|Form 1040 NR
U.S. citizens and permanent resident (green
card) visa holders are residents for tax filing purposes if
they are present in the U.S. during the tax year (calendar
year). All other persons determine their tax filing status
by applying a "substantial presence test" to their
circumstances. IRS publication 519 has complete details on
how to apply this test.
J-1 exchange visitors (and their dependents) will file as
non-residents during the period during which
they are temporarily "exempt" from the "substantial
presence test". J-1/J-2 status are "exempt"
from the substantial presence test for five tax (calendar)
|Form 1040 NR-EZ
At the start of your job, you will complete a half page
W-4 form (Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate).
The information on that form determines how much will be
withheld from your paycheck for taxes. When completing the
W-4 form, most J-1 Exchange Visitors can only file as "single,"
regardless of their marital status, and claim only one personal
Submit this form together with your tax treaty statement
to your employer for appropriate witholding of tax onm your
Some countries have tax treaty agreements
with the U.S. in which certain types/proportion of income
may be exempted from federal tax. General information on tax
treaty benefits can be found in IRS publication 901. Persons
intending to take advantage of a tax treaty should provide
IRS form 8233 and a tax treaty statement to their U.S. income
provider in order to reduce or avoid tax withholding on income.
J-1s whose tax filing status is non-resident
because they are "exempt" from the substantial presence
test must complete the following federal income tax forms.
The postmark deadline for mailing tax forms is April 15:
The non-resident who has received U.S. source income (wage,
scholarship, investments) completes the IRS form 8843, and
either 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ. (1040 NR-EZ is a shorter form
with specific instructions on who can use it.)
Submit this form to the IRS at your designated office,
if you change your address.
If you owe the Federal Government on your taxes, and you
want to pay in installments, you must submit this form with
your tax return. Review all the conditions of paying in installments
|Form 1040 X
File this form if you have submitted an incorrect 1040
return, certain time restrictions exist.
The ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals
who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number,
but who need a tax identification number. Most often this
would be dependents, J-2 status (spouse or children of a
J-1) or those J-2 status who have not received INS work
permission. The ITIN is used for tax filing purposes; however,
some health insurers use the ITIN as an identification number.
To apply for the ITIN, you must complete the IRS Form W-7.
Allow six to 12 weeks after submitting the ITIN application
for written receipt of your ITIN. If you have been issued
an ITIN, it does not preclude applying for a Social Security
number if you later become eligible for one.
Anyone who works in the U.S. is required to have a Social
Security number to be hired by an employer and for use in
completing the tax return form. Social Security (FICA) and
Medicare are U.S. government programs that provide benefits
for U.S. citizens and U.S permanent residents, usually for
retirement. It is financed by taxes withheld from the paychecks
of working people. J-1 students and exchange visitors who
are "non-residents for tax purposes" are not required
to pay these taxes (see the chart in IRS publication 519).
Those in J-2 status and those in J-1 status who have become
a "resident for tax purposes", do pay Social Security
and Medicare taxes. If Social Security and Medicare taxes
are withheld in error, you can obtain a refund by following
the instructions in IRS Publication 519.
U.S. Tax Treaties.
Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing
When completing your annual tax return, you will
use income information provided in certain summary reports sent
to you by your sources of U.S. income. These summary report forms
should be attached to the completed tax forms when you mail your
1. W-2 form--Persons receiving wages during any
calendar year should receive a year-end report (called the W-2 form)
from their employer no later than February 1 of the following year.
The W-2 form documents the total amount of wages earned during the
year and the amount of money withheld for any taxes (federal, state
2. 1042-S--Those receiving taxable/reportable scholarship
income should receive a Form 1042-S from their scholarship provider
no later than March 15 of the following year.
3. Other types of summary documents-- usually beginning
with "1099" are issued for other types of taxable income.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require
international scholars in H-1, O-1 or TN status to obtain a certificate
of tax compliance from the IRS called a "sailing permit" before
departure from the United States. Those in J status are no longer
subject to this requirement. Those leaving temporarily should use
IRS Form 2063. Those leaving with no definite plans to return to
the U.S. complete Form 1040-C, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return,
in order to get a sailing permit. More information is available
in Publication No. 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens, on the IRS website
on Alien Tax Clearance.
If you live/d in DC, go here.
If you live/d in Maryland, go here.
If you live/d in Virginia, go here.