How to File Form 1040-NR


You can prepare and e-file Form 1040-NR for the tax year via The due date for IRS Tax Returns is April 15 and the last day you can e-file Form 1040NR for Tax Year is October 15. If you owe taxes, start and eFileIT by the April deadline to avoid late tax filing penalties. See the U.S. resident income tax return Form 1040 plus other important federal tax forms.

Attention: Please contact us if you have non US methods of payments, a foreign credit card etc. so we can assist you with any payments you might have. Contact eFile now.

Form 1040-NR is for nonresident aliens to e-file or file an IRS income tax return as the result of work, business, or trade activities in the United States. Form 1040NR can also be prepared and e-filed on behalf of a deceased person or an estate or trust. See more details on nonresident aliens and taxes. If you do not have a SSN or Social Security Number see here how to obtain an ITIN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Personal service income that may be fully or partly exempt from U.S. income taxes. The income code numbers shown are the same as the income codes on Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. You must meet all of the treaty requirements before the item of income can be exempt from U.S. income tax.

See also: Do I have to file taxes?

As a nonresident alien individual you might have to complete the form W-8BEN tax withholding: Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting.

1040-NR Filing Requirements

Who files IRS Form 1040-NR? Generally, if you are a nonresident of the United States and you have U.S. income, you will need to file Form 1040-NR to report this income and pay taxes on it. Whether or not you need to or should file taxes depends on your filing status, dependents, the type of income you make, and how much you earn in a given year.

The following are people who must or should file a U.S. tax return via Form 1040-NR:

Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and eFile Form 1040-NR as a nonresident alient.

What is a resident alien? A person who either meets the green card test or the substantial presence test is generally considered a resident alien. For tax purposes, an individual is a resident alien if the individual is a lawful permanent resident or immigrant of the United States at any time during the year.

A nonresident alien, however, is not considered as resident of the United States. As a nonresident, you must either qualify for the filing status single or married filing separately in order to file form 1040-NR. This means that you cannot be either married filing jointly or the head of household filing status when filing form 1040-NR.

Who Must File Form 1040-NR

Whether you must file using Form 1040-NR to file depends on your tax situation, including income, credits, and your citizenship status. Refer to the table below for further details.

You were a nonresident alien who was engaged in a business or trade in the United States.
You must use 1040-NR if you participated in a U.S. based business or trade. However, this also includes those who did not have income from this trade or business, did not have U.S. source income, or who's income is exempt from U.S. taxes.
You were a nonresident alien who was not engaged in a business or trade in the United States.
If you were not engaged in a trade or business, but did receive U.S. source income as reported on Schedule NEC and taxes were withheld, then you would file with Form 1040-NR.
You received distributions from a certain financial or medical account.
Accounts include a health savings account (HSA), Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA), or a Medicare Advantage MSA distribution.
You had net earnings from self-employment that totaled at least $400 as a resident of a country the U.S. has a Social Security agreement with.
Self-employment income can include your own business as well as income earned as an independent contractor doing jobs for a U.S. based company or taking place in the United States.
You received advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit (PTC) or health coverage tax credit.
You must file in order to reconcile the advance PTC you received, including those received for your dependent and/or spouse if applicable.

You must also file Form 1040-NR if:

  • You represent a deceased person who was expected to file Form 1040-NR.
  • You represent a trust or an estate which has to file Form 1040-NR. You held a qualified investment within a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF).
  • You are a duel-resident taxpayer looking to be treated as a nonresident alien.

Substantial Presence Test

If you recently moved to the U.S. and intend to gain citizenship or have already begun this process, you may wonder which form you can file. This includes nonresident aliens plus students on a J-1 or F-1 status. Whether you can use the 1040-NR or switch to the 1040 depends largely on the substantial presence test.

This residency test is based on your living status during the last three years. For 2023 Returns, you meet the substantial presence test if you are physically present in the U.S. for at least:

  1. 31 days during 2024,
  2. 183 days during 2024, 2023, and 2022 composed of:
    • all of the days in 2024
    • 1/3 of the days in 2023
    • 1/6 of the days in 2022.

