I have been a resident alien for the US for tax purposes between 2016-2019. In 2020, I was in the US only for 15 days and have been in India for most of 2020 because of Covid-19 and working from home for a US company. (Paid federal and state taxes from my paycheck)

Clearly, I do not meet the substantial presence test so what category do I fall into for 2020 for tax purposes?

Resident alien or non-resident alien.

  • Do you have a green card? – user102008 Feb 28 at 19:45
  • No. I don't have a green card. – Viraj Mar 1 at 2:15

Since you don't pass the Substantial Presence Test (due to being in the US less than 31 days in the year) or the Green Card Test, it seems that you would by default be a nonresident alien for all of 2020 (unless you are married to a US citizen or resident alien and choose to be treated as a resident).

I think this also means that the salary for your work from the part of the year you were outside the US should not be subject to US tax, since it's foreign-source income (income for work performed outside the US) of a nonresident alien. Your W-2 should only list income from the part of the year you were working in the US, and if it includes more, you should get your employer to correct it.

  • Thank you for the reply. I have a couple of follow-up queries: 1) I worked from outside the US but for a US company. Isn't that considered as income from a US Source? 2) Apart from the 1040NR to be filed here, do I need to file taxes back in India? – Viraj Mar 1 at 15:24
  • @Viraj: 1) No. The source of the income is where the work was performed. 2) I don't know – user102008 Mar 1 at 17:11

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