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Publication 519

Itemized Deductions(p28)

Nonresident aliens can claim some of the same itemized deductions that resident aliens can claim. However, nonresident aliens can claim itemized deductions only if they have income effectively connected with their U.S. trade or business.
Beginning in 2018, 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. See the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) or Schedule A in the Instructions for Form 1040NR.

Resident Aliens(p28)

You can claim the same itemized deductions as U.S. citizens using Schedule A of Form 1040. See the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) for more information.
If you do not itemize your deductions, you can claim the standard deduction for your particular filing status. For further information, see Form 1040 and its instructions.

Deduction for miscellaneous itemized deductions suspended.(p28)

Beginning in 2018, the deduction for job-related or other miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income floor is suspended. Armed Forces reservists, qualified performing artists, and fee-based state or local government officials can continue to claim eligible business expenses as adjustments in determining adjusted gross income. Employees with impairment-related work expenses can continue to claim eligible impairment-related work expenses as itemized deductions.

Nonresident Aliens(p28)

You can deduct certain itemized deductions if you receive income effectively connected with your U.S. trade or business. You generally can only include deductions and losses that are properly allocated and apportioned to income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. You cannot include deductions and/or losses that relate to exempt income or to income that is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. However, you can deduct certain charitable contributions and casualty and theft losses even if they do not relate to your effectively connected income. Use Schedule A of Form 1040NR to claim itemized deductions. See Schedule A in the Instructions for Form 1040NR for more information.
If you are filing Form 1040NR-EZ, you can only claim a deduction for state or local income taxes. If you are claiming any other itemized deductions, you must file Form 1040NR.

Standard deduction.(p28)

Nonresident aliens cannot claim the standard deduction. However, there is a special rule, described next, for certain nonresident aliens from India.
Students and business apprentices from India.(p28)
A special rule applies to students and business apprentices who are eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States–India Income Tax Treaty. You can claim the standard deduction provided you do not claim itemized deductions.
Use Worksheet 5-1 to figure your standard deduction for 2018. If you are married and your spouse files a return and itemizes deductions, you cannot take the standard deduction.

State and local income taxes.(p28)

You can deduct state and local income taxes you paid on income that is effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States. Your deduction is limited to a combined, total deduction of $10,000 ($5,000 if married filing separately). If you received a refund or rebate in 2018 of taxes you paid in an earlier year, do not reduce your deduction by that amount. Instead, you must include the refund or rebate in income if you deducted the taxes in the earlier year and the deduction reduced your tax. See Recoveries in Pub. 525 for details on how to figure the amount to include in income.

Charitable contributions.(p28)

