All posts in Tax Tips

  • What income is taxable for nonresident aliens in the US?

    Are you a nonresident living in the US? We know it can be confusing to understand the tax system in your home country, let alone in a different one, so we are here to help explain what income is taxable for nonresidents in the US.

    As a foreign national you can be subject to one of two different systems of taxation in the US, depending on whether you are classified as a nonresident or resident alien in the US.

    If you are a nonresident alien, you are subject to US income tax only on your US source income and just like residents, you must report your income on US income tax returns.

    In this guide, we are going to take a closer look at the various different types of income which are taxable in the US and outline our tips on managing your tax requirements.
    Continue reading “What income is taxable for nonresident aliens in the US?” »

  • Which tax form should I use: Form 1040, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ?

    Coming to the US from a foreign country presents both thrills and challenges to every nonresident.

    One of the more common difficulties nonresidents face is filing their tax return.

    In this blog we’ll be discussing Forms 1040, 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, and how they apply to each person’s situation.

    Form 1040 (NR & NR-EZ) figures out the total taxable income of the taxpayer and determines how much of a refund the person may be due.

    So, without further ado, let’s examine how to find out which form applies to you! Continue reading “Which tax form should I use: Form 1040, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ?” »

  • A complete state-by-state guide to US taxes for international students

    In the US, there are different tax rules and laws in each individual state, as well as at a federal level.

    Depending on where you live, you may be required to file a state tax return. In this blog we will outline what you need to know about each state’s tax filing requirement.

    So, let’s start with the easy part.

    States with no income tax

    Nine US states don’t impose any income tax on income.

    This means that, if you live and work in one of the states below, only federal tax will be deducted from your income. You will not have to pay any state income tax.

    • Alaska
    • Florida
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire (taxes only investment income, not earned income)
    • South Dakota
    • Tennessee (taxes only investment income, not earned income)
    • Texas
    • Washington
    • Wyoming

    While the states above don’t deduct individual income tax, they may still deduct taxes such as corporate tax, among others.

    What to do if you have a state filing requirement

    Meanwhile, if you work or invest in a state that has an income tax, it’s likely that you must file a state tax return. This is a separate document to your federal tax return. States are independent from one another in their taxing authority, and all state tax forms differ in some respects. In other words, the type of document you must file – as well as the deadline to file – differs from state-to-state. You can find a full list of everything you need to know below.

    *These dates are relevant to 2020 due to the outbreak of coronavirus which postponed the US tax deadline from 15 April until 15 July.

    It remains to be seen whether the dates will be the same for 2021 and onwards.*

    Alabama

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Alabama state tax return is 15 July 2020.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘40NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Arizona

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Arizona state tax return is 15 July 2020.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘104NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Arkansas

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Arkansas state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘AR1000NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    California

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your California state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘540NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Prepare your State tax return with Sprintax

    J-1 Covid-19 stimulus payment

    Colorado

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Colorado state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘104PN’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Connecticut

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Connecticut state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘Ct-1040NR/PY’ and ‘Schedule CT-SI’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Delaware

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Delaware state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘200-02’, as well as their federal tax return.

    District of Columbia

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Columbia state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘D40-B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Georgia

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Georgia state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘500’ and ‘Schedule B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Hawaii

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Hawaii state tax return is slightly later than other states in the US, with filing required by 20 July. However, all nonresidents are advised to file before this, and beat the tax deadline rush.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘N15’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Idaho

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Idaho state tax return is slightly earlier than the majority of the other states, with the deadline being 15 June.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘43’ and ‘Schedule B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Illinois

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Idaho state tax return is slightly earlier than the majority of the other states, with the deadline being 15 June.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a ‘IL-1040’, and ‘Schedule NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Prepare your State tax return with Sprintax

    Indiana

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Indiana state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IT40-PNR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Iowa

    State tax deadline: The tax deadline for filing your Iowa state tax return is slightly later than the majority of other states in the US, with filing required by 31 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IA 1040’ and ‘IA 126’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Word "Tax" with clock on the office workplace.

    Kansas

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Kansas state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘K-40’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Kentucky

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Kentucky state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ’740NP’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Louisiana

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Louisiana state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ’IT-540B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Maine

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Maine state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘1040ME’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Easy Oklahoma tax return

    Maryland

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Maryland state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘505NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Massachusetts

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Massachusetts tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘1-NR/PY’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Michigan

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Michigan state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘M1-1040’ and ‘Schedule NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Minnesota

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Minnesota state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘M1’ and ‘Schedule M1-NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Mississippi

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Mississippi state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ’80-205’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Missouri

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Missouri state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘MO-1040’ and ‘MO-NRI’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Montana

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Montana state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form and ‘M2’, as well as their federal tax return.Montana State tax refunds

    Nebraska

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Nebraska tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘1040N’ and ‘Schedule III’, as well as their federal tax return.

