In 2019 I was a resident US alien for IRS purposes. In September I permanently moved out of the US. Thereafter, I got a job in the foreign country and received foreign salary for the last months of 2019.

According to this IRS guidance, it seems I qualify for dual status taxation (resident until I left and non-resident afterwards). However, I would prefer to file as resident for the whole year (since it seems the paperwork is significantly simpler and I'm allowed to use the standard deduction). My question is am I allowed to do that?

Bonus question: Assuming filing as resident is OK and I want to avoid paying tax on my foreign income, am I allowed to use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion? This is assuming I file taxes in October and satisfy the physical presence test by that time.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are considered a resident alien the whole year by default. You are a resident alien because you pass the Substantial Presence Test for the year. There are Last Year of Residency rules in which you can elect to have your residency termination date changed to when you left the US, but that is something you have to elect and attach a signed statement to your tax return in order to invoke. If you don't do that, you will be a resident alien for the whole year.

Yes, I believe you can use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion once you pass the Physical Presence Test by finding a 12-month period during which you were outside the US for at least 330 days.

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