I am an F1 student and came to the US since 2015, and I have a W2 during 2019 under OPT. I have a question that can I choose to be treated as resident alien and fill form 1040 instead of 1040-nr-ez for 2019 under the first-year choice?
@meimei0602 , per your post you are exempt ( from counting days present ) till the end of 2019. I am assuming here that your F-1 is still valid and you are on OPT and thus still a Non-Resident Alien.
The first year choice requires amongst other things that you will be a resident alien during next year and you cannot make the first year choice till you meet that Substantial Presence Test. Your situation makes it kind of questionable because (a) there is no certainty that your OPT will last till July of 2020, and (b) that your visa will not expire ( assuming that F-1 was for five years) . Can you still do it -- yes; but why would you want to do it -- just to file a 1040 instead of 1040-NR or what. Perhaps you need to answer that and then we can work on how to achieve that.
Note that W-2 by itself does not change your status -- it just allows taxes to be withheld.
Which country are you from ? ( not that some countries have special assertions for students with local income while on training and education ).
I'm from Viet Nam, and I know that my OPT job will last until July, and I will go back to school in August. One of the tax preparers accidentally fill form 1040 for me, and I saw I got more money than the 1040-nr-ez. That is the reason why I ask about that, and I know that this year's tax deadline will be in July. Therefore, Can I wait until that to file the tax? Thank you so much!
@meimei0602 , understand your reason for wanting to file as a resident for tax purposes. While I have said earlier about making first year choice is true, on re-reading the regulations about "exempt status" the word is "is exempt" and to me that means that the exempt person does not have a choice -- the choice to declare the status lies with the taxing authority. Also the first year choice is limited to persons whom are NRA at the moment and counting days -- there is no mention of "exempt". All of these lead me to opine that you would not be successful in asserting that you want to be treated as a resident for tax purposes ( under your current status).
I am sorry to have to take this stand.