Tag Archives: Resident Alien

Podcast – Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Published July 9, 2020

Podcast - Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law? | LEGAL THOUGHTS

Legal Thoughts is a podcast presentation by Coleman Jackson, P.C., a law firm based in Dallas, Texas serving individuals, businesses, and agencies from around the world in taxation, litigation, and immigration legal matters.

This particular episode of Legal Thoughts is a podcast where the Attorney, Coleman Jackson is being interviewed by Mayra Torres, the Public Relations Associate of Coleman Jackson, P.C.   The topic of discussion is “Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law?” You can listen to this podcast by clicking here:

You can also listen to this episode and subscribe to Coleman Jackson, P.C.’s Legal Thoughts podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Cashbox or wherever you may listen to your podcast.

TRANSCRIPT:

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson
Legal Thoughts
COLEMAN JACKSON, ATTORNEY & COUNSELOR AT LAW

ATTORNEY:  Coleman Jackson

Welcome to Tax Thoughts

  • My name is Coleman Jackson and I am an attorney at Coleman Jackson, P.C., a taxation, litigation, and immigration law firm based in Dallas, Texas.
  • Our topic for today is: “Who is a Resident Alien Under United States Tax Law?”
  • Other members of Coleman Jackson, P.C. are Yulissa Molina, Tax Legal Assistant, Reyna Munoz, Immigration Legal Assistant and Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate.
  • On this “Legal Thoughts” podcast our public relations associate, Mayra Torres will be asking the questions and I will be responding to her questions on this important tax topic: “Who is a Resident Alien Under U.S. Tax Law?”

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 1:

Good morning, Coleman. This is Mayra. I do have a couple of questions for you when it comes to umm… a resident alien under U.S. tax law. Who or what is considered a Resident Alien under U.S. Tax Law?

Attorney Answers Question 1:

  • S. tax law defines the term Alien in the following ways:
    1. Nonresident Alien; and
    2. Resident Alien
  • I am going to go into further details on both; but our main focus in this podcast will be on the Resident Alien. Anyone who is interested to learn more about how a nonresident alien is impacted by U.S. tax law can subscribe to our Legal Thoughts Podcast on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever they get their podcasts.
    1. Nonresident Alien is defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(b)(1)(B) as any individual who is not a citizen of the United States and who do not meet either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test for Resident Alien.
    2. Internal Revenue Code Section 7701(a)(9) includes only the 50 States and the District of Columbia in determining whether an alien is a nonresident alien. The law does not include U.S. possessions, territories, or U.S. airspace. For example, Guam is not included in making the determination as to whether an alien is a nonresident alien.
    3. I am now going to focus this podcast strictly on the question: Who is a Resident Alien in U.S. Tax law?
    4. There are two test or measures used in U.S. tax law to determine whether an alien is a resident alien under U.S. tax laws as follows:
      • Green Card Test: Under this test an individual is a Resident Alien (should be simply U.S. Resident, but as I mentioned the law still says resident alien, nevertheless) Under the Green Card test an individual is a U.S. resident if the individual was a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year.
      • An individual is a Green Card Holder if they have become a Lawful Permanent Resident under the immigration laws of the United States 8 United States Code.
      • For U.S. tax purposes lawful permanent residence status continues unless the status is rescinded administratively or rescinded by a U.S. federal Court, such as, in a deportation proceeding by an Immigration Court.
      • An LPR can also abandon their Green Card Status by following the appropriate procedures or any Consular Officer or Border Protection Officer possibly could argue that the LPR status has been abandoned under circumstances described in U.S. Immigration Laws. U.S. tax regulations Section 301.7701(b) sets forth the Internal Revenue Codes positions concerning the Green Card test in determining whether an Alien is a Resident of the United States based on the Green Card test.
  • Now let us turn to the second test used by the IRS in determining whether an alien is a Resident Alien of the United States. The second test is known as the Substantial Presence Test. Under the substantial presence test, an individual is a Resident Alien or U.S. Resident if they are physically present within the United States on at least:
    1. 31 days during the current calendar year; and
    2. a total of 183 days during the current year and the two preceding years, counting each day of physical presence in the current year as one whole day, each day of presence in the first preceding year as one-third of a day., and each day of presence in the second preceding year as one-sixth of a day. Fractional days derived from these computations are not counted towards substantial presence.
  • I know this may sound very complicated to non-tax lawyers or Certified Public Accountants; the Substantial Presence Test is explained in excruciating detail in Internal Revenue Regulation Section 301.7701(b)-1(c)(1). And both the Green Card Test and Substantial Presence Test is codified in 26 United States Code Section 7701.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question No 2:

