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Level 4

Dual Status or not for 2018 Tax return

I came to the U.S. on F1 visa in Aug 2011 until July 2017 and stayed most of time in the US. Then I worked outside of the US between July 2017 and Nov 27, 2018. Then I moved back US on Nov 28, 2018 until now on L1 visa. The days in the US is as following: 365 days for 2016; 191 days for 2017; 34 days for 2018; 225 days for 2019. From 2011 to 2015, I claimed as non-resident alien; I claimed as resident alien for 2016 and 2017.

For the 2018 tax return, I did the substantial presence test using the criterion.

  1. 31 days during the current year, and
  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:

For the 2018 tax return purpose, does the current year means 2018? If it means 2018, my substantial presence days is 34+191/3+365/6=158.5 days. So I can’t file tax return as resident alien anymore. Is it right?

To maximize the tax return, I am thinking about taking advantage of dual-status using First-Year Choice. But it seems I am not eligible, because I claimed as resident alien for 2017 tax return.

Here is the reference I cited from IRS

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/residency-starting-and-ending-dates

If you do not meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the current year (for example, 2015) or the prior year (2014), and you did not choose to be treated as a U.S. resident for part of the prior year (2014), but you meet the substantial presence test in the following year (2016), you can choose to be treated as a U.S. resident for part of the current year (2015).

 

My wife is always with me and we have same tax resident status. She has no income. Besides, we have two kids, so I want to file a joint tax return and claim child tax credit. Can you help me figure out how I should file tax return for 2019? For my situation, do you provide any kind of service like TurboTax live, to help me finish the tax return form?

Thanks in advance.