Determining an Individual’s Tax Residency Status

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are considered a nonresident of the United States for U.S. tax purposes unless you meet one of two tests. You are a resident  of the United States for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31).

Certain rules exist for determining your residency starting and ending dates.

In some cases, you are allowed to make elections which override the green card test and the substantial presence test, as follows:

You can be both a nonresident and a resident for U.S. tax purposes during the same tax year. This usually occurs in the year you arrive or depart from the United States. If so, you need to file a dual-status income tax return.

If you are a U.S. resident for tax purposes and need to establish your U.S. residency for the purpose of claiming a tax treaty benefit with a foreign country, refer to Certification of U.S. Residency for Tax Treaty Purposes.