Context is basically as follows. Last year I worked for Google Research as an AI researcher as a GC holder in the US. We wanted to move back to our home country X for an extended period of time, so our young kids would learn their language properly and as part of that I quit my job in the US in August and immediately found a new one in country X. I was planning on maintaining GC status and move back to the US within 12 months.

Now we decided earlier this year that we won't return, so we won't try to maintain GC status. The last day I was in the US last year was in early September and I have a fair amount of foreign income paid from country X to my bank account in country X with country X taxes automatically deducted.

I'm trying to parse the US tax code to figure out what my filing status is? Is it Dual Status with my last day in the US last year as the end date after which I don't need to report any country X income to the IRS? Should I file resident taxes for the whole year and report all my country X income, since I haven't reported to DHS or anyone else that I'm relinquishing my GC? Country X considers me to be a tax resident from the day I arrived last year, since that is when my permanent stay started. My understanding is that I wouldn't even have to report dumping the GC and that filing a non-resident return would basically do that for me?

UPDATE: Seems like the IRS website has language that is easier to parse:

However, you are still considered to be a resident alien of the United States for U.S. income tax purposes, until you: (1) voluntarily turn in your green card to USCIS and renounce your U.S. immigrant status; (2) have your immigrant status administratively revoked by USCIS; or (3) have your immigrant status judicially revoked by a United States federal court.

In other words, I need to file a resident return for the whole year.

  • I would urge you to ditch the green card and ditch every possible connection to the US; AND ensure that your immigration legal practice does this for you thoroughly. Otherwise you'll pay IRS taxes forever. (If you ever particularly want to again work in the US, even in a relatively short time, you can just start the process again, or in your field it's fairly easy to just get a visa.) – Fattie Feb 25 '18 at 13:29
  • "and renounce your U.S. immigrant status;" there are specific procedures your immigration attorney will achieve for you, to do that. – Fattie Feb 25 '18 at 13:30
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    Slight correction to @Fattie's comment: you'll file IRS taxes forever. The Foreign Earned Income tax exclusion is reasonable (so long as you're not self-employed) and depending on your country you can get credit for taxes paid to your country of residence if you earn more than that. – Rupert Morrish Feb 25 '18 at 19:30

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