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Podcast text script - Intl Taxpayers-Filing Requirements

WELCOME TO THE IRS’S INTERNATIONAL INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS ASSISTANCE OR IITA VIDEO SERIES.
  
HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
   
IF SO… THIS VIDEO WILL HELP YOU DETERMINE IF YOU NEED TO FILE A U.S.  INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURN.

TO DETERMINE IF YOU ARE REQUIRED TO FILE A U.S. TAX RETURN… START WITH THIS QUESTION.

"WERE YOU A U.S. CITIZEN ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TAX YEAR?"

FOR INDIVIDUALS, THE TAX YEAR IS TYPICALLY THE CALENDAR YEAR, WHICH ENDS ON DECEMBER 31st.

A U.S. CITIZEN CAN BE A PERSON BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, OR IN A U.S. TERRITORY, SUCH AS PUERTO RICO, GUAM OR THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, OR WHO HAS A PARENT WHO IS A U.S. CITIZEN OR, SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN NATURALIZED AS A U.S. CITIZEN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO IRS.GOV AND TYPE IMMIGRATION TERMS IN THE SEARCH BOX.   

IF YOU ANSWERED "NO," YOU WERE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN. THEN WERE YOU A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN?

FOR FEDERAL TAX PURPOSES, YOU ARE A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN IF:  YOU HAVE A GREEN CARD… OR YOU MEET THE SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE TEST... OR YOU'RE MARRIED TO A U.S. CITIZEN OR RESIDENT ALIEN… AND ELECTED TO BE TREATED AS A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION… CHECK OUT OUR PUBLICATION 519… US TAX GUIDE FOR ALIENS… WHICH YOU CAN FIND BY GOING TO IRS.GOV AND TYPING PUB 519 IN THE SEARCH BOX.

NOW, LET'S EXPLORE THE GREEN CARD TEST.

IF YOU WERE A U.S. LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT OR A GREEN CARD HOLDER AT ANY TIME DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR, THEN YOU ARE A U.S RESIDENT ALIEN FOR TAX PURPOSES.

IF YOU DON’T MEET THE GREEN CARD TEST, USE THE SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE TEST TO SEE IF YOU WERE A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN.

IT REQUIRES YOU TO BE IN THE UNITED STATES AT LEAST 31 DAYS DURING THE TAX YEAR IN QUESTION, AND AT LEAST 183 DAYS DURING A THREE-YEAR PERIOD… WHICH INCLUDES THE TAX YEAR IN QUESTION AND THE TWO CONSECUTIVE YEARS BEFORE THAT.

THIS IS DETERMINED BY COUNTING ALL THE DAYS IN THE TAX YEAR IN QUESTION AND A THIRD OF THE DAYS YOU WERE PRESENT IN THE PRIOR YEAR AND ONE-SIXTH OF THE DAYS YOU WERE PRESENT IN THE TWO YEARS PRIOR THE TAX YEAR IN QUESTION.

IF YOU DON’T MEET EITHER THE GREEN CARD TEST OR THE SUBSTANTIAL PRESENCE TEST, THE NEXT TEST IS THE SPECIAL ELECTION TEST.

IF, AT THE END OF YOUR TAX YEAR, YOU WERE MARRIED AND ONE SPOUSE WAS A U.S. CITIZEN OR A RESIDENT ALIEN AND THE OTHER SPOUSE WAS A NONRESIDENT ALIEN.

YOU CAN CHOOSE TO TREAT THE NONRESIDENT SPOUSE AS A U.S. RESIDENT.

YOU MUST FILE A JOINT INCOME TAX RETURN FOR THE YEAR YOU MAKE THIS CHOICE.

IF YOU MAKE THIS CHOICE..BOTH YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE… FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES…ARE TREATED AS U.S. RESIDENTS FOR THE ENTIRE TAX YEAR.

NEITHER YOU NOR YOUR SPOUSE CAN CLAIM NOT TO BE A U.S. RESIDENT UNDER ANY TAX TREATY.

AND YOU ARE BOTH TAXED ON YOUR WORLDWIDE INCOME.

