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IRS Publication 519


IRS Publication 519 is a document published by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, providing tax guidelines for foreign individuals and those who have income sources in the United States. It covers the procedure for filing the tax return, determining the resident status, exemptions, and how to treat income from different sources. The document also details the tax rules for resident and non-resident aliens.


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Key Takeaways

IRS Publication 519, also known as the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, provides comprehensive information about tax requirements for nonresident aliens and resident aliens in the United States. Here are three main takeaways:

  1. Determination of Alien status: IRS Publication 519 helps determine an individual’s status (resident alien, non-resident alien or dual-status alien). This is important as different tax rules apply depending on your status.
  2. Taxation rules: It provides guidelines on what income is taxable for aliens, how to treat income from different sources, and how to file a return. For instance, generally resident aliens are taxed on their worldwide income, and non-resident aliens are taxed only on their income from sources within the United States.
  3. Tax Treaties: The publication provides insights into the tax treaties the U.S. has with certain countries, which can help to prevent double taxation and reduce the tax burden for certain foreign residents or non-residents.

Please note, this is just scratching the surface, always refer IRS Publication 519 for comprehensive and updated information.


IRS Publication 519, also known as the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, is crucial because it provides guidance for individuals who are not U.S. citizens on how to file their income tax returns. It outlines vital tax provisions and procedures, such as the tax status identification, the Substantial Presence Test, and other tax considerations. Specifically, it delineates who is considered a resident alien and non-resident alien for tax purposes and explains the tax laws applicable to each category. Understanding IRS Publication 519 is essential to ensure correct and lawful filing of taxes for foreign individuals in the United States.


IRS Publication 519, also known as the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, is a document published by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that serves as a guide for non-U.S. citizens who need to understand their tax obligations while in the U.S. It exists to provide necessary guidance on the U.S. income tax law to aliens, particularly around determining residential status, which impacts the way they are taxed. The publication is structured to deliver comprehensive information about tax-filing procedures, income and deductions, tax credits, and other relevant aspects connected to the tax liability of non-U.S. residents.This document is crucial as it mobilizes clarity on the complex tax requirements for individuals not naturally affiliated with the United States. It guides taxpayers on their status, whether as a nonresident alien, resident alien, dual-status alien, and how each is taxed. For instance, the IRS deems resident aliens to be taxed like U.S. citizens. In contrast, nonresident aliens are usually subject to U.S. income tax only on their U.S. source income. Dual-status aliens have different rules applied to them. IRS Publication 519 also offers advice on other factors such as what forms to use, how to treat spouses and dependents, and how to handle social security taxes. All these serve to assist alien taxpayers in correctly filling their returns, preventing errors and potential penalties.


IRS Publication 519, also known as the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, covers tax guidelines for non-resident aliens and resident aliens in the United States. Here are three real-world examples:1. Foreign Students in USA: A foreign student is studying in USA on an F-1 visa. They work part-time on campus to pay for their expenses. They also received a scholarship from their home country. To understand their tax obligations and any applicable exemptions, they would refer to IRS Publication 519.2. Temporal Workers in USA: For instance, an individual from Canada who has been temporarily employed in the United States under a work visa. This individual will have to understand and fulfill their tax obligations in the US. To understand who is considered a resident alien or nonresident alien, the different categories of income (effectively connected income, fixed or determinable, etc.), and the tax treatment of each, they would refer to IRS Publication 519.3. Expatriates Living in USA: A British individual who moved to the USA for retirement and now receives a pension from the UK. They need to know how this will be treated for tax purposes in the USA. IRS Publication 519 would provide guidelines on how foreign-source income is treated and if any tax treaties exist between the two countries that might impact their tax situations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is IRS Publication 519?

IRS Publication 519, also known as the U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, is a detailed guide provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States and contains information on the tax rules applicable to aliens (non-U.S. citizens).

Who should use IRS Publication 519?

This publication is helpful for non-resident aliens, resident aliens, and green card holders who need information regarding their U.S. tax obligations.

What kind of information is covered in IRS Publication 519?

The guide covers information related to residency status, income tax obligations, deductions and credits, tax treaties, withholding of taxes, and tax on effectively connected income or FDAP income.

Where can I find IRS Publication 519?

You can find it online on the official IRS website. It’s available for free and can be viewed, downloaded, or printed.

How often is IRS Publication 519 updated?

The IRS typically updates their publications annually. Any changes in tax rules or legislation will be reflected in the new version.

What are the criteria for filing as a U.S. resident alien according to IRS Publication 519?

According to the guide, for tax purposes, you are a resident alien if you pass either the Green Card test (being a lawful permanent resident of the United States) or the Substantial Presence test (presence in the U.S. for at least 31 days during the current year, and 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before).

Does IRS Publication 519 cover information on tax treaties?

Yes, IRS Publication 519 includes information about tax treaties between the U.S. and certain foreign countries which might provide an exemption from U.S. taxes or a reduced tax rate.

What if I am a dual-status alien, does the IRS Publication 519 cover information for this situation?

Yes, IRS Publication 519 has guidelines for individuals who have dual status, which means they were both a non-resident alien and a resident alien within the same tax year.

Related Finance Terms

  • Nonresident alien
  • U.S. Source Income
  • Dual-Status Tax Year
  • Tax Treaties
  • Substantial Presence Test

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