本篇討論的是稅法上的規定,而不是移民法上的規定,所有英文內容節錄於美國國稅局(IRS)網站。這是我自己的稅務筆記,我不是會計師或律師,只是一個想弄清楚美國稅法的認真魔人。若你發現內容有誤,麻煩盡快留言告訴我。

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)

在我之前的文章報稅身份裡面已經提過關於決定是否為居住外國人的兩個測試,為了方便大家閱讀,在本篇再描述一次。

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)
如果你在報稅的年度具有合法居留權,也就是擁有綠卡,則你的身份為居住外國人(resident alien)。
 
(B) 實質居住測試(substantial presence test)
你必須同時通過31天測試及183天測試,才能視為居住外國人(resident alien)。
 
(B1) 31天測試:
今年你是否在美國居住超過31天?
 
(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)
如果D值超過183,則通過183天測試。

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.

格主碎碎念
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?

Exempt individual  
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.

Students
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.

格主碎碎念
這段有三個重點:
1. 豁免(exempt)只有五年,超過了就不能豁免。
2. 但如果你可以證明你無意居留美國,你仍然可以用non-resident身份報稅。
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).

格主碎碎念
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。

由上所知,即使持學生簽證超過五年,仍可以用提出無意居留美國的方式,來選擇用non-resident alien身份報稅。不知道這是不是大家一直謠傳可以自己選擇報稅身份的原因?

另外還有一種可以選擇的情況是進入或離開美國的那一年,你可能是具有雙重身份的外國人(Dual-Status Aliens)。

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.

First-Year Choice
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.

格主碎碎念
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。

IRS上網站有一個範例很清楚地說明留學生該怎麼算身份,轉貼如下:

Alien Residency Examples
The following are examples of the application of the tax residency rules to aliens in various situations.

Example 1
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.

Solution:
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).

原文網址:http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=129428,00.html

如果你是一路從頭看到這裡,我真的不得不佩服你的耐心和毅力(自己看得都覺得頭痛了),你可能和我一樣同屬認真魔人一族吧~其實我在美國需要報稅的第一年就已經看過non-resident alien報稅的規則,但是那時沒有做筆記,等到下次報稅,或是被別人問起的時候,往往又失憶症發作搞不清楚狀況。所以今年乾脆利用Blog把報稅資訊記錄下來,以後自己要查閱也方便得多。

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留言列表 (16)

發表留言
  • F2 in Texas
  • 謝謝妳提供的報稅訊息

    1.感謝妳分享各種美國生活的資訊,特別是近來幾篇報稅的文章,很用心查證IRS網站的內容。我很認同妳對網路報稅資訊的看法,我們甫到美國未久,為了老公報稅的需要,花了不少時間查詢網路,但各項說法不一,確實僅供參考,不能盡信(ps.我也參考一個美國會計師的blog,應該與妳提及的是同一人,其無私精神實令人敬佩,但有些內容的正確性待查證,例如:其提及的Form 8843僅供身體有問題的人申報)
    2.關於妳提及的持留學生簽證報稅身份認定的問題,除了參考Publication 519,我想與妳分享,老公學校提供的報稅參考網站(http://www.utexas.edu/international/taxes/status.html),網站內有step by step教導學生認定報稅身份、如何申報及報稅表單。故持學生簽證,前五年都應算非居住外國人(non-resident alien)的說法,應該是正確且肯定的。
    3.BTW,妳提及的IRS網站上的的Publication 519是2006年版的,但瀏覽其內容,可發現有一章節(What's New for 2007),應該即是'07年變更或新增的規定,供參考。
  • 謝謝你的分享~UT Austin的那個網站很不錯,我之前也有看過。原來Publication 519有What's New for 2007啊~你不說我真的沒注意,謝謝提醒...

    你也是學生眷屬嗎?下次來組一個F2聯盟好了~ :D

    lifeinus 於 2008/02/29 04:12 回覆

  • LVCHEN
  • 強...太強了,超認真的筆記啊。
    基本上根據學校的報稅協助人員與過往的報稅經驗,只要持學生簽證,一律使用 non-resident alien 的身分,他們似乎沒有管你是否居住五年以上。
    不過我認為,居留的意圖是很重要的指標,只要未來是會離開美國,沒有移民打算,不管怎麼報基本上應該都不會造成問題,重點是只要能拿到退稅就好。
  • 嘻嘻~我大學時候可是筆記公主呢(驕傲貌)...

    By the way, 我有幾次要試著在你的Blog留言都失敗(應該是我電腦的問題^^"),想跟你說:要加油喔~當研究生是很辛苦的。

    lifeinus 於 2008/02/29 22:00 回覆

  • Linus
  • Hi

    我在學生會聯合網站轉貼你的link, 以及我自己報稅的經驗分享, 有空歡迎來參觀指教.
    http://www.dragonrepublic.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=30&func=view&id=769&catid=42

    雖然報稅都快截止了...哈.. ^^!!
  • Hi,我看了你的文章。我有點不確定你跟你太太是否可以合併申報。我以為是應該兩個人分別填自己的tax return。不過因為我沒有收入,所以我不清楚這部分的規定到底是怎麼樣。而且如果夫妻兩人分開報,每個人都可算一次exemptions,合在一起報就只能算一次。我覺得這個部分你最好再問一下學校裡幫忙報稅的人,不然IRS說不一定以為你太太沒報稅。

    [補充]我剛剛看了一下,這個網站(http://www.tw.org/newsletter/taxlaw.html)是說:非居民只能個別申報稅務 (separate return) 。 即使配偶也是留學生,也不得聯合申報 (joint return),而必須個別申報。有家眷的留學生也不能將配偶和子女列入扶養寬減額 (dependency exemption),因此只能有個人寬減額 (personal exemption)。

