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Substantial Presence Test

The Substantial Presence Test is used to determine if you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes.

If you are not a U.S. Citizen, and  you were physically present in the U.S. for at least 31 days in 2013 and cumulative (total) of 183 days for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013, you are likely a resident for tax purposes.  If you were not present for this total of days, you are likely a non-resident for tax purposes. 

When counting your days present in the U.S., there are special rules related to your status that may reduce the number of days you count:

Calculate Your Days of Presence

To count your days of presence, follow the chart below.

+ (Number of Days in the U.S. in 2013)
+ (Number of Days in the U.S. in 2012) divided by 3
+ Number of days in the U.S. in 2011) divided by 6
= Total Days of Presence

 

If your "Total Days of Presence" is 183 or greater, then you pass the Substantial Presence Test and are a resident alien for tax purposes.  For more information on the Substantial Presence Test, see the IRS website.

However, there are exceptions to time counted toward the Substantial Presence Test for students and scholars in F-1 and J-1 status (and their dependents).

Thus...

You are likely a non-resident alien for tax purposes if:
  • You are an F-1 or J-1 student who entered the U.S. after December 31, 2008.

  • You are a J-1 scholar who entered the U.S. after December 31, 2011.
You are likely a resident alien for tax purposes if:
  • You are an F-1 or J-1 student who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2008.
  • You are a J-1 scholar who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011.
  • You became a permanent resident (“green card” holder) in 2013.
  • Certain tax treaties enable citizens of certain countries to claim resident tax status even if they do not pass the Substantial Presence Test.

For more information on federal tax status, please see the International section of the IRS website, and also the Substantial Presence Test section.