Form 1040-NR - Itemized or Standard Deduction

Per IRS Publication 519 U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, nonresident aliens cannot claim the standard deduction. However, a special rule applies to students and business apprentices from India who are eligible for the benefits of Article 21(2) of the United States-India Income Tax Treaty. They can claim the standard deduction if they do not claim itemized deductions. Except for certain charitable contributions and casualty and theft losses, only deductions and losses allocated and apportioned to income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business may be taken.

Allowed Itemized Deductions

You may use the following items as itemized deductions:

  • State and Local Income Taxes
  • Gifts to U.S. Charities
  • Casualty and Theft Losses

Students and business apprentices from India

To claim the standard deduction: 

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Basic Info. On smaller devices, click  in the upper left-hand corner, then click Basic Info.
  2. On the screen titled Let's review your information, click on the Personal tab.
  3. On the screen titled Let's get your personal info, enter Student or Apprentice in the Occupation field and select the Nonresident alien box.

For more information on other expenses and deductions, see the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040-NR) U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return

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.