) in the column to the right of line 18a, and identify and include it in the amount on line 18a.
2. Estimated tax paid with Form 1040-ES or Form 1040-ES (NR).
3. Tax paid with Form 1040-C at the time of departure from the United States. When filing Form 1040, include the tax paid with Form 1040-C with the total payments on line 72. Identify the payment in the area to the left of the entry.


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