26 CFR § 1.6013-6 - Election to treat nonresident alien individual as resident of the United States.

§ 1.6013-6 Election to treat nonresident alien individual as resident of the United States.

(a)Election for special treatment -

(1)In general. Two individuals who are husband and wife at the close of a taxable year ending on or after December 31, 1975, may make an election under this section for that taxable year if, at the close of that year, one spouse is a citizen or resident of the United States and the other spouse is a nonresident alien. The effect of the election is that each spouse is treated as a resident of the United States for purposes of chapters 1, 5, and 24 and sections 6012, 6013, 6072, and 6091 of the Code for the entire taxable year. An election made under this section is in effect for the taxable year for which made and for all subsequent years of the husband and wife, except:

(i) Any taxable year for which the election is suspended, as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, and

(ii) Any taxable year for which the election is terminated in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section and all subsequent taxable years.

A husband and wife may not make an election if an election previously made under this section by either spouse has been terminated under paragraph (b) of this section.

(2)Particular rules.

(i) As used in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the term “U.S. spouse” means any married individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States at any time during a taxable year.

(ii) An individual's residence is determined by application of the principles of §§ 301.7701(b)-1 through 301.7701(b)-9 of this chapter relating to what constitutes residence in the United States by an alien individual.

(iii) Whether two individuals are married at the close of a taxable year is determined by application of the rules in § 1.6013-4(a).

(iv) The provisions of section 879 and the regulations thereunder shall not apply for any taxable year for which an election under this section is in effect.

(v) An individual who makes an election under this section may not, for United States income tax purposes, claim under any United States income tax treaty not to be a U.S. resident. The relationship of U.S. income tax treaties and the election under this section is illustrated by the following example.

Example.
H, a U.S. citizen, is married to W, a nonresident alien of the United States and a domiciliary of country X. H and W maintain their only permanent home in country X. W receives both U.S. source and country X source interest during the taxable year. The interest is not effectively connected with a permanent establishment or a fixed base in any country. H and W make the section 6013 (g) election. Under article ii (1) of the United States - country X Income Tax Convention interest derived and beneficially owned by a resident of one contracting state is exempt from tax in the other contracting state. Article 4 (1) of the treaty provides that an individual is a resident of a contracting state if subject to tax in that country by reason of the individual's domicile, residence, or citizenship. Under article 4 (1) of the treaty, W is a resident of country X by virtue of her domicile in country X and also of the United States by virtue of the section 6013 (g) election. Article 4 (2) of the treaty provides that if an individual is a resident of both the United States and country X by reason of article 4 (1), the individual shall be deemed to be a resident of the contracting state in which he or she has a permanent home available. Because W's sole permanent home is in country X, under article 4 (2) of the treaty W is treated as a resident of country X for purposes of the treaty. Because W has elected under section 6013(g) to be treated as a U.S. resident (and thus to be taxed on worldwide income), W may not, for U.S. income tax purposes, claim under the treaty not to be a U.S. resident. W, therefore, is subject to U.S. income tax on the interest. For purposes of country X income tax, W is considered a resident of country X under the treaty.

(3)Suspension of election.

(i) An election made under this section is suspended and is not in effect for a taxable year subsequent to the first taxable year for which made if neither spouse is a U.S. spouse during that subsequent taxable year. Thus, for example, the election is in suspense if both spouses are nonresident aliens for the entire taxable year.

(ii) If either spouse dies during any taxable year for which the election under this section is in effect, other than the first taxable year for which the election is to be in effect, the taxable year shall include, solely for purposes of this paragraph (a)(3), only those days during the taxable year on which both spouses are alive. Thus, for example, if the U.S. spouse dies during the taxable year, the election is not suspended for that year even if the surviving nonresident alien spouse never acquires U.S. citizenship or residency. Similarly, if the nonresident alien spouse dies during the taxable year, the election is not suspended for that year even if the surviving U.S. spouse subsequently abandons U.S. citizenship or residency. However, if neither spouse was a U.S. spouse at any time during the period of the taxable year when both spouses were alive, the election is suspended for that year even if the surviving spouse subsequently acquires U.S. citizenship or residency.

For the effect of the death of either spouse on the status of the election in subsequent taxable years, see paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(4)Time and manner of making an election.

(i) A husband and wife shall make the election under this section by attaching a statement to a joint return for the first taxable year for which the election is to be in effect. The election must be made before the expiration of the period prescribed by section 6511(a) (or section 6511(c) if the period is extended by agreement) for making a claim for credit or refund. If either or both spouses die after the close of the taxable year but before the joint return is filed, the election may be made by the executor, administrator, or other person charged with the property of the deceased spouse. If the election is made with a joint amended return, the amended return should be made on Form 1040 or 1040A, the word “Amended” should be written clearly on the front of the return, and an amended return also must be filed for each subsequent taxable year as to which a return previously has been filed by either spouse.

(ii) The statement must contain a declaration that the election is being made and that the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section are met for the taxable year. The statement must also contain the name, address, and taxpayer identifying number of each spouse. If the election is being made on behalf of a deceased spouse, the statement must contain the name and address of the executor, administrator, or other person making the election on behalf of the decreased spouse. The statement must be signed by both persons making the election.

(b)Termination of election -

(1)Revocation.

