Taxation of U.S. Resident Aliens

Seattle Tax Attorney for U.S. Resident Aliens

Even if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be subject to U.S. taxes. If you are a U.S. visa holder, you should familiarize yourself with the applicable tax obligations to ensure IRS tax compliance and to prevent costly mistakes.

Based in Bellevue and serving Washington State and Seattle, attorney Olga Guzhva will help you understand your tax obligations and which tax credits apply to you. To consult with us about our tax attorney services and whether they are right for you, we welcome you to contact Guzhva Law Firm to schedule a free phone evaluation.

IRS Tax Classification

For tax purposes, all individuals are categorized as (1) U.S. citizens and resident aliens, or (2) nonresident aliens. A U.S. resident alien's income is generally subject to tax in the same manner as a U.S. citizen.

If the IRS considers you a “U.S. resident alien” for tax purposes, your entire worldwide income is taxed, even if earned outside the United States. Exceptions may apply based on the international treaties regulating taxation of U.S. tax residents on a worldwide income.

You can be classified as both a nonresident alien and a resident alien during the same tax year if you arrive to or depart from the United States in the same year. For more information on the U.S. taxation of worldwide income, see the IRS Publication, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.

Determining Alien Tax Status

According to the IRS tax classifications: “You are a resident alien 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).”

In some cases IRS allows aliens to make elections which override the green card test and the substantial presence test, as follows:

To read more about these elections, see the IRS page on Determining Alien Tax Status.

You may also wish to read this article on nolo.com by Stephen Fishman, J.D.: When Visa or Green Card Holders Must Pay Taxes.

Claiming Exemptions

You can claim personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents according to the dependency rules for U.S. citizens. The dependent must be a citizen or national of the United States or be a resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which your tax year begins. For more information about allowable tax exemptions, see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Tax Credits for U.S. Resident Aliens

U.S. resident aliens generally claim tax credits and report tax payments, including withholding, using the same rules that apply to U.S. citizens. For further information, see IRS Form 1040 and its instructions.

Read our article in Russian: Особенности налогообложения США: Грин Карта v. Неиммиграционная Виза.

We Can Help You

At Guzhva Law Firm, we are providing thoughtful solutions and measurable value to each individual situation. Because U.S. tax law and regulations are complicated and constantly changing, it is important that you obtain up to date information about the provisions that apply to you to prevent costly mistakes. Decision on which approach to take will depend on the individual facts of the particular case, with certain comparisons that can be made by our tax attorney.

To schedule a consultation with a tax attorney, please contact us today. With offices in Bellevue, we work with tax clients throughout Seattle and Washington State, and elsewhere.

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