I am a non-resident alien as per US IRS definition. I generate some income from the US on account of book royalties and advance from a U.S. publisher. I am otherwise employed full-time in India and file my tax returns in India. Do I need to additionally file returns in the U.S? If so, is there a minimum income slab below which returns don't need to be filed in this case?

  • Have you checked the Indo-US tax treaty wrt the royalties?
    – littleadv
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:49
  • Yes, but my question is about filing returns, not quantum of taxation per se
    – ottodidakt
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:55
  • 1
    If you need to claim treaty benefits - you need to file returns.
    – littleadv
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:56
  • @littleadv not so. To claim treaty benefits, one needs to have an ITIN and use it to fill out form W8-BEN, that's all.
    – ottodidakt
    Mar 28, 2016 at 6:39
  • incorrect. You're thinking about the withholding rates, which is not really a benefit since withholding is not an actual tax.
    – littleadv
    Mar 28, 2016 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


In the first few pages of the 1040NR instructions for each year, there is a section called "Who Must File". That will answer your question.

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