Am I a resident for tax purposes…and..?


IRS 1040 Tax Form Being Filled OutShould I file as a resident or as a non-resident? I’ve been in the U.S. for a long time! 

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are considered a nonresident alien for tax purposes unless you meet one of two tests:

1. The “Green Card” Test
You are a resident for tax purposes if you were a legal permanent resident of the United States any time during the past calendar year.

2. The Substantial Presence Test
You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the Substantial Presence Test for the 2015 calendar year.  To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:

  1. 31 days during the 2015 calendar year, and
  2. 183 days during the consecutive 3-year period ending with, and including, the 2015 calendar year, counting:
    – All the days you were present during the 2015 calendar year, and
    – 1/3 of the days you were present in the 2014 calendar year, and
    – 1/6 of the days you were present in the 2013 calendar year.

Use this tool to figure it out.
NEXT STEPS
If you determine that you are a resident for tax purposes, you can file your taxes like any other U.S. citizen. Feel free to make use of any conventional assistance available in the community, such as UO free workshops and off-campus resources as well as software like Turbotax, TaxAct, H&R Block, etc.

** thank you James for helping with this post! **

I made no money. Can I ignore all this?

WE-AA404_GRADES_F_20121213145945I am an F-1 student who did not work in the U.S. at all last year; my parents abroad funded me completely. Do I have to file U.S. tax returns for that year? 
Although you do NOT need to file a 1040NR-EZ or the 40N, all F-1 and J-1 students and scholars and all F-2 and J-2 dependents are required to file Form 8843, even if you had no income in the U.S..

I don’t want to file these forms. I’m too busy!

lionel-messi1_3467518bDo I really have to file tax returns and pay taxes in the U.S.? What will happen if I just don’t file any tax returns? 
Federal law requires you to file tax returns; if you fail to do so, you are out of compliance with the law, which can result in serious legal difficulties with both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and can possibly affect your immigration status because of that. Remember, if you earned income in the U.S., your employer has already turned over your withholding dollars to the IRS, so the IRS already knows you had income.

How does the UO decide to take money from my paycheck?

peter-hall-st-peter-rebukes-ananias-for-withholding-money-from-godHow does my employer estimate how much to take from my paycheck? 
Employers are required to have all employees complete and submit a Form W-4 when they start working. The way the employee completes the form will determine how much the employer will withhold on an estimated basis. Nonresident taxpayers do not have many choices in completing Form W-4, however, because of government regulations on this matter.

How is the U.S. income tax system structured?

FT_15.03.23_taxesRevenueHow is the U.S. income tax system structured? 
During the course of a calendar year, employers are required to keep estimated taxes from their employees’ paychecks and give those dollars to the government. Sometime between January 1 and the middle of April of the following year, every individual is required to file a “tax return” with the IRS: the tax return compares the estimated amount, kept by the employer, with the actual amount of tax owed. If an employer took more in estimated taxes than what the employee actually owes, the employee will get a tax refund. If the employer withheld too little, the employee will need to pay additional taxes.