Your total present days over the last three years would need to be a total of 183 days. To determine this, use this simple formula:

Number of days in the U.S. in 2024 + number of days in 2023 divided by 3 + number of days in 2022 divided by 2022. If this is 183 or greater and your number of days in the U.S. was at least 31 during 2024, then you would meet the substantial presence test.

Example: You were present in the United States physically for 120 days in 2024, 2023, and 2022 each. To determine the substantial presence test for 2024, use the full 120 days of presence in 2024, 40 days in 2023 (1/3 of 120), and 20 days in 2022 (1/6 of 120). Because the total for the 3-year period is 180 days (120 + 40 + 20 = 180), you are not considered a resident as per the substantial presence test for 2024.

Example 2: You moved to the U.S. in January of 2022 and have lived here since (365 days in 2022; 365 days in 2023, and 365 days in 2024). As such, you would meet the substantial present test because your physical days in the states is greater than 183 days as per the calculations above: 365 days in 2024 + 121 days in 2023 (1/3 of 365) + 61 days in 2022 (1/6 of 365) = 547 total days. In this example, it is important to note that you would not be able to use Form 1040 during 2022 and 2023 since you would not have met the substantial presence test for those years. Instead, use Form 1040-NR.

See a detailed overview of Form 1040-NR and the associated requirements.

When NOT to e-File or file 1040-NR

Carefully review these exceptions when a 1040-NR based tax return is not required. Instead of worrying about which income tax return form or forms to use, start your return for free on and the eFile platform will select all the forms for you based on your entries.

Not sure if you even need to file? Find out now: do I need to file taxes?

If you do not have income listed here, you are excluded from filing form 1040-NR
A nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the US under one the following visa types: “F,” “J,” “M,” or “Q” and is without income that is subject to tax under section 871 on Form 1040-NR lines:
1a: Total amount from Form(s) W-2, box 1
1b: Household employee wages not reported on Form(s) W-2
1c: Tip income not reported on line 1a
1d: Medicaid waiver payments not reported on Form(s) W-2
1e: Taxable dependent care benefits from Form 2441
1f: Employer-provided adoption benefits from Form 8839
1g: Wages from Form 8919
1h: Other earned income
2b: Taxable interest
3b: Ordinary dividends
4b: Taxable IRA distribution
5b: Taxable Pensions and annuities
7: Capital Gain/Loss
8: Other income Schedule 1
and Schedule NEC Form 1040-NR lines 1-12 income.
US-India Tax Treaty
A student or business apprentice who was eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States–India Income Tax Treaty, you are single or a qualifying surviving spouse, and your gross income for the current tax year was less than or equal to $12,950 if single ($25,900 if a qualifying surviving spouse). See chapters 5 and 7 of IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for more details on these treaty benefits.
You were a partner in a US partnership that was not engaged in a business/trade in the United States during the tax year and your Schedule K-1 for Form 1065 includes only income from U.S. sources reportable on Schedule NEC (Form 1040-NR), lines 1 through 12.

In general, most U.S. taxpayers will use the standard Form 1040, but nonresident aliens will use Form 1040-NR.

How to File Form 1040-NR

When you start your return on, answer simple questions about your situation and the eFile Tax App will help you fill in and compete a return via Form 1040-NR. You can e-file this form so you do not have to fill in or mail any complicated IRS tax forms.

Related: How to file a tax return without an SSN.

To e-file your 1040-NR return, follow these simple instructions:

How to e-file Form 1040-NR step-by-step

Form 1040-NR and Schedules

When you start the tax interview process, the eFile Tax App will guide you through this and generate the correct tax return forms for you so you don't have to. IT is simple: just have any income reporting forms on hand when going through the tax preparation process or use this tax preparation guide.

Below are the nonresident alien forms or schedules eFile will help you fill out as you work.

Claim tax deductions and losses allocated and apportioned to income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. Do not include deductions/losses that relate to exempt income or to income that is not effectively connected with a US business or trade organization
Report taxes on income not connected with a U.S. business or trade
Other information about the taxpayer e.g. country of origin, number of days in the U.S., green card status, etc.

Compensation for Personal Services Performed in United States Exempt from U.S. Income Tax Under Income Tax Treaties. 

Whether you need to file or e-file via Form 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR, handles all these forms for you. Learn how the eFile Tax App works and see how easy filing taxes online by yourself can be. Prepare IT yourself, but not alone!