Who Is a U.S. Person for Federal Income Tax Purposes?

Determining whether you qualify as a “U.S. person” for federal income tax purposes is not just a formality—it’s a key to unlocking the potential benefits of tax planning. This status influences everything from the forms you file to how much tax you owe and what you must report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Whether you’re a citizen, a permanent resident, or an entity operating within U.S. borders, grasping this classification is the first step in taking control of your tax situation and ensuring you can exercise
your rights under U.S. tax laws.

Categories of U.S. Persons

  • Citizens and Permanent Residents – U.S. citizens are automatically categorized as U.S. persons for tax purposes, regardless of whether they live inside or outside the country. This category also includes lawful permanent residents, commonly referred to as green card holders, irrespective of their current residence.
  • Substantial Presence Test – Non-citizens may also qualify as U.S. persons through the substantial presence test. This test calculates eligibility based on the amount of time spent in the U.S.: if you’ve been in the U.S. for at least 31 days during the current year, or 183 days over the current year and the two preceding years, you may be considered a U.S. person. There’s a specific formula for counting the days in each year, which you can find on the IRS website.

Specific Connections and Elections

Some foreign nationals might be considered U.S. persons due to particular connections or elections made under U.S. tax law. This includes those making the “first-year election”, which allows certain foreign nationals to be treated as U.S. residents for tax purposes in their first year of U.S. residency. Another way is by meeting the “closer connection” criteria, which means you have a closer connection to a foreign country than to the U.S., and you’re not a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Additionally, non-citizen spouses of U.S. citizens or residents may opt for joint tax filing, thus falling under the U.S. person category.

Entities and Special Cases

  • Entities – Beyond individuals, the definition of a U.S. person extends to entities such as domestic corporations, partnerships, and LLCs organized under U.S. law. For example, if you have a business registered in the U.S., it’s likely considered a U.S. person. Foreign entities engaged in U.S. trade or business, and estates and trusts governed by U.S. law or administered by U.S. trustees, also qualify.
  • Exceptions and Nuanced Cases – There are exceptions and special rules that may apply. For example, dual-status aliens—those who are both residents and non-residents within the same tax year—face unique considerations. Moreover, U.S. citizens and long-term residents who relinquish their status may still be treated as U.S. persons for a specified period under certain tax rules.

Ensure Tax Compliance with a Consultation

Don’t let uncertainty about your tax status leave you vulnerable to unforeseen tax liabilities.  Weisberg Kainen Mark is not just equipped, but ready and eager to provide the clarity and direction you need to ensure that your tax filings are accurate and compliant. Our team, with its deep understanding of U.S. tax law, is prepared to assist you with every aspect of your tax compliance journey, from determining your status to navigating the specifics of your tax obligations.

Take the proactive step towards securing your financial future and maintaining your peace of mind. Call (305) 374-5544 to schedule your consultation with  Weisberg Kainen Mark. By doing so, you’re not just ensuring comprehensive tax compliance, but also demonstrating your commitment to managing all your tax needs expertly. Act now and let us help you take control of your tax situation.


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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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