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Per IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens on page 33, you have a dual-status tax year when you have been both a resident alien and a nonresident alien in the same year. Different rules apply for the part of the year you are a resident of the United States and the part of the year you are a nonresident. The most common dual-status tax years are the years of arrival and departure. Which form you file depends on whether you were a resident or nonresident alien at the end of the year.

Resident at end of year. You must file Form 1040 or 1040-SR if you are a dual-status taxpayer who becomes a resident during the year and who is a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year. Write “Dual-Status Return” across the top of the return. Attach a statement to your return to show the income for the part of the year you are a nonresident. You can use Form 1040-NR as the statement, but be sure to mark “Dual-Status Statement” across the top.

Nonresident at end of year. You must file Form 1040-NR if you are a dual-status taxpayer who gives up residence in the United States during the year and who is not a U.S. resident on the last day of the tax year. Write “Dual-Status Return” across the top of the return. Attach a statement to your return to show the income for the part of the year you are a resident. You can use Form 1040 or 1040-SR as the statement, but be sure to mark “Dual-Status Statement” across the top.

TaxAct® supports the creation of dual-status returns. To accommodate for this situation, taxpayers need to prepare multiple returns in TaxAct. An example of how taxpayers would file a dual-status return is as follows:

TaxAct Return #1 - Prepare the return for the first part of the year. If you were a nonresident alien at the beginning of the year, prepare Form 1040-NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return. If you were a resident alien at the beginning of the year, prepare Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Only include income for the part of the year you had this status. This federal return is used as the dual-status statement.

TaxAct Return #2 - Prepare the return for the end of the year. If you were a nonresident alien on the last day of the year, prepare Form 1040-NR. If you were a resident alien on the last day of the calendar year, prepare Form 1040. Only include income for the part of the year you had this status. This federal return is used as the dual-status return.

To indicate you were a dual-status taxpayer, and enter the necessary information from your statement:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Federal.
  2. Click Miscellaneous Topics in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand, then click Dual-Status Taxpayer.
  3. Continue with the interview process to enter all of the appropriate information.

For more information regarding the different rules for your period of residence and period of nonresidence, please see IRS Publication 519.

In this situation, as the IRS does not currently support attaching the required statement to an electronically filed return, you would need to print both returns and paper file. Below are the steps to print each return. When following these steps for "Return #1" described previously, you would just print the return, however when following them for "Return #2," you would print the return and follow the instructions as to where to file both the dual-status return and the dual-status statement.

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Filing. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then click Filing.
  2. Click Mail Paper Return.
  3. The program will proceed with the interview screens for you to enter or review the appropriate information.
  4. You will then be prompted to print the return and its filing instructions (if you are also printing a state return, this will be on a separate screen).

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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