(i) An election under this section shall terminate if either spouse revokes the election. An election that is revoked terminates as of the first taxable year for which the last day prescribed by section 6072(a) and 6081(a) for filing the return of tax has not yet occurred.

(ii)Revocation of the election is made by filing a statement of revocation in the following manner. If the spouse revoking the election is required to file a return under section 6012, the statement is filed by attaching it to the return for the first taxable year to which the revocation applies. If the spouse revoking the election is not required to file a return under section 6012, but files a claim for refund under section 6511, the statement is filed by attaching it to the claim for refund. If the spouse revoking the election is not required to file a return and does not file a claim for refund, the statement is filed by submitting it to the service center director with whom was filed the most recent joint return of the spouses. The revocation may, if the revoking spouse dies after the close of the first taxable year to which the revocation applies but before the return, claim for refund, or statement of revocation is filed, be made by the executor, administrator or other person charged with the property of the deceased spouse.

(iii) A revocation of the election is effective as of a particular taxable year if it is filed on or before the last day prescribed by section 6072(a) and 6081(a) for filing the return of tax for that taxable year. However, the revocation is not final until that last day.

(iv) The statement of revocation must contain a declaration that the election under this section is being revoked. The statement must also contain the name, address, and taxpayer identifying number of each spouse. If the revocation is being made on behalf of a deceased spouse, the statement must contain the name and address of the executor, administrator, or other person revoking the election on behalf of the deceased spouse. The statement must also include a list of the States, foreign countries, and possessions of the United States which have community property laws and in which:

(A) Each spouse is domiciled, or

(B)real property is located from which either of the spouses receives income.

The statement must be signed by the person revoking the election.

(2)Death. An election under this section shall terminate if either spouse dies. An election that terminates on account of death terminates as of the first taxable year of the surviving spouse following the taxable year in which the death occurred. However, if the surviving spouse is a citizen or resident of the United States who is entitled to the benefits of section 2, the election terminates as of the first taxable year following the last taxable year for which the surviving spouse is entitled to the benefits of section 2. If both spouses die within the same taxable year, the election terminates as of the first day after the close of the taxable year in which the deaths occurred.

(3)Legal separation. An election under this section terminates if the spouses legally separate under a degree of divorce or of separate maintenance. An election that terminates on account of legal separation terminates as of the close of the taxable year preceding the taxable year in which the separation occurs. The rules in § 1.6013-4(a) are relevant in determining whether two spouses are legally separated.

(4)Inadequate records. An election under this section may be terminated by the Commissioner if it is determined that either spouse has failed to keep adequate records. An election that is terminated on account of inadequate records terminates as of the close of the taxable year preceding the taxable year for which the Commissioner determines that the election should be terminated. Adequate records are the books, records, and other information reasonably necessary to ascertain the amount of liability for taxes under chapters 1, 5, and 24 of the code of either spouse for the taxable year. Adequate records also includes the granting of access to the books and records.

(c)Illustrations. The application of this section is illustrated by the following examples. In each case the individual's taxable year is the calendar year and the spouses are not legally separated.

Example 1.
W, a U.S. citizen for the entire taxable year 1979, is married to H, a nonresident alien individual. W and H may make the section 6013(g) election for 1979 by filing the statement of election with a joint return. If W and H make the election, income from sources within and without the United States received by W and H in 1979 and subsequent years must be included in gross income for each taxable year unless the election later is terminated or suspended. While W and H must file a joint return for 1979, joint or separate returns may be filed for subsequent years.
Example 2.
H and W are husband and wife and are both nonresident alien individuals. In June 1980 H becomes a U.S. resident and remains a resident for the balance of the year. H and W may make the section 6013(g) election for 1980. If H and W make the election, income from sources within and without the United States received by H and W for the entire taxable year 1980 and subsequent years must be included in gross income for each taxable year, unless the election later is terminated or suspended.
Example 3.
W, a U.S. resident on December 31, 1981, is married to H, a nonresident alien. W and H make the section 6013(g) election and file joint returns for 1981 and succeeding years. On January 10, 1987, W becomes a nonresident alien. H has remained a nonresident alien. W and H may file a joint return or separate returns for 1987. As neither W or H is a U.S. resident at any time during 1988, their election is suspended for 1988. If W and H have U.S. source or foreign source income effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business in 1988, they must file separate returns as nonresident aliens. W becomes a U.S. resident again on January 5, 1990. Their election no longer is in suspense. Income from sources within and without the United States received by W or H in the years their election is not suspended must be included in gross income for each taxable year.
Example 4.
H, a U.S. citizen for the entire taxable year 1979, is married to W, who is not a U.S. citizen. While W believes that she is a U.S. resident, H and W make the section 6013(g) election for 1979 to cover the possibility that later it would be determined that she is a nonresident alien during 1979. The election for 1979 will not be considered evidence that W was a nonresident alien in prior years. Income from sources within and without the United States received by H and W in 1979 and subsequent years must be included in gross income for each taxable year, unless the election later is terminated or suspended.
[T.D. 7670, 45 FR 6929, Jan. 31, 1980, as amended by T.D. 7842, 47 FR 49842, Nov. 3, 1982; T.D. 8411, 57 FR 15241, Apr. 27, 1992]