USA Tax Question - Dual Status Alien


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Hello All,

I became a US Green Card holder on 23 Dec 2013 and was issued SSN in 2014 Jan. I did not work in the US for the year 2013. Therefore since I did not have SSn and did not have US income, i did not file taxes for that year. My wife filed her taxes but she filed as Married Filing Separate. We do that always to reduce payments on her student loans. I'm wondering if I was supposed to file taxes for the year 2013, given that I became a GC on 23rd dec. I'm reading a lot on IRS but can't get an answer, it says I could be a dual status alien (non resident and resident).

Other input - I was in the US on visitors visa for like 10-15 days prior to 12/23/2013 (when I became a GC holder), I was working in Canada until the year end, and paid my taxes in Canada for the year 2013. i had no income in the US for the last 7-8 days therefore I think I may not have to file taxes for the year 2013 as my income was less than the minimum required

I'm reading the publication 519 of IRS but its getting confusint for me.

Am i required to file taxes for the year 2013 in US. I filed my 2014 and 2015 taxes and had no issues with IRS.

Thanks
 
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Joined
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First congratulations on the green card. Second thing you would need to know that from the day you have received your green card, you have to pay US income taxes on the worldwide income, no matter where you have earned it.
To answer the 2013 tax year question, that year is the dual status year (you could also chose to be treated as a resident for the whole year). You would have to file married separate since your wife already filed like that, also if you choose to file as dual, you would have to prepare 2 returns in a way, one NR another one 1040. In the 1040NR include only income from US up to the day you became a resident. In the 1040 include only income (worldwide, Canadian included, any investments or rentals, you have anywhere in the world also included) from the moment you became resident.
As for the filing requirements, if you plan to become a US citizen someday, you will need to provide your tax returns from the day you became resident, so 2013 would be required. Also there is foreign bank accounts reporting requirements for you now since you a resident. Hope this helps.
 

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