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Publication 519

U.S. Tax Guide 
for Aliens


Future Developments(p1)

For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 519, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to


For tax purposes, an alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen. Aliens are classified as nonresident aliens and resident aliens. This publication will help you determine your status and give you information you will need to file your U.S. tax return. Resident aliens generally are taxed on their worldwide income, the same as U.S. citizens. Nonresident aliens are taxed only on their income from sources within the United States and on certain income connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States.

Table A. Where To Find What You Need To Know About U.S. Taxes

Commonly Asked QuestionsWhere To Find The Answer
Am I a nonresident alien or resident alien?See chapter 1.
Can I be a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same year?
I am a resident alien and my spouse is a nonresident alien. Are there special rules for us?
Is all my income subject to U.S. tax?
Is my scholarship subject to U.S. tax?
What is the tax rate on my income subject to U.S. tax?See chapter 4.
I moved to the United States this year. Can I deduct my moving expenses on my U.S. return?See Deductions in chapter 5.
Can I claim exemptions for my spouse and children?See Dependents in chapter 5.
I pay income taxes to my home country. Can I get credit for these taxes on my U.S. tax return?See Tax Credits and Payments in chapter 5.
What forms must I file and when and where do I file them?See chapter 7.
How should I pay my U.S. income taxes?See chapter 8.
Am I eligible for any benefits under a tax treaty?
Are employees of foreign governments and international organizations exempt from U.S. tax?See chapter 10.
Is there anything special I have to do before leaving the United States?
The information in this publication is not as comprehensive for resident aliens as it is for nonresident aliens. Resident aliens are generally treated the same as U.S. citizens and can find more information in other IRS publications.
Table A, Where To Find What You Need To Know About U.S. Taxes, provides a list of questions and the chapter or chapters in this publication where you will find the related discussion.
Answers to frequently asked questions are presented in the back of the publication.

Comments and suggestions.(p2)

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can send us comments through
Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service
Tax Forms and Publications
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224

Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
Ordering forms and publications.(p2)
Visit to download forms and publications. Otherwise, you can go to to order current and prior-year forms and instructions. Your order should arrive within 10 business days.
Tax questions.(p2)
If you have a tax question not answered by this publication, check and How To Get Tax Help at the end of this publication.

What's New(p2)

Change in tax rates. (p2)
For 2018, most tax rates have been reduced. The 2018 tax rates are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%.
Personal exemption suspended.(p2)
For 2018, you can't claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.
Filing exception changes.(p2)
The filing exception for those whose only trade or business is the performance of personal services is not available in 2018.
Increased child tax credit (CTC) and additional child tax credit (ACTC).(p2)
For 2018, the maximum CTC is increased to $2,000 per qualifying child, of which $1,400 can be claimed for the ACTC.
New credit for other dependents.(p2)
You may be able to claim a new credit of up to $500 for each of your dependents who is a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien who cannot be claimed for the CTC.
Social security number (SSN) required for child tax credit.(p2)
Your child must have an SSN valid for employment issued on or before the due date of your 2018 return (including extensions) to be claimed as a qualifying child for the CTC or ACTC. If your child has an ITIN, but not an SSN, issued on or before the due date of your 2018 return (including extensions), you may be able to claim the new credit for other dependents for that child.
Qualified business income deduction.(p2)
Beginning in 2018, you may be able to deduct up to 20% of your qualified business income from your qualified trade or business, plus 20% of your qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership (PTP) income. For more information, see Line 38 in the Instructions for Form 1040NR.
Special rules for eligible gains invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds.(p3)
If you have an eligible gain, you can invest that gain into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QO Fund) and elect to defer part or all of the gain that is otherwise includible in income. For information about what types of gains entitle you to elect these special rules, see the Instructions for Schedule D and the Instructions for Form 8949 on how to elect to use these special rules.
Changes to itemized deductions.(p3)
For 2018, there have been changes to the itemized deductions that can be claimed on Schedule A of Form 1040 or Form 1040NR. These changes include:
  • Your deduction for state and local taxes is now limited.
  • You can no longer deduct job-related expenses or other miscellaneous itemized deductions that were subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income floor.
See the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) or Form 1040NR for more information.
Overall limitation on itemized deductions.(p3)
There is no longer an overall limitation on itemized deductions based on your adjusted gross income. However, there may be other limitations that impact the amount of itemized deductions you can claim on Schedule A.
Moving expense deduction suspended, except for certain Armed Forces members.(p3)
Beginning in 2018, this deduction is available only if you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty and, due to a military order, you move because of a permanent change of station.
Business interest expense limitation.(p3)
For tax years beginning after 2017, your business interest expense deduction may be limited. See the Instructions for Form 8990 to determine if the business interest expense limitation applies to you.
Section 1446(f)(1) withholding.(p3)
Transferees are required to report the section 1446(f)(1) tax withheld on Form 8288, and related information on Form 8288-A. For more information, see Notice 2018-29, available at


Multilevel marketing.(p3)
Clarification regarding the characterization and source of income received from multilevel marketing companies by distributors (upper-tier distributors) that are based on the sales or purchases of persons whom they have recruited and sponsored (lower-tier distributors) is provided. See Multilevel marketing under Personal Services in chapter 2.
Additional Medicare Tax.(p3)
You may be required to pay Additional Medicare Tax. Also, you may need to report Additional Medicare Tax withheld by your employer. For more information, see Additional Medicare Tax under Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Additional Medicare Tax under Self-Employment Tax in chapter 8. For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, go to and enter "Additional Medicare Tax" in the search box.
Premium tax credit.(p3)
You may be eligible to claim the premium tax credit if you, your spouse, or a dependent enrolled in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). See Form 8962 and the Instructions for Form 8962 for more information.
Advance payments of the premium tax credit.(p3)
Advance payments of the premium tax credit may have been made to the health insurer to help pay for the insurance coverage of you, your spouse, or your dependent. If advance payments of the premium tax credit were made, you must file a 2018 tax return and Form 8962. If you enrolled someone who is not claimed as a dependent on your tax return or for more information, see the Instructions for Form 8962.
Form 1095-A.(p3)
If you, your spouse, or a dependent enrolled in health insurance through the Marketplace, you should have received a Form 1095-A. If you receive a Form 1095-A for 2018, save it. It will help you figure your premium tax credit. If you did not receive a Form 1095-A, contact the Marketplace.
Refunds of certain withholding tax delayed.(p3)
Refund requests for tax withheld and reported on Form 1042-S, Form 8288-A, or Form 8805 may require additional time for processing. Allow up to 6 months for these refunds to be issued.
Third-party designee.(p3)
You can check the "Yes" box in the "Third-Party Designee" area of your return to authorize the IRS to discuss your return with a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as your designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your return. It also allows your designee to perform certain actions such as asking the IRS for copies of notices or transcripts related to your return. Also, the authorization can be revoked. See your income tax return instructions for details.
Change of address. (p3)
If you change your mailing address, be sure to notify the IRS using Form 8822.
Photographs of missing children.(p3)
The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.