IRS Expands Medical Condition Exception to Substantial Presence Test to Include Travel Disruption as a Result of COVID-19
April 28, 2020
Authored by: Melissa Sprinkle and Stephanie Moll
In Rev. Proc. 2020-20, the IRS provides relief to nonresident taxpayers who have been in the United States long enough to be considered resident aliens under the substantial presence test of IRC 7701(b)(3) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Revenue Procedure also provides relief to taxpayers who would otherwise be ineligible for treaty benefits on services income. While this expansion is welcome, it is limited to excluding days falling after January 31 and through May 31.
Typically, under IRC 7701(b), persons who are otherwise not permanent US residents but who spend a sufficient amount of time in the country will be treated as US residents for income tax purposes under the substantial presence test. This test counts the number of days that an individual spent in the country in a given tax year or over a three year “look back” period to determine whether such person spent a