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

Chapter 7
Filing Information(p44)

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(p44)

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(p44)

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.(p44)

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 2011 return is April 17, 2012, instead of April 15, because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is 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(p44)

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 2011. (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.(p44)

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 $3,700, 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(p44)

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. The only itemized deduction you can claim is for state and local income taxes. Note. Residents of India who were students or business apprentices may be able to take the standard deduction instead of the itemized deduction for state and local income taxes. See chapter 5.
  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(p45)

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 2011 calendar year, your return is due April 17, 2012, instead of April 15, because April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is 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 2011 calendar year, file your return by June 15, 2012.
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Extensions of time to file.(p45)

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 2011 calendar year, this will extend the due date to October 15, 2012 (December 17, 2012, if the regular due date of your return is June 15, 2012). You must file the extension by the regular due date of your return.
In addition to the 6-month extension to October 15, 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 17 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.
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When to file for deductions and credits.(p45)

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 2010 tax return and 2011 is not the first year for which you are required to file one, your 2011 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.(p45)
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.(p45)
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(p45)

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.(p45)

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
6115 Estate Smith Bay
Suite 225
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.(p45)

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.
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Amended Returns
and Claims for Refund(p45)

rule
If you find changes in your income, deductions, or credits after you mail your return, file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Also use Form 1040X if you should have filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ instead of Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, or vice versa. If you amend Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ or file the correct return, attach the corrected return (Form 1040, Form 1040NR, etc.) to Form 1040X. Print "Amended" across the top. Ordinarily, an amended return claiming a refund must be filed within 3 years from the date your return was filed or within 2 years from the time the tax was paid, whichever is later. A return filed before the final due date is considered to have been filed on the due date.
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Other Forms You
May Have To File(p46)

rule
You may be required to file information returns to report certain foreign income or assets, or monetary transactions.
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FinCen Form 105(p46)

rule
FinCEN Form 105 (formerly Customs Form 4790), Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments, must be filed by each person who physically transports, mails, or ships, or causes to be physically transported, mailed, or shipped, currency or other monetary instruments in a total amount of more than $10,000 at one time from the United States to any place outside the United States, or into the United States from any place outside the United States. The filing requirement also applies to each person who receives in the United States currency or monetary instruments totaling more than $10,000 at one time from any place outside of the United States.
The term "monetary instruments" means the following: However, the term does not include:
A transfer of funds through normal banking procedures (wire transfer) that does not involve the physical transportation of currency or monetary instruments is not required to be reported on FinCEN Form 105.
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Filing requirements.(p46)

rule
FinCEN Form 105 filing requirements follow.
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Recipients.(p46)
Each person who receives currency or other monetary instruments in the United States must file FinCEN Form 105 within 15 days after receipt, with the Customs officer in charge at any port of entry or departure, or by mail at the following address.

Commissioner of Customs
Attention: Currency Transportation Reports
Washington, DC 20229


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Shippers or mailers.(p46)
If the currency or other monetary instrument does not accompany the person entering or departing the United States, FinCEN Form 105 can be filed by mail at the above address on or before the date of entry, departure, mailing, or shipping.
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Travelers.(p46)
Travelers must file FinCEN Form 105 with the Customs officer in charge at any Customs port of entry or departure, when entering or departing the United States.
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Penalties.(p46)

rule
Civil and criminal penalties are provided for failing to file a report, filing a report containing material omissions or misstatements, or filing a false or fraudulent report. Also, the entire amount of the currency or monetary instrument may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
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More information.(p46)

rule
More information regarding the filing of FinCEN Form 105 can be found in the instructions on the back of the form.
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Form 8938(p46)

rule
You may have to file new Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, to report the ownership of specified foreign financial asset(s) if you are one of the following individuals.
You must file Form 8938 if the total value of those assets exceeds an applicable threshold (the "reporting threshold"). The reporting threshold varies depending on whether you live in the United States, are married, or file a joint income tax return with your spouse. Specified foreign financial assets include any financial account maintained by a foreign financial institution and, to the extent held for investment, any stock, securities, or any other interest in a foreign entity and any financial instrument or contract with an issuer or counterparty that is not a U.S. person.
You may have to pay penalties if you are required to file Form 8938 and fail to do so, or if you have an understatement of tax due to any transaction involving an undisclosed foreign financial asset.
More information about the filing of Form 8938 can be found in the separate instructions for Form 8938.