Can I choose not to use my student exemption from the substantial presence test, or must I do so no matter what? i.e. Is the student exemption from the test optional or mandatory? If optional, how do I declare my intent to not exempt myself? Can I just not file an 8843?
I know most people try to go in the other direction for tax purposes (try to file as a non-resident), but unless I have severely misunderstood the tax code, my tax burden will actually be lighter as a tax resident than as a non-resident.
For an explanation, I am a student studying in the US under the F1 visa, and have no income that is not earned in the US. I also don't plan to earn any income from non-US sources until I graduate and land a job either in the US, whereupon I will become a tax resident and render the discussion moot, or outside the US, which will make me a non-resident again, since I won't be in the country for the substantial presence test to apply to me.
The tax burden reduction comes in the form of my planned investment income, which if a NRA will be subject to a 30% withholding (on both capital gains and dividends as a student), and if not will be much lower, if I understand everything correctly.
Even if I get all the tax stuff wrong, the question is still relevant: can I choose to not claim the student exemption to the substantial presence test?