In the year 2011 I was not in the US. So, the 134$ shown on the 1099-G form was my only US-based income for 2011. As far as I know, normally I do not need to file a return for such a small amount of income. But, in the year 2011 I worked in my own country. My question is, would that change anything? In other words, should I also include my non-US income for the year 2011 when deciding whether to file or not? Thank you
US Citizens are required to file tax returns based on their world-wide earnings. There are usually deductions that prevent double taxation but the requirement to report still exists. Non-US Citizens who do not live in the US are not under the same obligation. From what you're describing (and assuming you're not a US Citizen) you should not need to file for 2011. However, if any of these assumptions are inaccurate or there are other facts to consider, the answer may be different.
And from a practical standpoint, the amount of US income is very small so it would probably not make sense to file anyway unless there were other credits or benefits to you to do so.
Hope that helps.
Evan A. Nielsen is licensed to practice law in California and handles federal tax matters throughout the U.S. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for a particular matter. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult an attorney.
Mr. Nielsen has given you a scholarly and thoughtful response.
If you are a non-US citizen, the facts you present do not indicate that a return in the US would be required. It would not be a bad idea for you to go over all the facts of your situation with a tax attorney.
H. Daniel Lively, Esq., LL.M., CPA Certified Tax Specialist, CA Board of Legal Specialization firstname.lastname@example.org www.USTaxRescue.com 714-708-2593 Mr. Lively is a Certified Tax Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He can be reached at 714-708-2593 or USTaxRescue.com.Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.