Limitation of responsibility: This blog is not a legal, financial or tax advisor. The information provided here does not constitute any professional advice that must be carried out by the people thus accredited. This information must be taken into account by the reader under his own responsibility.

If you have studied or worked in the US with Visa F, J, Q or M, you may have to make the income statement (income tax return) even if you have not received any income. There are numerous trainers or managers who can do so charging (around $ 50-100) and even the university itself usually offers free advice. In general, guided Turbotax or others programs do not work for international students since they do not contemplate the forms for Non-Resident of the American Income. Even its use can lead to wrong forms and subsequent claims for the IRS (the American Treasury).

Keep in mind that it is necessary to make at least two income statements, first the federal and then the state, which are sent to different sites.The deadline is usually April 15, and not presenting them may involve fines. On the other hand, it can be very convenient to do it because certain retentions may be returned, in addition to payments made to the social Security and Medicare. It is recommended to consume the publication 519 Tax Guide For Aliens.

In general, completing the forms is not complicated, but the first time it seems very confusing and it takes time to understand it. Each form has complete instructions that must be scrupulously followed to complete it correctly. Next, certain keys to do this procedure will be discussed:

  • Fill in form 8843. This must be completed although no income has been had, to inform the presence in the US.If during the previous year some type of income has been received, such as salaries, scholarships (Scholarship or Fellowship) or bank interests (above 10 $) other forms must also be filled (1040NR …).

  • Know if you are resident or non-resident for fiscal purposes. A person with a non-immigrant visa like F or J, can be resident for fiscal purposes. In general, a student is considered Non-Resident unless he has been staying in the country for more than 5 years.If you are married to a resident they can apply other standards and the statement can be made joint (Married File Jointly) or separate (Married File Separately).

  • Non-resident have to complete the form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ.

  • Resident have to complete Form 1040, 1040a or 1040ez, just like any American resident.

  • Choose between 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. The second is the simplified version that can be used in most cases, as explained in the form instructions of the form (if there are no dependents, complicated exemptions, etc).

  • Have the W2 forms that all the employers we have had and the 1099 of the interest or bank dividends will have sent us (only if they are greater than $ 10).

  • Understanding W2 is very easy. Half 1 of the W2 is the sum of all the gross payments of that employer while box 2 of the W2 is the retention (withheld) practiced for the federal tax.The sum of all income (boxes 1 of all employers) must be reflected in box 3 of 1040Nr-EZ.

  • Take into account the exemption by treaty between the two countries (Tax Treaty).The way of reflecting it is to discount this amount in box 3 of 1040NR-EZ and reflect it in the 6. in Spain, for students, it is $ 5000.

  • Itemized deductions (box 11 of 1040NR-EZ). It is the sum of the state and local withholdings practiced, it is the sum of boxes 17 and 19 of all W2 and 1099.

  • Exemption (box 13 of 1040NR-EZ). It is the personal exemption, in 2013 it is $ 3800, but the figure can change if there are dependents or the joint declaration is made.

  • Tax (box 15 of 1040NR-EZ). It is obtained from the tables that appear in the manual, that is the total amount of federal taxes to be paid.If the retention (withheld) practiced has been greater, the statement will go back;and to pay otherwise.

  • The withholdings that appear in box 2 of the W2 are reflected in boxes 18 of 1040NR-EZ. Once completed, forms 1040 (NR or NR-EZ), 8843, W2 and 1099 are attached, and is recommended, but not mandatory, also attach a copy of the passport and visa.

In addition to the Federal, the state income declaration must be made, in all those where admission has been received.It is advisable to do it after the federal part, because they will ask us about certain boxes and results of it.In the case of California, some keys:

In general, being a resident or not of a State is not related at all to the visa and can lead to interpretations.According to California Franchise Tax Board, You are considering Resident of California if you are present in California Other Than for a temporary or transitory purpose, or If you are domiciled in California but you are outside California for a temporary or transitory purpose.Therefore, a student can be considered non-resident since his presence is temporary to be associated with the period of studies, although he has been living all year in California.

In the Non-Resident case, you will have to fill out the 540NR Long or Short forms.The second is the simplified version.Like the federals, to fill in the form you have to follow the complete instructions provided. State withholdings (withholding) are contemplated in box 17 of the W2.

In California there is deduction for renting a house.It must be reflected in box 61 of forms 540.

Once completed, a copy of the W2 is also attached and a copy of the Federal Income Declaration itself (in 540 Long) may also be a copy of the Federal Income Declaration).

A non-resident may not be obliged to pay social Security and Medicare, if there are certain jobs as practices (opt). For their return, if, in effect, they have been retained by the employer and the return could not be obtained on their part (boxes 4 and 6 of the W2), the form 843 must be completed. It is recommended to do it 6 weeks afterSend the Federal Income Declaration, to avoid delays in its return. In addition to this we will have to attach:

  • Copy of the W2
  • 8316 forms, one for each employer.This form indicates that the return has been requested to the employer but has not been achieved.
  • Copy of the Federal Declaration 1040NR-EZ O 1040NR.
  • Copy of I-94 in force if you are still in the United States
  • Visa copy
  • Copy of the I-20 or for the J-1 of the DS2019
  • Copy of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), CPT I-20 or DS-2019 employment card.

🤓 Do you want to know more?

Join our subscription list and Download for free a complete scheme that will guide you in selecting the visa best suited for you.

Leave a comment