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April 22, 2020

IRS Announce Relief for U.S. Non-resident Aliens due to COVID-19 Travel Disruptions

The Internal Revenue Services (“IRS”) has announced relief for non-resident aliens from counting the days of U.S. presence due to travel disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Non-resident aliens of the U.S. are considered U.S. residents for income tax purposes if they meet the “Substantial Presence Test”.  The Substantial Presence Test takes into account the number of days an individual spends in the U.S. over a 3 year period.  This relief allows an individual to exclude from the Substantial Presence Test calculation the days that an individual was unable to leave the U.S. due to COVID-19 for a consecutive period of up to 60 days (“emergency period”). The emergency period must start between February 1, 2020, and April 1, 2020, and the individual was physically present in the U.S. on each day.  The eligible individual must file Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition with his/her U.S. Non-resident Alien Income Tax Return Form 1040NR for the 2020 tax year.

It is a welcome relief for non-resident aliens who would otherwise meet the Substantial Presence Test because of an unintended stay in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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If you are unclear if this relief measure applies to you, please contact your Manning Elliott tax advisor.

The above content is believed to be accurate as of the date of posting. U.S. tax laws are complex and are subject to frequent changes. Professional tax advice should be sought before implementing any tax planning. Manning Elliott LLP cannot accept any liability for the tax consequences that may result from acting based on the information contained herein.