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But doesn't the $80,000 only apply to income that was actually earned from working? In other words, capital gains, interest and dividends would still be taxable?

Not that you care, but you piqued my interest on US residents and what exactly the definition is for tax purposes. Knowing my luck, my greencard would come through the week before I leave, and I'd be subject to US tax for 10 years! Anyhow, I'm okay because according to the IRS:

Nonresident Alien
A nonresident alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or a resident alien. A resident of a foreign country under the residence article of an income tax treaty is a nonresident alien individual for purposes of withholding.

Resident Alien
A resident alien is an individual that is not a citizen or national of the United States and who meets either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year.

Green Card Test
An alien is a U.S. resident if the individual was a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year. This is known as the green card test because these aliens hold immigrant visas (also known as green cards).

So while I thought I might have fallen down on the Greencard test, I don't as I won't be a permanent resident of the United States.

Thanks for prompting me to re-investigate though. I have begun to forget the details after looking at a flurry of UK tax laws, US tax laws, tax treaties, international withholding etc etc.


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