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I have done much reading on the matter but I find myself still uncertain regarding my current tax status, because of how the exemption days count for F1 students.

I got my F1 visa and have been studying in the US since January 2013, and graduated as last year in Spring 2018. I worked full-time for the latter part of 2018 and through 2019.

2013-2017: I spent about 8 months on average in the country. 2018: I stayed in the country. 2019: I stayed in the country so far.

Can I consider myself a resident alien now for tax purposes, for filing my 2018 taxes (due April 2019)? For the substantial presence test do I calculate starting from 2019 or from 2018? Can I use the form 1040 now or do I still have to use 1040NR+8843 as I have in past years?

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Yes, you are a resident alien for all of 2018. Assuming you hadn't been an "exempt individual" before 2013, you would have been an "exempt individual" (exempt from the Substantial Presence Test) for all your days on F1 status in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. For 2018, you would not be an "exempt individual" for any of your days in F1 status, since you have been an "exempt individual" for some part of 5 previous calendar years. (That's unless you want to claim "Closer Connection to a Foreign Country" to be still an "exempt individual" after 5 years.) Therefore, all your days in F1 status in 2018 count in the Substantial Presence Test, and you have enough days of presence in 2018 to pass the test, and be a resident alien for 2018.

As a resident alien, you would use Form 1040 to file your federal tax return.

  • Thank you very much! As a follow-up question: am I able to e-file this year or will that fail due to me using 1040-NRs previously? I tried e-filing a 1040 but it was rejected due to a mismatch on the AGI it said. If it fails can I just mail the 1040 directly? – Clippy Mar 6 at 21:58
  • @Clippy: You can of course always mail the 1040 directly. I am not sure about e-file. – user102008 Mar 6 at 22:38

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