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Last year I filed the tax as a non-resident (lived in US/California less than 180 days, but I have a non-immigrant dual intend L1 visa). This year I am filing tax as a resident in California. If I buy an EV before 31st of December 2023, can I apply for the tax credit using my last year non-resident tax.

In IRS site, doesn't mention about the residency.

You can use your modified AGI from the year you take delivery of the vehicle or the year before, whichever is less. If your modified AGI is below the threshold in 1 of the two years, you can claim the credit.

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    The instructions seem to be explicitly referring to form 1040-NR. What makes you think you cannot use it?
    – littleadv
    Dec 21, 2023 at 19:21
  • I saw that F1 visa students can't apply for the tax credit. here: ttlc.intuit.com/community/tax-credits-deductions/discussion/…
    – Big Tuna
    Dec 21, 2023 at 22:15
  • That's assuming you're a non-resident alien for tax purposes, which most F1 students are. You cannot claim this credit on an NR tax return.
    – littleadv
    Dec 21, 2023 at 22:16
  • since I wasn't in the US for 183 days last year so I'm considered as a non-resident; and because of that I can't get the tax credit right?
    – Big Tuna
    Dec 21, 2023 at 23:35
  • For last year, right. This year you are a resident and can claim it.
    – littleadv
    Dec 22, 2023 at 0:05

1 Answer 1

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First, just because you were in the US for less than 183 days in 2023 doesn't necessarily mean you don't pass the Substantial Presence Test for 2023. You pass the Substantial Presence Test for 2023 if you were in the US for at least 31 days in 2023 and:

(the number of days you were in the US in US in 2023 + 1/3 the number of days you were in the US in US in 2022 + 1/6 the number of days you were in the US in US in 2021) >= 183 days

So you could still pass the Substantial Presence Test for 2023, and thus be a resident alien for the part of 2023 after you arrived, even if you were in the US for less than 183 in 2023 if you were in the US for significant amounts of time in 2022 and/or 2021.

Second, even if you don't pass the Substantial Presence Test for 2023, if you were in the US for some continuous period of 31 days at the end of the year, and you pass the Substantial Presence Test for 2024, you have the option to use the "First-Year Choice" for 2023, which will make you a resident alien for the part of 2023 after you arrived.

Third, I don't see anything that says nonresident aliens cannot claim this tax credit. The form to claiming this credit for vehicles put in service in 2023 and later, Form 8936, and its instructions, refer to 1040-NR, so it seems that it can be filed by nonresident aliens.

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  • One cannot claim the credit on 1040NR, see line 23 of the form
    – littleadv
    Dec 24, 2023 at 22:02
  • @littleadv: line 23 of what form?
    – user102008
    Dec 25, 2023 at 1:56
  • Form 8936, that is
    – littleadv
    Dec 25, 2023 at 4:32
  • @littleadv: Form 8936 line 23 does not say anything about not being able to claim it on 1040NR. It says the result goes onto 1040 Schedule 3. 1040 Schedule 3 is a shared schedule that is used by both 1040 and 1040NR. 1040 Schedule 3 line 8 goes onto 1040NR line 20.
    – user102008
    Dec 25, 2023 at 7:05

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