I'm a foreign PhD student filling my tax returns for 2018 using 1040NR. Although my salary hasn't changed from the year before, it seems like my taxable income is up about $4,000 and therefore taxes accordingly...

Is it because the personal exemption was canceled for 2018, and nonresidents aliens can't claim standard deductions?

Thanks a lot!

  • Sounds likely .
    – Kevin
    Feb 28 '19 at 18:26

Yes, that's very likely the cause of the difference. Although the loss of the exemption deduction for the taxpayer and spouse (if filing jointly) is somewhat offset by the increase in the standard deduction for citizens and resident aliens, nonresident aliens cannot take the standard deduction, so taxable income will likely increase for nonresident aliens this year, as they lost one deduction without gaining another.

  • thank you so much for the response!! that sucks though :(
    – Ron
    Mar 1 '19 at 21:58
  • And similarly, for citizens and residents loss of personal exemptions for dependents is approximately offset by increases in the child tax credit (and 'additional' = refundable CTC) and a new credit for other dependents, but nonresidents do not get these. Mar 1 '19 at 22:19
  • @dave_thompson_085: right, except for nonresident aliens who are US nationals, or residents of Canada, Mexico, or South Korea, or students from India, who can claim dependents in some cases
    – user102008
    Mar 1 '19 at 22:44

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