Profile (I'm adding some extra details just in case):

  • I was an international student in Australia from 2012-2016.
  • I spent part of 2015-2016 in the US as a visiting scholar (J-1).
  • I returned to Australia in May 2016, graduated in September 2016. I then started working in Australia until April 2017. My income in this period came from my Australian employer and I payed my taxes to the Australian tax office.
  • In April 2017, I returned to the US (J-1 again) as a postdoc (until now).
  • My income since April 2017 (arrival date in the US) has been coming from my US employer.

Can you please confirm whether or not the following statements are correct:

  1. Since I was in the US in both 2015 and 2016 (~100 and 110 days, respectively), I believe I'm not exempted anymore in 2017 from the substantial presence test, is that correct?

  2. I passed the substantial presence test at some point in 2017. If I understand correctly, that means that I am considered a resident alien from my day of arrival? (i.e., April 2017)

  3. That said, from January 2017 to April 2017 (i.e., before arriving in the US), I was a non-resident alien and therefore that makes a dual-status alien, correct?

Now if I'm a dual-status alien, I know I have to file 1040, specify at the top of the form that I'm a dual-status alien, and attach a "statement" for January-April foreign income (i.e., while I was overseas as a non-resident alien). IRS website suggests that the statement can be 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ (I assume this means that anyone can also write their own statements as long as it provides the necessary information).

(a) Can I use turbotax for filling as a resident alien [for the period of April-December], but not mention anything about my foreign income [January-April] in that form? (see below)

(b) Can I write my own statement for January-April? If so, then what exactly do I need to mention in my statement? Filling 1040NR or even 1040NR-EZ seem a bit too complicated for my situation (foreign income while I was in Australia as a non-resident alien).

(c) Where/How do I tell IRS that I have already paid my taxes for my foreign income in Australia? [January-April]

(d) Do you suggest any software that covers such a case?

  • Your statements 1-3 are correct. I don't know about your questions regarding filing a dual-status return.
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 16:47


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