Important Forms
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) years.

Form

Instructions

Form 1040 NR-EZ

Form

Instructions

Form W-4

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 deduction.

Form

 
Form W-8BEN

Submit this form together with your tax treaty statement to your employer for appropriate witholding of tax onm your wage.

Form

Instructions

Form 8233

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.

Form

Instructions

Form 8843

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.)

Form

 
Form 8822

Submit this form to the IRS at your designated office, if you change your address.

Form

 
Form 9465

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 first!

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Form 1040 X

File this form if you have submitted an incorrect 1040 return, certain time restrictions exist.

Form

Instructions

Form W7

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.

Form

 
Important Publications
Pub 519

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.

Publication

 
Pub 901

U.S. Tax Treaties.

Publication

 
Pub 501

Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Publication

 

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 tax returns:

 

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 and local).

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.

 


Local Taxes

If you live/d in DC, go here.

If you live/d in Maryland, go here.

If you live/d in Virginia, go here.