You may not have to file a federal income tax return if your income is below a certain amount. But, you must file a tax return to claim a refundable tax credit or a refund for withheld income tax. Find out if you have to file a tax return.
If you are a nonresident living and earning money in the United States, you may be required to file a U.S. tax return.
You will need to file a U.S. tax return depending on your:
How to File
- You will need an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) or Social Security number (SSN). The IRS will issue an ITIN if a foreign national is not eligible for an SSN for tax reporting purposes. Learn more about getting an ITIN for federal tax reporting.
- You can use form 1040NR to file a tax return.
- Review the specific filing requirements if you are a foreign exchange student or visiting scholar.
- If you are on a J-1 visa working as an au pair, you may need to file estimated taxes using form 1040ES-NR.
- If you can’t file your return by the due date, use form 4868.
More Tax Help for Nonresidents
- Review the tax treaty information between the U.S. and your country. In some cases, your taxable amount may be lower.
- If you are a foreign student, use this reference guide to learn more about the special rules that apply to your U.S. income including your liability for Social Security and Medicare taxes.
- Learn more from the IRS's tax guide for individuals who aren't citizens.
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Last Updated: January 14, 2020