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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.
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.

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 Exemptions 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?

Comments and suggestions.(p2)

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can send us comments from Click on "More Information" and then on "Give us feedback."
Or you can write to:

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

We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
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)

Premium tax credit.(p2)
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. See Form 8962 and the Instructions for Form 8962 for more information.
Advance payments of the premium tax credit.(p2)
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 2015 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 2015, save it. It will help you figure your premium tax credit. If you did not receive a Form 1095-A, contact the Marketplace.
U.S. real property interest.(p3)
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act 2015 (PL 114-113) made substantial changes to the treatment of dispositions and distributions of U.S. real property interests. Some of these changes are effective for dispositions or distributions made after December 17, 2015 (see Real Property Gain or Loss, later); others are effective for dispositions and distributions made after February 16, 2016 (see Tax Withheld on Real Property Sales, later).
Personal exemption increased.(p3)
For tax years beginning in 2015, the personal exemption amount is increased to $4,000.
Qualified investment entities.(p3)
Generally, the treatment of a regulated investment company (RIC) as a qualified investment entity (QIE), which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2014, has been extended permanently. For more information, see Qualified investment entities under U.S. Real Property Interest, later.
Interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends received from mutual funds.(p3)
The exemption from withholding on certain interest-related dividends and short-term capital gain dividends paid by a mutual fund or other regulated investment company, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2014, has been extended permanently for tax years beginning after December 31, 2014. For more information, see Dividend Income under Nonresident Aliens in chapter 3.


Multi-level marketing.(p3)
Clarification regarding the characterization and source of income received from multi-level 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 Multi-level 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 Self-Employment Tax in chapter 8. For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, go to and enter "Additional Medicare Tax" in the search box.
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 and Exploited Children. 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 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.