Table of Contents
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 519, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www.irs.gov/pub519.
For tax purposes, an alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen. Aliens are classified as nonresident aliens and resident aliens. This publication will help you determine your status and give you information you will need to file your U.S. tax return. Resident aliens generally are taxed on their worldwide income, the same as U.S. citizens. Nonresident aliens are taxed only on their income from sources within the United States and on certain income connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States.
Table A. Where To Find What You Need To Know About U.S. Taxes
|Commonly Asked Questions||Where To Find The Answer|
|Am I a nonresident alien or resident alien?||See chapter 1.|
|Can I be a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same year?|
|I am a resident alien and my spouse is a nonresident alien. Are there special rules for us?|
|Is all my income subject to U.S. tax?|
|Is my scholarship subject to U.S. tax?|
|What is the tax rate on my income subject to U.S. tax?||See chapter 4.|
|I moved to the United States this year. Can I deduct my moving expenses on my U.S. return?||See Deductions in chapter 5.|
|Can I claim exemptions for my spouse and children?||See Exemptions in chapter 5.|
|I pay income taxes to my home country. Can I get credit for these taxes on my U.S. tax return?||See Tax Credits and Payments in chapter 5.|
|What forms must I file and when and where do I file them?||See chapter 7.|
|How should I pay my U.S. income taxes?||See chapter 8.|
|Am I eligible for any benefits under a tax treaty?|
|Are employees of foreign governments and international organizations exempt from U.S. tax?||See chapter 10.|
|Is there anything special I have to do before leaving the United States?|
The information in this publication is not as comprehensive for resident aliens as it is for nonresident aliens. Resident aliens are generally treated the same as U.S. citizens and can find more information in other IRS publications.
Table A, Where To Find What You Need To Know About U.S. Taxes, provides a list of questions and the chapter or chapters in this publication where you will find the related discussion.
Answers to frequently asked questions are presented in the back of the publication.
Internal Revenue Service
Tax Forms and Publications
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224
Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) renewal. You may need to renew your ITIN. For more information, see Expired ITIN under Identification Number in chapter 5.
Child tax credit (CTC), earned income credit (EIC), and American opportunity tax credit (AOTC). . If you are claiming the CTC, EIC, or AOTC on your 2016 return, and you had a paid preparer, Form 8867, Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist, must be attached to the return. Your preparer must complete the columns corresponding to the CTC and EIC.
Refunds for returns that claim the additional child tax credit (ACTC) or earned income tax credit (EITC). . If you are claiming the ACTC or EITC on your 2016 return, and you expect a refund, it will not be issued before February 15, 2017. For more information, go to www.irs.gov/for-tax-pros/new-federal-tax-law-may-affect-some-refunds-filed-in-early-2017.
U.S. real property interest. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act 2015 (PL 114-113) made substantial changes to the treatment of dispositions and distributions of U.S. real property interests. Some of these changes are effective for dispositions or distributions made after December 17, 2015 (see Real Property Gain or Loss , later); others are effective for dispositions and distributions made after February 16, 2016 (see Tax Withheld on Real Property Sales , later).
Multi-level marketing. Clarification regarding the characterization and source of income received from multi-level marketing companies by distributors (upper-tier distributors) that are based on the sales or purchases of persons whom they have recruited and sponsored (lower-tier distributors) is provided. See Multi-level marketing under Personal Services in chapter 2.
Additional Medicare Tax. You may be required to pay Additional Medicare Tax. Also, you may need to report Additional Medicare Tax withheld by your employer. For more information, see Additional Medicare Tax under Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Self-Employment Tax in chapter 8. For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, go to IRS.gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box.
Premium tax credit. You may be eligible to claim the premium tax credit if you, your spouse, or a dependent enrolled in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. See Form 8962 and the Instructions for Form 8962 for more information.
Advance payments of the premium tax credit. Advance payments of the premium tax credit may have been made to the health insurer to help pay for the insurance coverage of you, your spouse, or your dependent. If advance payments of the premium tax credit were made, you must file a 2016 tax return and Form 8962. If you enrolled someone who is not claimed as a dependent on your tax return or for more information, see the Instructions for Form 8962.
Form 1095-A. If you, your spouse, or a dependent enrolled in health insurance through the Marketplace, you should have received a Form 1095-A. If you receive a Form 1095-A for 2016, save it. It will help you figure your premium tax credit. If you did not receive a Form 1095-A, contact the Marketplace.
Refunds of certain withholding tax delayed. Refund requests for tax withheld and reported on Form 1042-S, Form 8288-A, or Form 8805 may require additional time for processing. Allow up to 6 months for these refunds to be issued.
Third-party designee. You can check the “Yes” box in the “Third-Party Designee” area of your return to authorize the IRS to discuss your return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as your designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your return. It also allows your designee to perform certain actions such as asking the IRS for copies of notices or transcripts related to your return. Also, the authorization can be revoked. See your income tax return instructions for details.
Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.
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