You can deduct your charitable contributions or gifts to qualified organizations subject to certain limits. Qualified organizations include organizations that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary in nature, or that work to prevent cruelty to children or animals. Certain organizations that promote national or international amateur sports competition are also qualified organizations.
Foreign organizations. (p28)
Contributions made directly to a foreign organization are not deductible. However, you can deduct contributions to a U.S. organization that transfers funds to a charitable foreign organization if the U.S. organization controls the use of the funds or if the foreign organization is only an administrative arm of the U.S. organization.
Under a limited number of income tax treaties, you may be eligible to deduct contributions to a charitable foreign organization. See Pub. 526 for details.
PencilWorksheet 5-1. 2018 Standard Deduction Worksheet for
Students and Business Apprentices From India
Caution. If you are married filing a separate return and your spouse itemizes deductions, do not complete this worksheet. You cannot take the standard deduction even if you were born before January 2, 1954, or are blind.
1.Enter the amount shown below for your filing status.    
  • Single or married filing separately—$12,000
  • Qualifying widow(er)—$24,000
2.Can you be claimed as a dependent on someone else's U.S. income tax return?
box No. Enter the amount from line 1 on line 4. Skip line 3 and go to line 5.
box Yes. Go to line 3.
3.Is your earned income* more than $700?     
  box Yes. Add $350 to your earned income. Enter the total.     
  box No. Enter $1,050 3.  
4.Enter the smaller of line 1 or line 3 4.
5.If born before January 2, 1954, OR blind, enter $1,300 ($1,600 if single). If born before January 2, 1954, AND blind, enter $2,600 ($3,200 if single). Otherwise, enter -0- 5.
6.Enter any net disaster loss from the 2018 Form 4684, line 15**6.
7.Add lines 4, 5, and 6. Enter the total here and on Form 1040NR, line 37 (or Form 1040NR-EZ, line 11). Print "Standard Deduction Allowed Under U.S.–India Income Tax Treaty" in the space to the left of these lines. This is your standard deduction for 2018 7.
*Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, and other compensation received for personal services you performed. It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in your income. Generally, your earned income is the total of the amount(s) you reported on Form 1040NR, lines 8,12,13, and 19, minus amounts on lines 27 and 31 (or Form 1040NR-EZ, lines 3 and 5, minus any amount on line 8).
** If the amount on line 6 of this worksheet is more than zero, you cannot file Form 1040NR-EZ; you must file Form 1040NR.
Contributions from which you benefit.(p28)
If you receive a benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can deduct only the amount of your contribution that is more than the value of the benefit you receive.
If you pay more than the fair market value to a qualified organization for merchandise, goods, or services, the amount you pay that is more than the value of the item can be a charitable contribution. For the excess amount to qualify, you must pay it with the intent to make a charitable contribution.
Cash contributions.(p28)
You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep as a record of the contribution a bank record (such as a canceled check, a bank copy of a canceled check, or a bank statement containing the name of the charity, the date, and the amount) or a written record from the charity. The written record must include the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution.
You may deduct a cash contribution of $250 or more only if you have a written statement from the charitable organization showing:
  1. The amount of any money contributed,
  2. Whether the organization gave you any goods or services in return for your contribution, and
  3. A description and estimate of the value of any goods or services described in (2).
If you received only intangible religious benefits, the organization must state this, but it does not have to describe or value the benefit.
Noncash contributions.(p28)
For contributions not made in cash, the records you must keep depend on the amount of your deduction. See Pub. 526 for details. For example, if you make a noncash contribution and the amount of your deduction is more than $500, you must complete Form 8283 and attach it to your tax return. If you deduct more than $500 for a contribution of a motor vehicle, boat, or airplane, you also must attach a statement from the charitable organization to your return. If your total deduction is over $5,000, you also may have to get appraisals of the values of the property. If the donated property is valued at more than $5,000, you must obtain a qualified appraisal. You generally must attach to your tax return an appraisal of any property if your deduction for the property is more than $500,000. See Form 8283 and its instructions for details.
Contributions of appreciated property.(p28)
If you contribute property to a qualified organization, the amount of your charitable contribution generally is the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. However, if you contribute property with a fair market value that is more than your basis in it, you may have to reduce the fair market value by the amount of appreciation (increase in value) when you figure your deduction. Your basis in the property is generally what you paid for it. If you need more information about basis, see Pub. 551.
Different rules apply to figuring your deduction, depending on whether the property is: For information about these rules, see Pub. 526.
The amount you can deduct in a tax year is limited in the same way it is for a citizen or resident of the United States. For a discussion of limits on charitable contributions and other information, see Pub. 526.

Casualty and theft losses.(p29)

You may be able to deduct casualty and theft losses on your tax return.
Beginning in 2018, you can only deduct a nonbusiness casualty or theft loss if it is attributable to a federally declared disaster. You can no longer deduct other nonbusiness casualty and theft losses.
If your casualty or theft loss is attributable to a federally declared disaster, you can deduct your loss even though your property is not connected with a U.S. trade or business. The property can be personal use property or income-producing property not connected with a U.S. trade or business. The property must be located in the United States at the time of the casualty or theft. You can deduct theft losses only in the year in which you discover the loss.
The amount of the loss is the fair market value of the property immediately before the casualty or theft less its fair market value immediately after the casualty or theft (but not more than its cost or adjusted basis) less any insurance or other reimbursement. The fair market value of property immediately after a theft is considered zero, because you no longer have the property.
If your property is covered by insurance, you should file a timely insurance claim for reimbursement. If you do not, you cannot deduct this loss as a casualty or theft loss.
Figure your deductible casualty and theft losses on Form 4684.
Disaster tax relief.(p29)
If you were affected by a disaster, go to
Losses from personal use property.(p29)
Generally, you cannot deduct the first $100 of each casualty or theft loss to property held for personal use. You can deduct only the total of these losses for the year (reduced by the $100 limit) that is more than 10% of your adjusted gross income (line 35, Form 1040NR) for the year, and you can deduct these losses only if they are from federally declared disasters.
Losses from income-producing property.(p29)
These losses are not subject to the limitations that apply to personal use property. Use Section B of Form 4684 to figure your deduction for these losses.

Job expenses and other miscellaneous deductions.(p29)

Beginning in 2018, you can't deduct job expenses and certain miscellaneous itemized deductions, including tax preparation fees, that you were able to take in prior years on Schedule A. See Pub. 463 for more information.