I came on H-1B visa with my wife and kid in April 2017, from India. I have salary income from January to March from India and from April to December from USA.

Here I have few questions:

  1. What is my resident status? Am I resident for federal and part time resident for CA state?

  2. What are my options for filing return?

  3. With ITIN application for wife and kid, extension is required for CA state?

  4. Any declaration I need to submit?

Any other points which should I take into account?

Thanks a lot in advance.

1 Answer 1


You meet the Substantial Presence Test for 2017. However, assuming you didn't come to the US in previous years, First Year of Residency rules apply and you are by default a dual-status alien for 2017 -- resident for the part of the year after you entered the US, and non-resident for the part of the year before that. For the part of the year before you came to the US, you were a nonresident alien and thus were not subject to US taxation on income not connected to the US. Note that dual-status aliens cannot file jointly, and so you must file as Married Filing Separately.

You and your wife could choose to be treated as resident aliens for all of 2017, and then file as Married Filing Jointly. Married Filing Jointly almost always has lower taxes than Married Filing Separately. Note that as resident aliens, you would be subject to US taxation on your worldwide income, even for the part of the year before you came to the US. But you would probably be able to use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (using the Physical Presence Test on the 12-month period before you came to the US, as you were out of the US for at least 330 days of that 12-month period) to exclude up to $100k of foreign earned income from the part of the year before you came to the US.

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