    另外,所有你填在tax return裡的花費,包括學費、書籍費或是捐獻給慈善團體的任何收據,雖然不用跟稅表一起寄給IRS,但是都要留著,如果IRS查稅時,是要附上的,不是只要說得出來是什麼就可以了。

    另外就是關於拿assistantship的人的學費到底能不能報job education,因為IRS有一項"教育費用不能用以攻讀工作最低要求的學位"的規定,所以我不確定可不可以報。而電腦用品這種要報job expenses可能也會牽涉到物品壽命的問題,壽命超過一年可能只能報一年內的減值而不能報全額。這一部份我都沒辦法確定,雖然我還沒有把稅表寄出,但是我可能最後就選擇放棄不報這種花費,有點太麻煩了。

    謝謝你的分享,如果你有問到新的資訊也請告訴我喔~

    lifeinus 於 2008/03/26 04:28 回覆

  • Linus
  • 感謝指正

    謝謝你費心解釋,
    我已更正部分內容了!
    電腦用品我朋友之前是報全額,irs沒過問,所以我大概也會那樣報吧。電腦的東西降價這麼快,還要算 depreciation 好像有點太麻煩了..
    總之,我也不是100%肯定啦.

    感謝您! ^^
  • 希望你可以拿回應得的每一塊錢。跟IRS爭錢真是一條困難的道路啊~

    lifeinus 於 2008/03/28 03:52 回覆

  • rachel
  • 我是路人 :p 正在查學費和買電腦的費用可不可以報稅, 剛好查到你的Blog. 前五年用1040NR或1040NR-EZ是正確無誤的(握). 而第五年開始作為居民繳稅其實是義務,例如銀行利息開始必須繳稅等等,我們學校(TAMU)給國際學生用的報稅軟體也是從第五年開始就不讓你用了,必須改用resident用的軟體.在這邊供大家做個參考.

    另外最後一段我有點意見:
    如果你本來拿F1簽證,因為算是exempt individual,滿第五年的當年"第一天"開始就算是resident alien了,所以不能用dual-status報稅.

    請見IRS的例子:
    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=129428,00.html
  • 非常感謝你的指正,我已經把原文中有問題的部分修改了。謝謝你的提醒,這樣等滿五年的時候就不用煩惱dual status怎麼報了,反正學生也不適用。 :D

    lifeinus 於 2008/04/14 05:27 回覆

  • 悄悄話
  • 悄悄話
  • 悄悄話
  • 悄悄話
  • biingru
  • 謝謝!
  • 不客氣!

    不好意思討論了很久好像也沒有確定的答案~希望你能由IRS那裡問到解答!

    lifeinus 於 2009/03/25 11:55 回覆

  • ashley
  • 請問你可不可以給我那個好心的美國會計師的blog呢? 還有一個問題是 我收到1099-R 跟 pension有關 可我沒有被withhold tax 我需要因為這個收入 然後file 1040NR 而不是1040NR EZ嗎 謝謝你
  • 那個會計師的網頁是http://www.intertax.com/Chinese/index_c-moving.htm

    lifeinus 於 2009/04/16 00:04 回覆

  • jk
  • sorry~這樣好像很沒禮貌!上ㄧ篇可以刪除了
    我想問說我在海外打工半年可以填1040 NR (EZ)的版本嗎?
    還是要依照他寄給我們的信裡面提到的1040NR為主!1不能擅自改?
    謝謝
  • Instructions for Form 1040NR裡面有寫誰可以填1040NR EZ(http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf),你可以看一下自己是否符合規定,如果符合應該就可以用1040NR EZ來報。

    lifeinus 於 2010/01/18 17:41 回覆

  • kiki
  • I think "exempt" means a tax payer is not qualified to file tax return in a resident status, it's not a right, and actually, if you file tax return in resident status (using form 1040) would be more beneficial than using non-resident status (1040 NR/1040NR-EZ), that's why students want to do so, even they are not eligible.

    Btw, do you know the consequence in immigration law to apply for visa/green card if using the wrong form? I'm more interested in that question, thanks! =)
  • Thanks for the opinions and sorry that I'm not familiar with immigration law. ^^"

    lifeinus 於 2010/04/07 11:27 回覆

  • JL
  • 很冒昧我想請問幾個美國報稅問題.

    你好
    很冒昧我想請問幾個問題.我們一家4口目前住在加拿大.2008年取得綠卡但至今未在美國報稅.今年小孩錄取UC Berkeley.所以我先生預計9月開學時跟著小孩去加州並長住在朋友家.所以我們是否今年就應該要報稅了.明年小孩才可適用本周學生的學費?我應該用哪一張表格來申請填寫呢(1040&540)?再我第一次報稅時是否要一併申報海外的不動產.及海外帳戶呢?如果是要用哪一張表格?下載填好的稅表可請朋友郵寄或他親自拿去稅務局報稅嗎?我跟老二繼續住加拿大那麼我也要報稅嗎?聽說美國低收入戶小孩可領2000元(到幾歲)而老二在加拿大讀書的話也可拿到嗎?感謝你的協助
  • 不好意思我並不是會計師,只是留學生太太無聊在研究留學生的稅表。你的問題我都沒遇過,所以無法解答。我唯一知道的是有撫養小孩的公民,每一個小孩有$1000的child tax credit,不過那跟你說的低收入戶的補助應該不一樣。

    建議你上IRS查詢,應該可以找得到答案。

    lifeinus 於 2010/04/10 10:14 回覆

  • JL
  • 海外帳戶申報表格是TD F 90-22.1嗎?填好後一起拿到稅務局嗎?
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