Advice on tax return stuff

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#1
Hi guys,

I'm the winner of the DV lottery, and immigrated to the US last year in August. After getting my temporary green card I stayed for a week, then went back to Australia for a month. I've been living in the US since October.

I'm having some trouble figuring out if I have to file a tax return for 2012 or not.

According to this IRS publication : http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/index.html I am a tax resident as soon as I get my green card. However I was working in Canada up until that point.

My questions are, do I have to mention my income before I got my greencard for my 2012 tax return?

Am I even obligated to file a tax return? I earned maybe $1000 from odd jobs and such, maybe I am below the threshold where I have to file?

Thanks for any advice from people who have experience with this.
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#2
If you are worried about your income from before you became a permanent resident, you can file as Dual-status (resident since you got a green card; non-resident before). However, it may not be as good as filing as resident, so you have to try it both ways.
 
#3
If you are worried about your income from before you became a permanent resident, you can file as Dual-status (resident since you got a green card; non-resident before). However, it may not be as good as filing as resident, so you have to try it both ways.
He cant' claim dual status 'cos he was not here as a 'non-resident'!

You should file 1040EZ with whatever income you got.
It will help you (in future) with the fact that you strived to preserve/honor your US PR status.
If you got kids, I m not sure that you may get 'paid' with a refund from uncle Sam! (with additional child tax cr route)

Following may be of some help.....

http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tool...urn-if-I-Don-t-Have-Any-Income-/INF14238.html
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Do-I-have-to-File-a-Tax-Return?
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/who-has-to-file-taxes-1.aspx

Best!
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#5
I saw that, and there is one paragraph which seems to simply things:

Residency starting date under green card test. If you meet the green card test at any time during a calendar year, but do not meet the substantial presence test for that year, your residency starting date is the first day in the calendar year on which you are present in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
So, that's fine, I'm a resident since August. But what do I do for the previous part of the year where I was working in Canada...just ignore it?

If I file taxes in Canada does that affect my US tax return?
 

enchevetrement

Registered Users (C)
#6
Its easy like one two three! (four five six seven....)

I saw that, and there is one paragraph which seems to simply things:



So, that's fine, I'm a resident since August. But what do I do for the previous part of the year where I was working in Canada...just ignore it?

If I file taxes in Canada does that affect my US tax return?

  1. Dual-Status Aliens : (if you are) a nonresident alien and a resident alien during the same tax year.


  2. Nonresident Aliens : If you are an alien (not a U.S. citizen), you are considered a nonresident alien unless you meet one of the two tests described next under Resident Aliens.


  3. Resident Aliens : if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test
    Note 2: In some circumstances you may still be considered a nonresident alien under an income tax treaty between the U.S. and your country. Check the provisions of the treaty carefully.



  4. green card test: if you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during calendar year (However, see Dual-Status Aliens , later.)


  5. lawful permanent resident: You are a LPR of the United States at any time if you have been given the privilege, according to the immigration laws, of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant.


  6. privilege of residing permanently: You generally have this status if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (or its predecessor organization) has issued you an alien registration card, also known as a “green card.”


  7. Dual-Status Aliens: You can be both a nonresident alien and a resident alien during the same tax year. This usually occurs in the year you arrive in or depart from the United States. Aliens who have dual status should see chapter 6 for information on filing a return for a dual-status tax year.




So bottom line: if you receive a GC card from USCIS anytime during the year you are a resident for tax purposes during all that year. UNLESS there is a income tax treaty between your country and the US, which may take precedence over the local laws in both countries. You need to check that treaty carefully.

Up to here was based on the Nonresident Alien or Resident Alien? link

[HR][/HR]
Here is my understanding:

From my understanding an income tax treaty takes precedence over the local laws of both countries. If according to the tax treaty you are both resident and non resident then chapter 6 applies to you.

