US tax guide for aliens

The IRS offers a number of publications, including instructions for each type of tax form. To start, the most important and helpful IRS publication for you will be No. 519 “Tax Guide for Aliens” and No. 901 “U.S. Tax Treaties”.

Resident or nonresident?

The tax guide for aliens (IRS Publication 519) offers a simple chart on page 5 to determine your tax status. This “substantial presence test” asks if you were present for more than 183 days during the three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that. How to count the days of presence is complicated since many exemptions apply. You will find the instructions on page 4 of the tax guide for aliens.

Frequently asked questions

FAQs from the IRS Publication 519 Tax Guide for Aliens (please scroll down to the Question and Answer section of the document).

Tax treaties

The United States has income tax treaties with a number of foreign countries under which residents of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate in certain cases, or even totally exempt from U.S. income tax.

More information on tax treaties.