AGAIN… FOR MORE INFORMATION… GO TO PUBLICATION 519 ON OUR WEBSITE.

IF YOU ARE EITHER A U.S. CITIZEN OR RESIDENT ALIEN YOU MUST FILE A FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN TO REPORT YOUR WORLDWIDE INCOME REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU LIVE UNLESS YOUR INCOME IS BELOW THE FILING THRESHOLD AMOUNT… WHICH WE’LL DESCRIBE SHORTLY.

THE RULES FOR FILING AN INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURN… AS WELL AS ESTATE... AND GIFT TAX RETURNS… AND FOR PAYING ESTIMATED TAX… ARE GENERALLY THE SAME WHETHER YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES OR ABROAD.

WHETHER YOU'RE REQUIRED TO FILE AN INCOME TAX IS DETERMINED BY YOUR INCOME, FILING STATUS AND AGE.  

EACH YEAR, THE IRS PUBLISHES UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS TO FORM 1040 WITH NEW THRESHOLD AMOUNTS OF GROSS INCOME FOR EACH FILING STATUS AND AGE GROUP CATEGORY.

FOR EXAMPLE, THIS IS THE CHART FOR THE 2014 TAX YEAR.

IT SAYS YOU MUST FILE A TAX RETURN IF:  YOUR FILING STATUS IS SINGLE AND YOU'RE UNDER 65 YEARS OLD, AND YOUR GROSS INCOME IN 2014 WAS 10-THOUSAND-150 DOLLARS OR MORE.

YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO FILE A RETURN IF:  YOUR FILING STATUS IS MARRIED FILING JOINTLY AND BOTH SPOUSES WERE 65 YEARS OLD OR OLDER, AND YOUR COMBINED GROSS INCOME WAS BELOW 22-THOUSAND-700 DOLLARS.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO FILE A TAX RETURN EVEN IF YOUR GROSS INCOME IS BELOW THE THRESHOLD AMOUNT FOR YOUR FILING STATUS.

FOR EXAMPLE…  CHART C IN THE FORM 1040 INSTRUCTIONS… SAYS IF YOU HAD NET EARNINGS FROM SELF-EMPLOYMENT OF AT LEAST 400 DOLLARS, YOU HAVE TO FILE A U.S. INCOME TAX RETURN.

NOW… IF YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN, AND NOT A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN, THEN DID YOU RECEIVE U.S. SOURCE INCOME DURING THE TAX YEAR?

EXAMPLES OF U.S. SOURCE INCOME INCLUDE INCOME RECEIVED FROM U.S. DOMESTIC CORPORATIONS OR FROM…U.S. CITIZENS OR RESIDENT ALIENS… OR ENTITIES FORMED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OR A STATE.  

RENTAL INCOME ON PROPERTIES LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES.

AND INCOME RECEIVED FOR SERVICES PERFORMED IN THE UNITED STATES.

FOR MORE INFORMATION… SEE THE "SOURCE OF INCOME" SECTION OF PUBLICATION 515-WITHHOLDING OF TAX ON NONRESIDENT ALIENS AND FOREIGN ENTITIES… WHICH YOU CAN FIND ON THE IRS WEBSITE.

NOW… IF YOU ANSWERED "NO" TO THESE THREE QUESTIONS… THAT YOU’RE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN… YOU’RE NOT A U.S. RESIDENT ALIEN… AND YOU DIDN'T RECEIVE ANY U.S. INCOME… THEN GENERALLY YOU’RE NOT REQUIRED TO FILE A U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN.

HOWEVER… IF YOU ANSWERED “YES,” YOU DID RECEIVE U.S. SOURCE INCOME, THEN YOU MAY HAVE TO FILE A U.S. INCOME TAX RETURN.

AGAIN… CONSULT PUBLICATION 515 FOR MORE INFORMATION FOR NONRESIDENT ALIENS.

AND FOR INFORMATION FOR ALL TYPES OF INTERNATIONAL TAXPAYERS… GO TO IRS.GOV AND TYPE INTERNATIONAL TAXPAYERS IN THE SEARCH BOX.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Apr-2016