Green Card Holder's U.S. Tax Filing Requirement
As a general rule, green card holders (like U.S. citizens) have the status of U.S. tax residents, even if living abroad. This means that green card holders are required to file a federal income tax return (IRS Form 1040) annually to report their worldwide income, regardless of their country of residence.In some cases, an applicable U.S. tax treaty may give a green card holder U.S. tax filer the option to elect non-resident alien (“NRA”) status and thereby be released from the status of U.S. tax resident. This type of position is often very tricky and requires a detailed technical analysis by a competent tax professional.
What Happens When a Green Card Expires?
The abandonment of a green card can, in certain circumstances, trigger immediate tax consequences, such as the imposition of an exit tax and additional reporting requirements, so green card holders should seek U.S. tax advice in advance of the abandonment.
Green Card Holder U.S. Tax Filing Service
Our green card holder U.S. tax service consists of the preparation of the U.S. federal income tax return (IRS Form 1040). This is the annual return required for green card holders, regardless of residence. In addition to the return preparation service, we offer consulting advice that focuses on the unique tax issues that face green card holders, including the option of claiming treaty benefits and the tax benefits of keeping or abandoning your green card.
Aside from staying tax compliant, a good reason to timely file your return is to preserve your visa status. While tax penalties may not apply if you do not have a tax liability and you choose not to file, the terms of your visa do require you to comply with all laws of the U.S., including the requirement to file your federal income tax return. You may be required to show the U.S. immigration authorities that you have been timely filing if you want, for instance, to change your visa status, to obtain permanent residency, or to regain entry into the U.S. after spending time abroad. Failing to timely file your U.S. tax return could jeopardize your visa status.