I am currently trying to determine my tax status. I am wondering if I should take 2019, 2018, and 2017 or rather 2018, 2017, and 2016 as the year set with which to determine if I am a resident for tax purposes. I was on an F-1 visa from 2013 to 2017, spend a year away from the US, and returned on August 2018 again on a new f-1 visa.

If I have to take 2019 as the current year, which seems more likely given what I saw in the IRS, how many days do we have to count? Is it between January 1st and now, between January 1st and April 15th, or do I have to estimate the days I'll be here for the remaining of the year?

Many thanks

1 Answer 1


You are trying to determine your tax status for which year? Right now (early 2019) people are filing tax returns for 2018, and for that, you would need to know whether you are a resident alien for 2018, which would depend on the Substantial Presence Test for 2018 (looking at days you were in the US in 2018, and 1/3 of the days in 2017, and 1/6 of the days in 2016). If you are asking about whether you are a resident alien for 2019 (the taxes for which will be filed in 2020), that will depend on the Substantial Presence Test for 2019, which will look at days you were in the US in 2019, 2018, and 2017 (and which you might not be able to determine so far).

Note that if you weren't on F or J status before 2013, then you were an "exempt individual" (days not counted in the Substantial Presence Test) during your days on F1 status in 2013-2017. You wouldn't be an "exempt individual" as a student in 2018 or later years because you had already been an "exempt individual" for some part of 5 previous calendar years. So for the SPT for 2018, you would only look at the your days in the US in 2018, and not 2017 or 2016.

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