Substantial Presence test f1 visa

Substantial Presence Test Calculator for F1 Visa – 1040NR or 1040 Form

F1, OPT and H1B Resident Test calculation is easy to calculate, if you know the certain IRS rules. Most of you will run into to this confusion till you understand the differences between Resident Alien and Non-Resident Alien. Here’s couple of questions from my readers

F-1 Student 

I came to USA in F1 Visa in August 2013. I wanted to know, if I have to file Taxes? While looking at tax forms, I’m not sure if I will be considered Resident or Non-Resident Alien. I think only US citizens and green card holders will be considered Residents. Correct me if I’m wrong?

H-1B Worker

I came to America in October 2013. I’m filing taxes in April of this year. I like to know if I can claim the standard deduction. Since, standard deduction will get me more tax deduction and I have to be Resident Alien to file the form 1040.  I’m not sure if I can claim as Resident Alien yet?

Typically F-1 Students, H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, L2 workers run into this issue during tax time. Let’s tackle this problem in this blog post.

Let me clear a couple of important facts first.

  1. You can be considered as Resident Alien in certain situations, even though you don’t have Green Card.
  2. Resident and Non-Resident Alien for Tax purpose is different from Permanent Resident or Green Card Holder.

How to determine if you are considered as Resident or Non-Resident Alien for Tax Purpose? IRS used list of tests to determine if you will be considered Resident or Non-Resident alien for tax purpose.

  • Alien :  If you are not a U.S. Citizen, then you are considered as an Alien.
  • Non-resident Aliens : If you are an alien (not a U.S. Citizen), you are considered a non-resident alien unless you meet one of the two tests described next under Resident Aliens.
  • Resident Aliens: 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.

Resident Alien – Tests

  1. Green Card Test
  2. Substantial Presence Test

Green Card Test

You are a resident for tax purposes if you are a lawful permanent resident or Green Card Holder of the United States at any time during the calendar year.

Substantial Presence Test

This applies to F1, OPT, H1B, L1, L2 visa holders.

You will be considered a U.S. Resident for tax purposes if  you meet the substantial presence test.

  • F1 visa (OPT/CPT) : You are are considered as Non Resident Aliens for a period of up to Five years. Use Substantial Presence Test to determine your residency in 6th year.
  • H1B Visa : Use Substantial Presence Test Calculator (below) to calculate if you are a resident alien.

After reading this of you are confused, then talk to an Tax Specialist or CPA in your university. Usually, there will be tax professionals to help with international students taxes.  H1B visa holders who are Non Resident Aliens should only file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ.

Substantial Presence Test Calculator

The substantial presence test calculator is used to determine if you will be considered as Resident Alien for Tax Purpose.  This applies to several visa holders. If you currently in U.S. in H1B Visa, then you have to pass substantial presence test calculator to be considered as Resident Alien for Tax Purpose.

You will be considered a U.S. Resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for calendar year 2015. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:

  • 31 days during the current year, and
  • 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and
    • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

I’m updating this article in Feb 10, 2016. I have been in the USA for preceding 3 years without leaving the country ( for example). Here’s how you would do the math.

  • 41 Days in 2016
  • 365/3 = 121.6
  • 365/6 = 60.83
  • Total = 222 Days

222 Days is greater than 183 days. So, you would be considered as Resident Alien for Tax Purpose. And you can file 1040 or 1040 EZ tax form. If you are non-resident alien, you would have to use 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ for students on F1 and other visa types.

  • Students and their dependents present in the U.S.A in F, J, M, or Q immigration status for five calendar years  would be considered as non-resident alien. So, be careful with your math and don’t use the wrong tax forms to file your taxes.

You can use SprinTax to prepare your tax returns.

Blog Posts About F1 Visa Taxes

  1. Part 1: 10 FAQ’s about International Student Taxes
  2. Part 2: Frequently asked Questions About Filing Taxes for F1 Students
  3. Part 3: How to get FICA Tax Refund for OPT and STEM OPT Students
  4. Part 4: Resident or Non-Resident Alien – Substantial Presence Test Calculator (this article)
  5. Part 5: SprinTax Reviews: Prepare F1 Taxes Online