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How should I file my taxes as a dual-status alien?

SOLVEDby TurboTax302Updated November 22, 2023

If you have two residency statuses in one tax year (resident alien and nonresident alien), you’re a dual-status alien. You can learn more about your status here.

Dual-status aliens must file a combined tax return including a Form 1040 (resident income tax return) and a Form 1040-NR (nonresident alien income tax return).

Rules to know

If you’re a dual-status taxpayer, the following restrictions apply:

  • You must itemize your deductions. You can’t take the standard deduction.
  • You can file as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or qualified widow or widower. You can’t choose head of household. 
    • You can only file jointly if you’re married to a U.S. citizen or a resident alien. Refer to Nonresident Spouse Treated as a Resident.
    • If you’re married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien and you don’t file jointly, you must choose married filing separately. You can’t file as single if you’re married. 
  • You can’t take the earned income credit, the credit for the elderly or disabled, or education credits unless you elect to be taxed as a resident alien jointly with your spouse.
  • Starting with tax year 2018, you can’t claim a personal exemption deduction for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents. Refer to Aliens – Repeal of Personal Exemptions.  
    • Exceptions: U.S. nationals and residents of Mexico and Canada can claim dependents. A resident of South Korea may be able to claim a child as a qualifying dependent, if certain tests are met and the child lived with the nonresident alien in the United States at some time during the tax year. Students or business apprentices from India can also qualify to claim dependents.

How to file

TurboTax doesn't support IRS Form 1040-NR. However, we’ve partnered with Sprintax to offer 1040-NR tax preparation for international students, scholars, and nonresident foreign professionals. Go here for more info. 

You can prepare Form 1040 with TurboTax, but you’ll need to use our CD/Download product and print and file (instead of e-file) so you can attach Form 1040-NR.

Here’s how to file:

  1. Determine your main tax return:
    • If you’re a nonresident alien who’s changed to a resident alien and are a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year, Form 1040 is your main return. Include Form 1040-NR as an “informational statement” and be sure to write Dual-Status Return across the top of it. 
    • If you’re a resident alien who gives up residence in the U.S. during the year and are not a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year, Form 1040-NR is your main return . Write Dual-Status Return across the top of the return. Attach an “informational statement” to your return to show the income for the part of the year you’re a resident. You can use Form 1040 as the statement, but be sure to write Dual-Status Statement across the top.
  2. Fill out your 1040-NR. Print it.
  3. Start filling out your 1040.
  4. Open the 1040/1040SR Worksheet in Forms mode when you have completed the interview section of the 1040.
  5. Scroll down to the Line 17z - Other Taxes Smart Worksheet on Schedule 2 Part II, Line 17(z) and enter the federal tax withheld from your 1040-NR.
  6. Finish filling out your 1040. Choose to file by mail.
  7. Print and sign your 1040. Write Dual-status return at the top of the form.
  8. Mail your 1040 and 1040-NR together

If you aren’t enclosing a payment, mail your return and statement to: 

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

If you’re enclosing a payment, mail your return and statement to: 

Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303

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