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IRS.gov Website
Publication 519
taxmap/pubs/p519-034.htm#en_us_publink1000222581

Chapter 7
Filing Information(p46)

taxmap/pubs/p519-034.htm#TXMP7d21e430Introduction

This chapter provides the basic filing information that you may need.

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Useful items

You may want to see:


Forms (and Instructions)
 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
 1040A: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
 1040EZ: Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents
 1040NR: U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
 1040NR-EZ: U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents
See chapter 12 for information about getting these forms.
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What, When, and Where To File(p46)

rule
What return you must file as well as when and where you file that return, depends on your status at the end of the tax year as a resident or a nonresident alien.
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Resident Aliens(p46)

rule
Resident aliens should file Form 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040 at the address shown in the instructions for that form. The due date for filing the return and paying any tax due is April 15 of the year following the year for which you are filing a return (but see the Tip, later).
Under U.S. immigration law, a lawful permanent resident who is required to file a tax return as a resident and fails to do so may be regarded as having abandoned status and may lose permanent resident status.
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Extensions of time to file.(p46)

rule
You are allowed an automatic extension to June 15 to file if your main place of business and the home you live in are outside the United States and Puerto Rico on April 15. You can get an extension of time to October 15 to file your return if you get an extension by April 15 (June 15 if you qualify for the June 15 extension). Use Form 4868 to get the extension to October 15. In addition to this 6-month extension, taxpayers who are out of the country (as defined in the Form 4868 instructions) can request a discretionary 2-month additional extension of time to file their returns (to December 15 for calendar year taxpayers). To request this extension, you must send the IRS a letter explaining the reasons why you need the additional 2 months. Send the letter by the extended due date (October 15 for calendar year taxpayers) to the following address:

 
Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Austin, TX 73301-0215


You will not receive any notification from the IRS unless your request is denied for being untimely.
The discretionary 2-month additional extension is not available to taxpayers who have an approved extension of time to file on Form 2350 (for U.S. citizens and resident aliens abroad who expect to qualify for special tax treatment).
Deposit
If the due date for filing falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For example, the due date for your calendar year 2010 return is April 18, 2011, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia.
Due date
You may be able to file your return electronically. See IRS e-file in your form instructions.
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Nonresident Aliens(p46)

rule
Nonresident aliens who are required to file an income tax return should use Form 1040NR or, if qualified, Form 1040NR-EZ.
If you are any of the following, you must file a return.
  1. A nonresident alien individual engaged or considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States during 2010. (But see Exceptions, later.)You must file even if:
    1. Your income did not come from a trade or business conducted in the United States,
    2. You have no income from U.S. sources, or
    3. Your income is exempt from income tax.
  2. A nonresident alien individual not engaged in a trade or business in the United States with U.S. income on which the tax liability was not satisfied by the withholding of tax at the source.
  3. A representative or agent responsible for filing the return of an individual described in (1) or (2).
  4. A fiduciary for a nonresident alien estate or trust.
You must also file if you want to:
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Exceptions.(p46)

rule
You do not need to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ if you meet either of the following conditions.
  1. Your only U.S. trade or business was the performance of personal services, and
    1. Your wages were less than $3,650, and
    2. You have no other need to file a return to claim a refund of overwithheld taxes, to satisfy additional withholding at source, or to claim income exempt or partly exempt by treaty.
  2. You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States under an "F," "J," "M," or "Q" visa and you have no income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc.
EIC
Even if you have left the United States and filed a Form 1040-C, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return, on departure, you still must file an annual U.S. income tax return. If you are married and both you and your spouse are required to file, you must each file a separate return.
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Form 1040NR-EZ(p46)

rule
You can use Form 1040NR-EZ if all of the following conditions are met.
  1. You do not claim any dependents.
  2. You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's U.S. tax return.
  3. If you were married, you do not claim an exemption for your spouse.
  4. Your taxable income is less than $100,000.
  5. You are not claiming any itemized deductions (other than for state and local income taxes).
  6. Your only U.S. source income is from wages, salaries, tips, taxable refunds of state and local income taxes, and scholarship or fellowship grants. (If you had taxable interest or dividend income, you cannot use this form.)
  7. You are not claiming any adjustments to income other than the student loan interest deduction or scholarship and fellowship grants excluded.
  8. You are not claiming any tax credits.
  9. This is not an "expatriation return." See Expatriation Tax in chapter 4.
  10. The only taxes you owe are:
    1. The income tax from the Tax Table.
    2. The social security and Medicare tax from Form 4137 or Form 8919.
  11. You are not claiming a credit for excess social security and tier 1 RRTA tax withheld.
If you do not meet all of the above conditions, you must file Form 1040NR.
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When To File(p47)

