Form 1040NR Guide – Nonresident Alien Income Tax return

Form 1040NR Guide – Nonresident Alien Income Tax return


Congratulations, if you are reading this blog, you have most likely participated in an exchange program in the USA, prepared all your visa documents, lived an incredibly U.S experience and now you only need to file your taxes to close the cycle of your exchange program in the U.S.

The Form 1040-NR is a version of the IRS income tax return that nonresident aliens may have to file if they engaged in business in the United States during the tax year or otherwise earned income from U.S. sources throughout the year.

Most exchange visitors with a J1 Visa are considered non-residents for tax purposes, many of them don’t file taxes in their country, this is why it can be confusing for them, in the every J-1 participant has a tax filing requirement, this is why we have created this guide so they can learn more about their tax requirements:

Table of Contents:

  • What are taxes?
  • Determine your tax residency
  • How to file a tax return
  • Tax forms
  • Tax exemptions
  • Can you claim dependents?
  • Can you file a joint tax return if you’re married
  • Claim J1 tax back
  • Direct deposit for J1 tax refund
  • How to do your taxes faster
  • Important information to know


What are taxes?

As you must already know, governments get the money to operate from their citizens, have you ever wondered how? Well, through taxes, taxes allow the government to offer citizens certain goods and services that are aimed at increasing social welfare. Taxes make it possible to create a public education system, roads, hospitals, etc. The taxes themselves are mandatory contributions imposed on individuals or corporations by a government entity.

J-1 students in the U.S. have to pay tax on any U.S. sourced income they receive during their stay in the U.S. How much tax you will pay will depend on a number of factors, such as how much you earn, the rate of tax. All non-residents must pay 10% on any income tax up to $9,950. If you earn more than this amount on your J-1 program, you must pay 12% in income tax on the amount between $9,951 and $40,525.

As a nonresident in the US, you will have to pay taxes on Wages and compensation, Salaries, Tips, Interest, Dividends, Some scholarships/fellowship grants, Prizes/awards.


Determining your U.S. tax residency status on a J-1 visa

Most J-1 students in the U.S. are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes. This is determined by what’s known as the substantial presence test, which is used by the IRS to decide whether an individual who is neither a US citizen nor a US permanent resident should be taxed as a US citizen or a nonresident alien for a specific year.

The difference between the two is that US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income while nonresident aliens have to report only their US-sourced income. You can complete the Substantial Presence Test for free with J1 Summer Tax Back jus use our Service Selector, select other services, then click Residency Status.


How do I file my Nonresident tax return?

The 2022 deadline for filing your US tax return is 18 April. Every J-1 program participant has a tax filing obligation.

If you earn income in the US, you must file a tax return. It’s hugely important that you file correctly when completing your tax return. Failure to file or filing a non-compliant tax return can lead to fines or penalties. It can also jeopardize your future US visa green card applications.

When preparing your US Nontesindet tax documents you will need: Passport, Know US entry and exit dates for current and all previous visits, All tax forms you’ve received (including Forms W-2, 1042-S, and/or 1099, etc.),  Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

The 1040NR can be particularly confusing for nonresidents to complete, so it’s important to take your time and follow the instructions. It’s important to remember that many of the boxes on the form won’t apply to you and the majority of the information required is your personal information, earnings, amount of tax you paid, and the amount you are to be refunded (if this is applicable to you).

You can prepare and e-file your 1040NR with J1 Summer Tax Back without stress.

Simply create an account to get started.


If I have a J-1 visa. Which forms do I have to file?

1. If you received a US source income

It is extremely likely that you will need to file Form 1040NR to complete your tax return.

You will be required to enter your name, current address, and social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) as well as other general personal information.

Form 1040NR is your U.S. Nonresident tax return and you can file it along with a copy of your W2 at the end of the tax year and file and state tax return based on the state you worked at!


2. If you did not receive a US source of income

If you were in the U.S. and had no U.S. sourced income then you will still need to file a Form 8843 “Statement for Exempt Individuals with a Medical Condition”. You can prepare your nonresident alien tax documents online with J1 Summer Tax Back.

Are there any tax exemptions for those on a J-1 visa students?

As a non-resident, you will be exempt from certain taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare (FICA tax). It is important to note, as a nonresident J-1 participant, it is ILLEGAL for you to claim American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)

Are there different exemptions based on whether you are a J-1 student, teacher, or trainee?

No, the exemptions are the same. Currently, the only deduction if there is no tax treaty entitlement, which is available to all J-1 participants is the deduction for state and local taxes they paid during the year, capped at $10,000.

Can J-1 visa holders avail of tax treaty benefits?

Most J-1 participants (for example work & travel and au pairs) can’t benefit from tax treaties. However, students, teachers, researchers, scholars, and treasurers can benefit from certain tax treaties if they meet the requirements.

Can you claim dependents on your J-1 tax return?

Citizens of Canada, Mexico, and South Korea and J-1 students and trainees from India who use the India tax treaty are allowed to claim their dependents on the 1040NR form. The US has income tax treaties with various foreign countries, which may affect your tax filing if your country of residence is included in them. For nonresident aliens, these treaties can often reduce or eliminate U.S. tax on various types of personal services and other income. This can range from anything such as pensions, interest, dividends, royalties, and capital gains.

Usually, for students, apprentices, and train on J-1 visas, the benefits of the tax treaties are applicable for 4-5 years. For teachers and professors, the limit is around 2-3 years. If your country does not have a tax treaty with the US or the treaty doesn’t cover the type of income you earn, then you must pay tax on this income.

Can I file a joint J1 tax return if I’m married?
Nonresident aliens cannot file married filing a joint tax return under any occurrences. They should always file separate returns even if they have the right to claim dependents. Dependents may be claimed on only one of the returns of the spouses.

Can I get my taxes back as a J-1 student?

Multiple J-1 international students are entitled to claim refunds on both federal and state taxes. You can do this by filing your tax return. Doing it by yourself can often be stressful, but J1 Summer Tax Back makes claiming your J-1 tax refund easy!

You can efficiently prepare your tax return with the J1 Summer Tax Back platform.

How long does it take to get a direct deposit for a J-1 tax refund?

Exact timelines are determined by the IRS and are different for each refund, so it is difficult to put an exact timeline on your refund. The tax return processing time for paper tax returns is estimated at 4-6 weeks from the moment when the tax return is received by the IRS. You should allow a further 1-2 weeks for mailing.

Do you get your taxes back faster with direct deposit?
The length of time for processing paper tax returns is the same as it is online. However, receiving a direct debit is faster than cashing a cheque in your bank.

Can I speed up my tax refund?
Yes, if you file before the 18 April 2022 deadline, your tax return is likely to be processed faster than if you were to leave it to the last day.

This is due to the volume of tax returns that will need to be processed when the deadline comes.

Need help amending your US tax return

Who can help me with my J-1 visa tax return?
J1 Summer Tax Back is the nonresident partner of choice for TurboTax and the only online federal and state self-prep tax software for nonresidents in the US.

By creating a J1 Summer Tax Back account you can easily prepare fully completed and compliant 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ (nonresident alien tax return) and form 8843 tax documents.

J1 Summer Tax Back will also help you to claim your maximum legal tax refund.

With J1 Summer Tax Back you can:

Save time and stress!
Determine your residency status
Prepare a fully compliant US tax return
E-file form 1040-NR (eligibility criteria)
Maximize your State tax refund
Avail of our 24/7 Live Chat facility
Prepare your J1 tax documents with J1 Summer Tax Back today
Get started here


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