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I used to live in the US on a student visa. During this time I was a non-resident alien.

Now I only visit occasionally, as a tourist. The IRS wanted me to file income tax.

Desperately I searched all their publications, because it did not feel right that a foreign tourist needs to file a tax return.

Finally I found, that tourists staying less than 4-6 months per year in the US are not "US persons", thus not required to file US tax returns.

Are non-US persons still subject to withholding on dividends and interest? But if I buy a exchange traded fund for emerging markets, then dividends are not taxed?

This is a bit off topic, but maybe someone can help:
I have income from advertising and affiliate programs on the internet. Many of my friends do the same, they live in other countries and never ever set foot on US soil. They are not taxed, of course. They don't even give a US social security number.

I honestly gave my US social security number. But I am not a US person any more. So I presume, I owe no tax for these programs.

For example, commission from selling phone plans to European residents. But selling US phone plans to US residents, via my website, guess this is more tricky!?? Still, none of my European friends get letters from the US tax man!

Oh yes, an important point: As I spend most of my time outside the US, the income is not related to US work but derived from website design outside the US. Yes, and unfortunately, the server is located in the US.
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