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CPT Tax Resident Alien for Tax Purposes

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  • CPT Tax Resident Alien for Tax Purposes

    Hello, new to the forum here! Please forgive my rudeness to straight asking questions.

    I arrived on August 2010 using F-1 Visa and been staying in NYC up until now.

    Here is my chronology:
    * August 2010 - Dec 2013 => Graduate Studies
    * Jan 2014 - Dec 2014 => using OPT to work (non paid internship)
    * Jan 2015 - Dec 2015 => transferred SEVIS record to a certificate program which also gives me CPT in that current year
    * Jan 2016 - now => Transferred to another Graduate study

    This Jan 2016 when I had my International Student Orientation I figured out I should've filed taxes every year since the day I came August 2010. I didn't know that was supposed to be the case, I didn't have any income anyway.


    This April 2016 will be my [B]first time[/B] filing taxes. I will need to pay my taxes for the period I was working under CPT (Jan 2015 - Dec 2015).

    Basically the question is, should I file under [B]Non Resident or Resident Alien for Tax Purposes[/B]?

    Upon reading this thread, there is a statement that confuses me:

    More than 5 Calendar Years: Foreign students in F-1, J-1, M-1, Q-1 or Q-2 nonimmigrant status who have been in the United States more than 5 calendar years are RESIDENT ALIENS and are liable for social security/Medicare taxes (unless they are exempt from FICA under the "student FICA exemption" discussed below).
    Basically, using Substantial Presence Test, I should file under [B]Resident Alien for Tax Purposes[/B], however that statement above [B]"Unless they are exempt from FICA under the "student FICA exemption"[/B] confuses me. When I see this source, there is a statement that reads:

    F-visas, J-visas, M-visas, Q-visas. Nonresident Alien students, scholars, professors, teachers, trainees, researchers, physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, and other aliens temporarily present in the United States in F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrant status are exempt on wages paid to them for services performed within the United States as long as such services are allowed by USCIS for these nonimmigrant statuses, and such services are performed to carry out the purposes for which such visas were issued to them.

    Exempt Employment includes:
    On-campus student employment up to 20 hours a week (40 hrs during summer vacations).
    Off-campus student employment allowed by USCIS.
    [B]Practical Training student employment on or off campus.[/B]
    Employment as professor, teacher or researcher.
    Employment as a physician, au pair, or summer camp worker.

    Limitations on exemption:
    The exemption does not apply to spouses and children in F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-3 nonimmigrant status.
    The exemption does not apply to employment not allowed by USCIS or to employment not closely connected to the purpose for which the visa was issued.
    The exemption does not apply to F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who change to an immigration status which is not exempt or to a special protected status.
    [B]The exemption does not apply to F-1,J-1,M-1, or Q-1/Q-2 nonimmigrants who become resident aliens[/B].
    So, I am confused now, can someone help me clarify?

  • #2
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    • #3
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