---

By the way, USCIS will not issued you an alien registration card (6 above) if you do no pay this new GC fee they ask for...
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#7
I'm only a resident alien, because I have a green card but don't meet the substantial presence test. I'm still unsure if I need to report my working in Canada to the IRS or not.
 

enchevetrement

Registered Users (C)
#8
I'm only a resident alien, because I have a green card but don't meet the substantial presence test. I'm still unsure if I need to report my working in Canada to the IRS or not.
Read carefully:

You are Nonresident unless you meet one of the two tests : green card test or the substantial presence test.

You meet the green card test so you are not Nonresident for the year. You are Resident Aliens and Note 2 applies to you. You would need to look at the income tax treaty if one exists
 

newacct

Well-Known Member
#9
So bottom line: if you receive a GC card from USCIS anytime during the year you are a resident for tax purposes during all that year. UNLESS there is a income tax treaty between your country and the US, which may take precedence over the local laws in both countries. You need to check that treaty carefully.
You should also read Dual-Status Aliens : First Year of Residency
If you are a U.S. resident for the calendar year, but you were not a U.S. resident at any time during the preceding calendar year, you are a U.S. resident only for the part of the calendar year that begins on the residency starting date. You are a nonresident alien for the part of the year before that date.
Which applies to him -- he is a U.S. resident for the calendar year, but not a U.S. resident in the preceding year. So he can choose to be a dual-status alien.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/ch01.html#en_US_publink1000222169
If you meet the green card test at any time during a calendar year, but do not meet the substantial presence test for that year, your residency starting date is the first day in the calendar year on which you are present in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
This says the starting date of his residency would be when he got his green card.
 

enchevetrement

Registered Users (C)
#10
You should also read Dual-Status Aliens : First Year of Residency

Which applies to him -- he is a U.S. resident for the calendar year, but not a U.S. resident in the preceding year. So he can choose to be a dual-status alien.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/ch01.html#en_US_publink1000222169

This says the starting date of his residency would be when he got his green card.

OK I concur,

So [Figure 1-A] if you receive a GC anytime during the year you are a resident alien for US tax purposes, but see notes (1) & (2)

(1) if this is your first or last year of residency, you may have a dual status for the year. See Dual-status Aliens in Chapter 1

(2) In some circumstances you may still be considered a nonresident alien under an income tax treaty between the U.S. and your country. Check the provisions of the treaty carefully.

---

So according to Note 1 he can choose to have his residency start at the time he received the GC and not at the start of the year (subject to what is described in "First-Year Choice"). In this case, chapter 6 applies, which basically means that he does not have to pay taxes for income he received _before_ his residency started
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#11
I already said I know that I'm a resident, that isn't what I'm asking. I'm asking if I have to mention my prior income for that year on my American tax return for that year. i.e. I worked in Canada from February to July, and became a US tax resident in October. Do I have to mention that I worked in Canada on my US tax return?

It's a straight forward question that should be pretty simple if anyone has had to do it before.


Read carefully:

You are Nonresident unless you meet one of the two tests : green card test or the substantial presence test.

You meet the green card test so you are not Nonresident for the year. You are Resident Aliens and Note 2 applies to you. You would need to look at the income tax treaty if one exists
You tell me to read carefully, and then repeat my own answer back to me? Hmm.
 

josh000

Registered Users (C)
#12
I already said I know that I'm a resident, that isn't what I'm asking. I'm asking if I have to mention my prior income for that year on my American tax return for that year. i.e. I worked in Canada from February to July, and became a US tax resident in October. Do I have to mention that I worked in Canada on my US tax return?

It's a straight forward question that should be pretty simple if anyone has had to do it before.


Read carefully:

You are Nonresident unless you meet one of the two tests : green card test or the substantial presence test.

You meet the green card test so you are not Nonresident for the year. You are Resident Aliens and Note 2 applies to you. You would need to look at the income tax treaty if one exists
You tell me to read carefully, and then repeat my own answer back to me? Hmm.
 
Top