雖然我覺得持學生簽證者在美國居住的前五年應該算非居住外國人(non-resident alien)，在網路上仍到處可見有人說學生應該用1040報稅，或是學生可以自行選擇當居住外國(resident alien)人或非居住外國人，其中甚至有在美國的會計師也是這麼回答，真的讓我很困惑。我很讚賞和佩服這位美國會計師願意花這麼多時間在自己的Blog裡免費回答眾多網民的問題，但是我橫看豎看都覺得五年內持學生簽證的人應該是non-resident alien。因為沒膽也不想在別人家的Blog掀起筆戰，只好自己做做筆記，期望有其他能人異士能解答我心中的疑惑。在此也奉勸大家要報稅最好自己研讀稅表的instructions，或是自行上IRS網站查詢，不要只是聽信網路上的片面之詞或是問學長姊（意思就是我的話也不一定可信，請自己驗證）。畢竟如果你報錯稅，要負責的也是你自己。
IRS上面關於外國人報稅的規定：Publication 519 (2006), U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens (註1)
如果下列兩個測試之中，有任何一個的答案為”是”，則你必須用居住外國人(resident alien)身份報稅。居住外國人報稅方式與美國公民一樣，必須用1040系列表格(ex. Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A or Form 1040)報稅。
(A) 綠卡測試(green card test)
(B) 實質居住測試(substantial presence test)
(B2) 183天測試 ：
A. Current year days in United States x 1 =_____days
B. First preceding year days in United States x 1/3 =_____days
C. Second preceding year days in United States x 1/6 =_____days
D. Total Days in United States =_____days (add lines A, B, and C)
關於留學生報稅身份的爭議，其實是在持學生簽證未滿五年到底要不要算在實質居住測試(substantial presence test)中。
Days of Presence in the United States
You are treated as present in the United States on any day you are physically present in the country at any time during the day. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Do not count the following as days of presence in the United States for the substantial presence test.
*Days you commute to work in the United States from a residence in Canada or Mexico if you regularly commute from Canada or Mexico.
*Days you are in the United States for less than 24 hours when you are in transit between two places outside the United States.
*Days you are in the United States as a crew member of a foreign vessel.
*Days you are unable to leave the United States because of a medical condition that arose while you are in the United States.
*Days you are an exempt individual.
這裡是用Do not count，而不是用you don’t have to count 或是you can choose to count這種有選擇性的字眼，所以我一直以為是”不能”算，而不是可以選擇算或不算。當然這只是我個人的見解，或許稅法上對於exempt的規定有不同的解釋。難道exempt是一種權力，但是可以選擇放棄嗎？
Do not count days for which you are an exempt individual. The term “exempt individual” does not refer to someone exempt from U.S. tax, but to anyone in the following categories.
*An individual temporarily present in the United States as a foreign government-related individual.
*A teacher or trainee temporarily present in the United States under a “J” or “Q” visa, who substantially complies with the requirements of the visa.
*A student temporarily present in the United States under an “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” visa, who substantially complies with the requirements of the visa.
*A professional athlete temporarily in the United States to compete in a charitable sports event.
A student is any individual who is temporarily in the United States on an “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” visa and who substantially complies with the requirements of that visa. You are considered to have substantially complied with the visa requirements if you have not engaged in activities that are prohibited by U.S. immigration laws and could result in the loss of your visa status.
Also included are immediate family members of exempt students. See the definition of immediate family, earlier, under Foreign government-related individuals.
You will not be an exempt individual as a student if you have been exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of more than 5 calendar years unless you establish that you do not intend to reside permanently in the United States and you have substantially complied with the requirements of your visa. The facts and circumstances to be considered in determining if you have demonstrated an intent to reside permanently in the United States include, but are not limited to, the following.
*Whether you have maintained a closer connection to a foreign country (discussed later).
*Whether you have taken affirmative steps to change your status from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident as discussed later under Closer Connection to a Foreign Country.
If you qualify to exclude days of presence as a student, you must file a fully completed Form 8843 with the IRS. See Form 8843, later.
3. 用non-resident alien報稅，請記得附上Form 8843。
Closer Connection to a Foreign Country
Even if you meet the substantial presence test, you can be treated as a nonresident alien if you:
*Are present in the United States for less than 183 days during the year,
*Maintain a tax home in a foreign country during the year, and
*Have a closer connection during the year to one foreign country in which you have a tax home than to the United States (unless you have a closer connection to two foreign countries, discussed next).
至於如何證明有closer connection to a foreign country，IRS的Publication 519還有很多又臭又長的規定，請原諒我因為沒有意圖要證明，所以也懶得看完。
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.
If you do not meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for 2006 or 2007 and you did not choose to be treated as a resident for part of 2006, but you meet the substantial presence test for 2008, you can choose to be treated as a U.S. resident for part of 2007. To make this choice, you must:
1. Be present in the United States for at least 31 days in a row in 2007, and
2. Be present in the United States for at least 75% of the number of days beginning with the first day of the 31-day period and ending with the last day of 2007. For purposes of this 75% requirement, you can treat up to 5 days of absence from the United States as days of presence in the United States.
When counting the days of presence in (1) and (2) above, do not count the days you were in the United States under any of the exceptions discussed earlier under Days of Presence in the United States.
If you make the first-year choice, your residency starting date for 2007 is the first day of the earliest 31-day period (described in (1) above) that you use to qualify for the choice. You are treated as a U.S. resident for the rest of the year. If you are present for more than one 31-day period and you satisfy condition (2) above for each of those periods, your residency starting date is the first day of the first 31-day period. If you are present for more than one 31-day period but you satisfy condition (2) above only for a later 31-day period, your residency starting date is the first day of the later 31-day period.
感謝網友Rachel指正。First-year choice應該只有剛到或離開美國那一年才有可能會出現這種情況。拿F簽證的留學生並不適用。從在美國的第五年的第一天開始，留學生在稅法上就應該視為resident alien。
Alien Residency Examples
The following are examples of the application of the tax residency rules to aliens in various situations.
Wei Wu was a citizen and resident of the People's Republic of China immediately prior to his entry into the United States. He is temporarily present in the United States as a graduate student at a university in Cleveland on an F-1 visa (student visa). He arrived in the United States on 08-15-2005. Assume that Wei Wu has not changed his immigration status since his arrival in the United States.
Date of entry into United States: 08-15-2005
Student F-1 visa. Exempt Individual for 5 calendar years including 2005.
Then, begin counting 183 days at this date: 01-01-2010.
Number of nonexempt days in United States during 2010: 365 days
Current year (2010) days in United States X 1 = 365 days
Prior year (1999) days in United States X 1/3 = 0 days
Second Prior year (2008) days in United States (0) X 1/6 = 0 days
Total = 365 days
Wei Wu passed the substantial presence test on 07-02-2010 (the 183rd day of 2010). Wei Wu's residency starting date under I.R.C. § 7701(b): 01-01-2010 (The first day he was present in United States during the calendar year in which he passed the substantial presence test).
- Feb 29 Fri 2008 01:34