The basic difference between the two forms is that the 1040NR-EZ is for nonresident aliens who have a very simple tax situation. The 1040NR is used when a nonresident alien has slightly more complex sources of income.
Most nonresident aliens will file a 1040NR-EZ instead of a 1040NR. To qualify for a 1040NR-EZ you must meet the following qualifications:
- Your only U.S. source income was from wages, salaries, tips, taxable refunds of state and local income taxes, and scholarship or fellowship grants.
- You do not claim any dependents.
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s U.S. tax return (such as your parent’s return).
- You do not claim any itemized deductions other than for state or local income tax.
- Your Taxable income is less than $100,000.00.
- If you are married and do not claim an exemption for your spouse.
- You are not claiming any tax credits.
- The only exclusion you can take is the exclusion for scholarship and fellowship grants, and the only adjustment to income you can take is the student loan interest deduction.
The only taxes you owe are:
The tax from the Tax table on pages 17 through 25, or
Unreported social security and Medicare tax from Forms 4137 or 8919.
You can use a 1040NR in most of the following cases:
- You were a nonresident alien engaged in a trade or business in the United States during 2009. You must file even if:
- You have no income from a trade or business conducted in the United States,
- You have no U.S. source income, or
- Your income is exempt from U.S. tax under a tax treaty or any section of the Internal Revenue Code.
- You are claiming dependents (residents of Canada , Mexico , Japan , Korea and students from India only) – Form 1040NR
- You received dividends or capital gains from U.S. stocks – Form 1040NR
- You received income on Form 1099 as independent contractor – Form 1040NR
- You are claiming itemized deductions such as donations to U.S. charities, professional tax preparation fees from previous years – Form 1040NR
- You are claiming un-reimbursed employee expenses (moving, travel, continuing education) – Form 1040NR
- You have additional adjustments to income – Form 1040NR