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housseins92
New Member

Resident alien J1 visa holder - Stimulus payment eligibility

Hi there,

 

I have a question about my eligibility for the stimulus payment. I have been on a J1 visa research scholar since early 2018 and have filed my taxes as "non-resident alien for tax purposes" for years 2018 and 2019. In 2020, I passed the substantial presence test and I became a "resident alien for tax purposes". I did not receive any of the stimulus payment made during the pandemic and I am fully aware that it's because the IRS has my tax return in 2019 as non-resident alien. My question is: now that I am a resident alien in 2020, am I eligible to claim the stimulus payments on my tax returns for 2020? TurboTax does not give me the option to not claim the payments. Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks a ton.

3 Replies
DaveF1006
Expert Alumni

Resident alien J1 visa holder - Stimulus payment eligibility

According to IRS.gov, you are only eligible if you received income for 2018 and 2019. Also please refer to this IRS article for eligibility requirements. in the article it mentions the following.

 

You are not eligible for a payment if any of the following apply to you:

  • You may be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return (for example, a child or student who may be claimed on a parent’s return or a dependent parent who may be claimed on an adult child’s return).
  • You do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment.
  • You are a nonresident alien. This applies to the 2018-2019 tax years.
     
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housseins92
New Member

Resident alien J1 visa holder - Stimulus payment eligibility

Thank you for the prompt reply and for providing the supporting article.

 

On the website, the article mentions the following:

 

"A nonresident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with an SSN valid for employment is eligible for the payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and may not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer . An alien who received a payment but is not a qualifying resident alien for 2020 should return the payment to the IRS by following the instructions as described in Topic I: Returning the Economic Impact Payment."

 

In my case, in 2019 I was a non-resident alien but in 2020 I became a resident alien but did not receive any of the stimulus payments. According to this article, I am eligible to claim the stimulus payment on my tax returns, or at least that what I understood from it. 

 

 

DaveF1006
Expert Alumni

Resident alien J1 visa holder - Stimulus payment eligibility

If you select select the first link I sent you, It makes reference to your 2018 & 2019 tax years but not 2020. The reason being is so many people were out of work in 2020. I think, the reason the IRS is using years 2018 and 2019 is to determine if the taxpayers were gainfully employed or receiving income BEFORE the pandemic hit. 

 

if you feel like you are owed a stimulus payment, please visit this IRS website to claim your payment.

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