rule
If you are an employee and you receive wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding, you will generally file by the 15th day of the 4th month after your tax year ends. If you file for the 2010 calendar year, your return is due April 18, 2011, instead of April 15, because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia.
If you are not an employee who receives wages subject to U.S. income tax withholding, you must file by the 15th day of the 6th month after your tax year ends. For the 2010 calendar year, file your return by June 15, 2011.
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Extensions of time to file.(p47)

rule
If you cannot file your return by the due date, file Form 4868 or use one of the electronic filing options explained in the Form 4868 instructions. For the 2010 calendar year, this will extend the due date to October 17, 2011 (December 15, 2011, if the regular due date of your return is June 15, 2011). You must file the extension by the regular due date of your return.
In addition to the 6-month extension to October 17, taxpayers whose main place of business is outside the United States and Puerto Rico and who live outside those jurisdictions can request a discretionary 2-month extension of time to file their returns (to December 15 for calendar year taxpayers). To request this extension, you must send the IRS a letter explaining the reasons why you need the additional two months. Send the letter by the extended due date (October 17 for calendar year taxpayers) to the following address:

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Austin, TX 73301-0215


You will not receive any notification from the IRS unless your request is denied for being untimely.
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When to file for deductions and credits.(p47)

rule
To get the benefit of any allowable deductions or credits, you must timely file a true and accurate return. For this purpose, a return is timely if it is filed within 16 months of the due date just discussed. However, if you did not file a 2009 tax return and 2010 is not the first year for which you are required to file one, your 2010 return is timely for this purpose if it is filed by the earlier of: The allowance of the following credits is not affected by this time requirement.
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Protective return.(p47)
If your activities in the United States were limited and you do not believe that you had any gross income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business during the year, you can file a protective return (Form 1040NR) by the deadline explained above. By filing a protective return, you protect your right to receive the benefit of deductions and credits in the event it is later determined that some or all of your income is effectively connected. You are not required to report any effectively connected income or any deductions on the protective return, but you must give the reason the return is being filed.
If you believe some of your activities resulted in effectively connected income, file your return reporting that income and related deductions by the regular due date. To protect your right to claim deductions or credits resulting from other activities, attach a statement to that return explaining that you wish to protect your right to claim deductions and credits if it is later determined that the other activities produced effectively connected income.
You can follow the same procedure if you believe you have no U.S. tax liability because of a U.S. tax treaty. Be sure to also complete item L on page 5 of Form 1040NR.
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Waiver of filing deadline.(p47)
The IRS may waive the filing deadline if you establish that, based on the facts and circumstances, you acted reasonably and in good faith in failing to file a U.S. income tax return (including a protective return) and you cooperate with the IRS in determining your U.S. income tax liability for the tax year for which you did not file a return.
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Where To File(p47)

rule
Due date
File Form 1040NR-EZ and Form 1040NR at the following address.

Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service Center 
Austin, TX 73301-0215


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Aliens from the U.S. Virgin Islands.(p47)

rule
Due date
If you are a bona fide resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands during your entire tax year and work temporarily in the United States, you must pay your income taxes to the U.S. Virgin Islands and file your income tax returns at the following address.

Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue 
9601 Estate Thomas 
Charlotte Amalie 
St. Thomas, VI 00802


Report all income from U.S. sources, as well as income from other sources, on your return. For information on filing U.S. Virgin Islands returns, contact the U.S. Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Chapter 8 discusses withholding from U.S. wages of U.S. Virgin Islanders.
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Aliens from Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.(p47)

rule
If you are a bona fide resident of Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) during your entire tax year, you must file your return with, and pay any tax due to, Guam or the CNMI. Report all income, including income from U.S. sources, on your return. It is not necessary to file a separate U.S. income tax return.
Due date
Bona fide residents of Guam should file their Guam returns at the following address. 


Department of Revenue and Taxation 
Government of Guam 
P.O. Box 23607 
GMF, GU 96921


Due date
Bona fide residents of the CNMI should file their CNMI income tax returns at the following address.  


Department of Finance 
Division of Revenue and Taxation 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
P.O. Box 5234 CHRB 
Saipan, MP 96950


If you are not a bona fide resident of Guam or the CNMI, see Pub. 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, for information on where to file your return.