報稅身份辨析:什麼是 Resident Alien (RA), Non Resident Alien (NRA), Permanent Resident, US Person…

tax

在申請Checking、Savings賬戶和有的信用卡的時候,網頁上會需要你確認你是 U.S. Person:”Under penalties of perjury, I certify that: I am a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person.”。什麼是 U.S. Person?什麼是 Non-Resident Alien?什麼是 Resident Alien?跟 Permanent Resident 有什麼區別?

這些詞語在報稅的意義下,都是有嚴格定義的,我們將在此文中按照 IRS (Internal Revenue Service) 給的官方說明向大家盡量解釋清楚這些身份之間的區別與聯繫。對於銀行來說,是不是 U.S. Person 的區別在於,在報稅時 U.S. Person 用的表格是 W-9,而 Non-Resident Alien 用的表格是 W-8。

注意本文談論的是信用卡/銀行賬戶相關的定義,因此討論的其實是W-9/W-8表格中的定義,即聯邦稅,州稅的resident定義有所不同,大家在報州稅的時候請不要參考本文。

us-person

幾種身份的關係示意圖

1. 什麼是 U.S. Citizen(美國公民)

這個我想不太需要解釋,自己是否是美國公民大家應該都很清楚。需要強調的一點是,如果你並非美國公民,而在辦信用卡/銀行賬戶的時候勾選上了我是美國公民的選項,是嚴重的謊報身份,可能會影響到綠卡的申請,大家一定要謹慎。

2. 什麼是 Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) (綠卡持有者)

這幾個詞都是綠卡的意思,自己是否持有綠卡我想大家也都很清楚。

3. 什麼是 Alien

只要不是 U.S. Citizen,你就是 Alien。Alien 分為兩種:Resident Alien (RA)Non-Resident Alien (NRA)

4. 什麼是 Resident Alien (RA) 和 Non-Resident Alien (NRA)

若你是綠卡持有者,或者滿足以下條件(substantial presence test),你就是 Resident Alien (RA):

  1. 31 days during the current year, and
  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and
    • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

重要的是上述判據要排除掉一些情況:

Definition of Exempt Individual

  • Foreign Government Related Individual
    • Employee of Foreign Government
    • Employee of International Organization
    • Usually on A or G visa;
  • Teacher, Professor, Trainee, Researcher on J or Q visa;
    • Does NOT include students on J or Q visas;
    • Does include any alien on a J or Q visa who is not a student (physicians, au pairs, summer camp workers, etc.);
    • must wait 2 years before counting 183 days; however if the J or Q alien has been present in the U.S. during any part of 2 of the prior 6 calendar years in F, J, M, or Q status, then he is not an exempt individual for the current year, and he must count days in the current year toward the substantial presence test;
    • Quality of being an Exempt Individual applies also to spouse and child on J-2 or Q-3 visa;
  • Student on F, J, M or Q visa;
    • must wait 5 calendar years before counting 183 days;
    • the 5 calendar years need not be consecutive; and once a cumulative total of 5 calendar years is reached during the student』s lifetime after 1984 he may never be an exempt individual as a student ever again during his lifetime;
    • Quality of being an Exempt Individual applies also to spouse and child on F-2, J-2, M-2, or Q-3 visa;
  • Professional athlete temporarily present in United States to compete in a CHARITABLE sports event.

其中對很多人最重要的一條是,F1/F2身份的前5年一定是 Non-Resident Alien (NRA)! J1/J2身份的前2年一定是 Non-Resident Alien (NRA)! 

5. 什麼是 U.S. Person

U.S. Person 的定義包括 U.S. Citizen 和 Resident Alien (RA),不包括 Non-Resident Alien (NRA)!

總結

建議大家都在申請銀行賬戶前搞清楚自己究竟是不是 Resident Alien / US Person,這樣就不會填錯表格了。但是經常有人問,已經填錯了會有什麼後果?我對此的回答是:不知道。其實銀行的 banker 天天打交道的基本都是美國人很少遇到外國人,他們也經常搞錯自己的客戶是不是 Resident Alien / US Person,所以很多人在不明不白之下就在 banker 的指引下填錯表格了。我至今還沒聽說過因為選錯 Resident Alien / US Person 造成什麼後果的實例。不過是否是 US Citizen(美國公民)這一條正常人是絕不會搞錯的,如果你不小心填錯了,建議立刻聯繫銀行更正!


免責聲明:本文及其中任何文字均僅為一般性的介紹,絕不構成任何法律意見或建議,不得作為法律意見或建議以任何形式被依賴,我們對其不負擔任何形式的責任。我們強烈建議您,若有稅務問題,請立即諮詢專業的稅務律師或稅務顧問。
Disclaimer: This article and any content herein are general introduction for readers only, and shall not constitute nor be relied on as legal opinion or legal advice in any form. We assume no liability for anything herein. If you need help about tax, please talk to a tax, legal or accounting advisor immediately.

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