You will be considered a United States resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States (U.S.) on at least:
You were physically present in the U.S. on 120 days in each of the years 2019, 2020, and 2021. To determine if you meet the substantial presence test for 2021, count the full 120 days of presence in 2021, 40 days in 2020 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2019 (1/6 of 120). Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, you are not considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2021.
Another example derived from the financial document of the University of Washington is if you are an individual who only has a B-1/B-2 visa to the U.S. but is present in the U.S. for 84 days in 2014, 168 days in 2013, and 261 days in 2012, then the test would show residency, with 183.5 days of presence. In this situation, you will pass the substantial presence test of tax in the U.S. and will be taxed based on the policy. Also, you most likely will have issues with immigration given the 261 days spent in the U.S. in one year!
|Year||Number of Days in US||Calculation|
|Current Year||2014||84||84 x 1 = 84 days|
|1st Preceding Year||2013||168||168 x 1/3 = 56 days|
|2nd Preceding Year||2012||261||261 x 1/6 = 43.5 days|
|Total = 183.5 days|
Residency Determination = Resident Alien for Tax Purposes
According to Forbes, Canadians traveling stateside can generally enter the U.S. for up to six months without needing a visa. However, just because you can stay in the country without a visa for those months doesn’t mean the IRS won’t deem you a U.S. resident for tax purposes. It might seem odd, but you can stay in the U.S. long enough to owe taxes without ever changing your immigration status to resident. If so, the taxation policies will be the same for all other people who will be taxed based on the substantial presence test.
If Mr. Smith is a Canadian snowbird and was in the U.S. for 180 days in 2020, 180 days in 2019, and 180 days in 2018, the calculation is as follows:
2016 = 180 days
2015 = 180 days/3= 60 days
2014 = 180 days/6 = 30 days
Total = 270 days, so Mr. Smith would qualify under the substantial presence test and would be subject to U.S. income tax on his worldwide income unless another exception applies.
You are treated as present in the U.S. on any day you are physically present in the country, at any time during the day. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Do not count the following as days of presence in the U.S. for the substantial presence test:
For details on days excluded from the substantial presence test for other than exempt individuals, refer to Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
The term United States (U.S.) includes the following areas:
The term does not include U.S. territories or U.S. airspace.
Do not count the days for which you are an exempt individual. The term “exempt individual” does not refer to someone exempt from U.S. tax, but to anyone in the following categories:
If you exclude days of presence in the U.S. for purposes of the substantial presence test because you were an exempt individual or were unable to leave the U.S. because of a medical condition or medical problem, you must include Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals, and Individuals With a Medical Condition, with your income tax return. If you do not have to file an income tax return, send Form 8843 to the address indicated in the instructions for Form 8843 by the due date for filing an income tax return.
Even if you met the substantial presence test, you can still be treated as a nonresident of the United States for U.S. tax purposes if you qualify for one of the following exceptions: