Tax return filing for Alien Individuals

Gruffalo1981 Member Posts: 2 Level 2


IRS says people working on H-1B visas in the US need to use Form 1040-NR as opposed to the normal 1040. I am not certain of the differences int he forms. Does FreeTaxUSA support tax return filing for Non-resident aliens considered residents for tax purposes? While filling in the information for tax return filing, the system did not ask for citizenship information if I recall correctly. Can you please provide some clarity on this?

Note: I do not have any foreign income to report….just one W2 from 1 job in 1 state.


Best Answer

  • Henry
    Henry FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 86
    edited January 19 Answer ✓

    Hello Gruffalo1981,

    According to the IRS, your tax filing requirements as an H-1B visa holder depend on your residency status. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are generally considered a nonresident alien unless you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year (January 1–December 31).

    -As a nonresident alien, you are usually taxed only on income that is derived from U.S. sources and/or income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. In this case, you would need to report your income on Form 1040-NR.

    -On the other hand, if you are considered a resident alien, you would be taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens on your worldwide income and need to report your income on Form 1040.

    Both Form 1040 and Form 1040-NR have the same sections and ask for similar personal information, but it is important to use the appropriate form for your situation. We can help you prepare Form 1040 as long as you have a SSN or ITIN and do not have any foreign earned income. If you need to file Form 1040-NR instead, I am afraid that our software does not support that, and you would need to find another way to file.

    If you'd like to review the tax laws for noncitizens, IRS Publication 519 is a great resource with lots of helpful information.


  • Gruffalo1981
    Gruffalo1981 Member Posts: 2 Level 2
    edited January 21

    Thank you Henry. I checked substantial presence test and therefore qualifies to use 1040 form. Thak you for such insightful response.