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  1. Hi Karen. I don’t have enough data to know the answer to that question. Too many variables. You can do the math for the substantial presence test (presumably your return preparer did that). But there are other ways to become a resident alien, and there are ways — if you are a resident alien — to be taxed as a nonresident. If you think your tax guy made a mistake, get a second opinion from someone. I think that’s the best answer I can give you.

  2. Our tax guy filed us as resident aliens when we submitted our return for 2014 in April . We were present for approx one hundred days this year, 365 in 2014 and 120 in 2013. Do we qualify to use the resident alien status on the return we submitted ?

  3. Hi Reg.

    For the politicians in Washington DC — note that gravity flows away from the USA now, in Reg’s mind. If chasing away investment capital is a good thing, then, Dear Congress, keep doing what you’re doing.

  4. Thx! I kinda thought so and the exception does NOT apply BUT I could circumvent that on occasion. Not as if we spend 180 days in the south each year anyway so it isn’t a big deal but I become more and more cautious of “putting my name” on anything in the US and I’m considering less or NO investing in US securities.

  5. @Reg,

    The rules say to count a day of presence for any day “on which” you were physically present in the USA. So yes. If you come across the border for 30 minutes to fill your gas tank, that counts as a day of presence in the USA.

    But there are a couple of exceptions for the Canada/USA border (and for the Mexico/USA border too, for that matter).

    There is an exception for people who commute into the USA for work. That probably doesn’t apply to you when you’re coming across the border for shopping expeditions.

    But there’s another one that probably will work for you. IRC §7701(b)(7)(C) says that if you are an alien in the USA for less than 24 hours in transit between two places outside the USA, you don’t count the day.

    This is an interesting possibility. Are you “in transit” from Point A in Canada (your house) to Point A in Canada (your house) and the route happens to take you through a gas station in the United States? 🙂

  6. Do my trips across the border for gas and or groceries for a few hours with departure and return on the same day count as a day according to the rules?

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Tax laws change over time, and the information in this post above may be less accurate today than it was at the time of the last revision. This post is not tax advice for your specific situation. Please contact an international tax professional to get personalized advice for your situation.