I am just curious, are there any exceptions to this Substantial Presence Test. I mean, you are always saying the law is complicated and that there are often exceptions to the rules. What about now… are there any folks exempt from the Substantial Presence Test?

Attorney Answers Question 2:

  • The following individuals are exempt from the Substantial Presence Test pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 7701:
    1. International Students
    2. Professional Athletes
    3. Diplomats and their immediate family members
    4. Teachers on the J Visa immigration status and their immediate family members.
    5. Full time Employees of international organizations and their families that have been appropriately designate by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State of the United States.
    6. Regular commuters from Mexico and Canada are not generally considered meeting the substantial presence test.
    7. There might be a few other exceptions; but these are the ones I can recall right now. I might add that even within these exceptions there are further particulars that I am just not going to get into right now.
    8. The actual application of the substantial presence test is very complex, and anyone impacted by these issues should consult with qualified tax professionals in their area.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question 3:

Well alright then. What are some of the United States tax consequences to an individual meeting either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test?

Attorney Answers Question 3:

  1. S. residents who meet either the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test must comply with all U.S. tax laws (I am using this term for resident aliens because I think it sounds more humane and welcoming).
  2. S. residents are generally taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens. They are taxed on their worldwide income the same as U.S. citizens.
  3. S. residents must report their income by filing the appropriate federal tax return complying with all the reporting requirements applicable to U.S. citizen taxpayers.
  4. S. residents are allowed exclusions from gross income with respect to certain income earned, such as, certain compensation paid by foreign employers, nontaxable dividends, gains from sale of home and other types of income specifically excluded from gross income for U.S. taxation purposes.

Interviewer:  Mayra Torres, Public Relations Associate

Question No. 4

  • S. residents are taxed just like U.S. Citizens pretty much. I get that. But what about that $600 per week people are receiving under the CARES Act?
  • Can resident aliens (foreigners who satisfy the Green Card Test or Substantial Presence Test) receive that $600 per week too? And what about people who don’t have their papers? How and where do resident aliens apply.

Attorney Answers Question 4:

  • Yes, individuals who satisfy the Green Card Test or the Substantial Presence Test can qualify to receive the weekly $600 emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits under the CARES Act because Subtitle B Section 6428.2020(2)(b)(d) says that nonresident alien individuals do not qualify.
  • Remember I spoke earlier about an alien can be either (1) a nonresident alien or (2) a resident alien for U.S. tax purposes. If an alien satisfies the Green Card test or the Substantial Presence Test they are classified as Resident Aliens (I like to use the term U.S. Resident) for tax purposes. And yes, undocumented individuals can satisfy the Substantial Presence Test and be treated as Resident Aliens for tax purposes. They typically should apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number otherwise called an ITIN to comply with U.S. tax laws.
  • There is no mention of Resident Aliens being unqualified to receive the $600 emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits in the CARES Act. In Texas, these individuals (U.S. Residents) apply for this federal emergency increase of $600 with the Texas Workforce Commission at the same time they file an Unemployment claim based on loss of employment as the result of Covid-19. I think Resident Aliens or U.S. Residents qualifies to receive the weekly $600 under the CARES Act.

Attorney’s Concluding Remarks:

This is the end of Legal Thoughts for now!

  • Thanks for giving us the opportunity to inform you about who is a resident alien of the United States under U. S. tax law. If you want to see or hear more taxation, litigation and immigration LEGAL THOUGHTS from Coleman Jackson, P.C. Subscribe on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. Stay tune! We are here in Dallas, Texas and want to inform, educate, and encourage our communities on topics dealing with taxation, litigation, and immigration. Until next time, take care.