In reviewing the CARES Act passed by Congress last week, which provides $1,200 to each individual taxpayer ($2,400 for a joint return), and $500 for each child claimed as a dependent (if you did not make more than the $75,000 for an individual, $112,500 for a head of household, and $150,000 for a joint return), it appears that Congress wanted every single taxpayer, regardless of their immigration status to receive this money. The only individuals excluded from receiving this money automatically (again, assuming you actually filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019) are what the IRS calls “Nonresident Aliens.”
However, this is NOT the definition of “alien” found in the immigration code.
A “Resident Alien” for tax purposes (and for purposes of receiving this money) is anyone who was physically present in the United States (U.S.) on at least:
-31 days during the current year, and
-183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
-All the days you were present in the current year, and
-1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
-1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.
It appears that US Citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and ANYONE else with a valid Social Security Number, who was physically in the United States for the last three years who paid taxes, IS a Resident Alien for tax purposes.
Most people try to use this definition to AVOID paying taxes as a resident.
Now, the millions of people who are not permanent immigrants, including valid visa holders like H-1Bs, L-1s, and E-2s, DACA recipients, TPS holders, and various other types of immigrants legally working in the United States, appear to be eligible to receive this payment. Those paying taxes under a Tax ID number, may not be eligible to receive this payment, but certainly more details will follow.
The key is to have filed a return in 2019, or at least in 2018. If you have not done so, do it today!