If someone isn’t a U.S. citizen, they may be classified in three different ways under immigration law:
- An immigrant
- A nonimmigrant
- An undocumented immigrant
But when it comes to tax time, the IRS is only concerned about whether they are a resident alien or nonresident alien. Resident aliens are taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens. Nonresident aliens are taxed according to special rules. And, here’s where it gets tricky, the rules for determining residency have nothing to do with an individual’s immigration status. So a person could be an undocumented immigrant and owe taxes the same way any U.S. citizen would, if they are a resident alien for tax purposes.
Follow all that? If not, here’s a handy breakdown to determine when and how various immigrants pay U.S. taxes.
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