Immigration Quiz

Understanding U.S. Tax Obligations for Visa and Green Card Holders

At Sapochnick Law Firm, we recognize the complexity of U.S. tax laws for foreign nationals residing in the country. Whether you're a green card holder or on a nonimmigrant visa, it's essential to understand your tax responsibilities.

Non-U.S. citizens residing in the United States may have to file a tax return, contingent upon their status as a "tax resident" as determined by U.S. tax law. All permanent residents, or green card holders, fall under this category. Some nonimmigrant visa holders might be tax residents according to specific criteria discussed further. It's worth noting that filing a tax return could result in a refund if you've had taxes withheld by an employer.

Tax residents are obliged to report all income to the IRS, irrespective of whether it was earned inside or outside the U.S. However, international tax treaties might influence the U.S. taxation of your foreign income.

Green Card Holders' Tax Responsibilities

Green card holders are automatically identified as tax residents in the United States and need to report all income earned worldwide to the U.S. government.

Unlike some visa holders, the number of days a green card holder spends in the U.S. is irrelevant to their tax status. Even when living abroad for a year, the obligation to file a U.S. tax return remains. Green card holders should submit the Form 1040 by April 15th each year. Noncompliance with tax laws not only jeopardizes eligibility for U.S. citizenship but can also lead to criminal charges, green card revocation, and possible deportation. For specific guidance on U.S. tax laws, consult with a tax expert or visit the IRS website.

Nonimmigrant Visa Holders and U.S. Taxes

Nonimmigrant visa holders might become U.S. tax residents by spending significant time in the country. Presence for a minimum of 183 days in the current year, or a weighted total from the past three years, could designate you as a tax resident.

Foreign government personnel, teachers, students, and athletes may find different rules apply to them. Tax home status in another country could also influence your tax residency. Given the intricacies of these provisions and treaty exceptions, seeking advice from a tax accountant or attorney is advisable. Refer to IRS Publication 519 for guidance.

As a tax resident with a nonimmigrant visa, it's imperative to file Form 1040 by April 15th annually and pay taxes on U.S. earned income. Failure to meet these obligations can have serious consequences, including criminal charges, visa revocation, deportation, and difficulties in later seeking permanent residency.

For personalized assistance with your U.S. tax obligations, the Sapochnick Law Firm is here to help. Dial 619.819.9204 to schedule a consultation, and navigate the intricacies of tax regulations with confidence. Visit our website for more information on how to maintain your compliance and protect your residency status in the United States.

Client Reviews
Great immigration lawyer, very professional, knowledgeable and experienced. Jacob always answered my questions, e-mails and calls; great customer service from him and everybody at his office. I highly recommend Jacob, probably the best immigration lawyer out there. Plinio Franca
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