Non-resident citizen? Parents without dependent? Confused.
March 9, 2007 3:48 AM   Subscribe

In the eyes of Mr. US Gov'ment, who am I, with non-citizen parents?

I was born in the United States under foreign, non-citizen parents (who were working and living here legally), and after a while my family left with me to return back to said foreign country. Due to some circumstances, I revoked my citizenship in the foreign country. This makes me a US citizen and US citizen only, while my parents are of foreign citizenship only. Years later (now), I've returned to the US to attend college, and I work part-time jobs here as well. I live in a college dorm in a prominent city.

After looking at some tax forms again, the question comes up again -- am I a resident of the state/city? I looked online, and many states' pages will explicitly say that if you are an out-of-state resident in a college, then you are not granted residency in the state that the college is in. Or, could I be a non-resident citizen?

Also, if my parents claim me as a dependent, should I check off the box that says 'Does anybody claim you as a dependent' on US tax forms? Or should I not do so, since nobody is claiming me as a US dependent?

The college dorm I am in is not a private apartment, but an actual dorm that I pay room and board to through the university, which may complicate things concerning rent. I am in New York City, and have been attending school for more than a year and a half. Additional questions can be sent to Thanks, AskMe!
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, you're a US citizen fair and square, so that's a good start. As for the college/tax questions, you might want to start by asking on campus. Talk to the foreign student advisor; I'm sure he or she has handled weirder situations than this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:22 AM on March 9, 2007

IANATL. CALL THE IRS WITH YOUR TAX QUESTIONS. That's the only way to get sorta-definitive answers that will reduce your problems down the line.

1) Non-resident citizen sounds right to me.

2) I believe the wording of the question is "is someone else claiming you as a dependent on their tax form". Unless your parents are paying US taxes, that answer would be no.
posted by Plutor at 4:25 AM on March 9, 2007

For tax purposes, n ot tuition purposes, you are probably a resident. Each state has unique rules on this so I would look them up on the appropriate state tax website. If you are living there year round you can assume you are a resident. If you leave every summer, check the web site.
posted by caddis at 4:33 AM on March 9, 2007

You are almost certainly a resident of the state and city of New York for tax purposes even though you do not and will not receive in-state tuition rates. Tuition residency is a very different beast from other forms of residency in a state.

Unless you're making a fair bit at your part-time jobs, odds are you will not owe any income tax in any case and will get back all that was withheld.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:41 AM on March 9, 2007

I am a US citizen with resident alien parents.

Only check that dependent box if your parents are filing US tax forms and claiming you as a dependent.

If you are claimed as a dependent, your residency question is probably complicated by where your parents live, which is not clear from your question. See a tax specialist or ask the IRS.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:13 AM on March 9, 2007

Agreeing with caddis. You have lived in New York more than a year and a half. Unless you also live somewhere else part of the time, it seems like an open-and-shit case. Are you registered to vote in New York? That would also clarify matters.

Also, if my parents claim me as a dependent, should I check off the box that says 'Does anybody claim you as a dependent' on US tax forms? Or should I not do so, since nobody is claiming me as a US dependent?

The question pertains to whether your parents file US tax forms. If your parents do not file US tax forms, but claim you as a dependent on some foreign tax form, that is not germane.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:15 AM on March 9, 2007

Sorry, I need to preview: "open-and-shut case"
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:16 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]

For what it's worth, I was in a situation similar to yours while I was in college: I was born to American parents living in Canada, and I attended a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, going back home each summer. I was always considered a non-resident of Pennsylvania for tax purposes, and my parents did claim me as a dependent. However, I was in PA, not NY; and my parents were filing U.S. tax returns each year on which they claimed me as a dependent.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:48 AM on March 9, 2007

Take this with a grain of salt, but actually I think it's beneficial to you to NOT check the "I am somebody's dependent" box. Been a while since I was in that situation, but I have a vague recollection of it being a Good Thing for me (tax-wise, anyway) when my folks stopped claiming me as a dependent.

The only problem I think you might run into, as a bona fide U.S. Citizen with foreign parents, is that it may cause problems if you ever want to get a high-level security clearance or work for one of the intelligence agencies. I know someone who was told "don't bother" when she went to get a TS/SCI because her parents were foreign. (Now, I thought that was crap and she should have fought it, but she didn't want to make enemies and didn't.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:50 AM on March 9, 2007

I just wanted to say that "open-and-shit" is genius, thank you for that
posted by matteo at 8:23 AM on March 9, 2007

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