I am a single individual who arrived in US in Aug 2015 on F1. I was on OPT until 30th Sept 2020 and then switched to H1B from 1st Oct 2020. After reading documents below, I gathered that since I have been F1 from 2015-2019 (5 years), I am no longer an exempt individual and thus all my days in 2020 would be counted towards the Substantial Presence Test which means I have to file as a Resident in 2020. I know I should consult a tax professional, but can someone please chime in on the following questions?

  1. Should I file as a Resident alien or a Non Resident alien for FY2020? Or would I have to file dual status given I was both F1 and H1B for 2020?
  2. I asked my employer to withhold FICA taxes from my paychecks for entirety of 2020 per the first link above. Is that correct?

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes. You were already an exempt individual for some part of 5 previous calendar years, so you are not an exempt individual for any F1 days in 2020, so you pass the Substantial Presence Test and you are a resident alien for all of 2020. You should file your 2020 tax return using form 1040. (By the way, since you are a resident alien for 2020 and have an SSN, this also means you are eligible to claim the first two stimulus payments of $1800 as Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return, if you meet the income requirements.)
  2. Yes, that is correct (assuming you are not working on campus).

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