    New Jersey

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your New Jersey tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘NJ-1040NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    New Mexico

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your New Mexico tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘PIT’ and ‘PIT-B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    New York

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your New York tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IT-203’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Prepare your State taxes with Sprintax

    North Carolina

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your North Carolina tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘D4000’ and ‘Schedule PN’, as well as their federal tax return.

    North Dakota

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your North Dakota tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘ND-1’ and ‘Schedule ND-1NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Ohio

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Ohio state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IT 1040’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Oklahoma

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Oklahoma state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘511NR’ and ‘Schedule 511NR-1’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Oregon

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Oregon state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘OR-40-N’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Pennsylvania

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Pennsylvania state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘PA-40’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Prepare your State taxes hassle-free with Sprintax

    Pennsylvania state university

    Rhode Island

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Rhode Island state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘RI-1040NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    South Carolina

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your South Carolina state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘SC1040’ and ‘Schedule NR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Utah

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Utah state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘TC-40’ and ‘Schedule TC-40B’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Vermont

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Vermont state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IN-111’ and ‘Schedule N-113’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Virginia

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Virginia state tax return is at an earlier date than the majority of states, with filing required by 1 June.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘763’, as well as their federal tax return.

    West Virginia

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your West Virginia state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘IT-1040’ and ‘Schedule A’, as well as their federal tax return.

    Wisconsin

    State tax deadline: The 2020 tax deadline for filing your Wisconsin state tax return is 15 July.

    State tax return: All nonresidents with a tax filing requirement should file a form ‘1NPR’, as well as their federal tax return.

    If you require additional time to file your tax returns after the new deadlines, you can request an extension to do so with the relevant state tax authorities.

    Who can help me prepare my state taxes?

    Sprintax can guide you through the often tricky State tax filing process!

    When you create an account with Sprintax, our system will assist you in preparing fully-compliant Federal and State tax returns and also enable you to use any tax deduction and benefits that will allow you to claim your maximum legal tax refund!

    Prepare your State tax return with Sprintax!

    You can find more information about the forms and State tax returns we prepare here.

  • Keep your tax records when Tax season is over. Here’s why

    How long to keep tax return documents after tax season ends

    Here are the tax records you need to keep and how long you should keep them

    When tax season ends it can feel like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders – an opportunity to exhale and relax (until it all starts again next year that is!) But before you expel all tax topics completely from your mind, there is one final task you must complete.
    Continue reading “Keep your tax records when Tax season is over. Here’s why” »

  • How to track the processing of your North Carolina state tax return?

    Check status of North Carolina state tax return

    North Carolina is one of the 43 states in America that taxes its residents’ individual income.

    You must file a state tax return if you are a nonresident alien and your income from North Carolina sources is greater than $0.

    If you have already filed your North Carolina state tax return ahead of the 15 July tax filing deadline, you may want to follow the progress of your return and the processing of your tax refund.

    In this guide, we’re going to show you exactly how you can track your return and let you know what to do if you have not yet filed your taxes.
    Continue reading “How to track the processing of your North Carolina state tax return?” »

  • A complete tax guide for au pairs in the U.S.

    Au Pair Taxes Explained by Sprintax

    According to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) there are up to 12,000 au pairs in the US at any stage during the year (source).

    We’ve put this handy guide together to fill you in on everything you need to know about foreign au pairs and tax in the US.

    About the Au Pair Program

    What is Au Pair?

    An au pair is an individual between the ages of 18 and 26, who travels from their home country to live in the US with a family and work as a caregiver (foreign nanny). An au pair comes to the US as an Exchange Visitor on a J-1 visa and is not allowed to remain in the United States longer than one year.

    Working as an au pair is an unrivaled opportunity to experience the American way of life – and for those who are not native English speakers, it’s a chance to learn and practice the language.

    You can find more about the Au Pair program here.

    Au Pair Income

    Au Pairs in America receive a cash stipend (tied to the U.S. minimum wage) from the host family. The au pair stipend constitutes “wages” because an employer-employee relationship exists between the au pair and their host family.

    Au pairs must report this income to the IRS and it’s subject to income tax.

    One of the many challenges that an au pair may face when they arrive in the US is coming to terms with the US tax system.

    Do Au Pairs have to pay taxes?

    In short, yes.

    All payments that you have received as an au pair from your host family, which cover the cost of any required academic coursework, room and board, or compensation for childcare work are subject to income tax.

    As a nonresident, au pairs will owe tax on all of the money they earned from US sources.

    Although au pair wages are not subject to mandatory U.S. income tax withholding and reporting on form W-2, au pairs must file an income tax return.

    Filing an Income Tax Return

    You will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) or for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), whichever is applicable in your case, in order to file your US Federal tax return.

    In the United States, besides federal tax, there are also state taxes and local taxes. Whether you need to file a state tax return will depend on the tax rules of the state in which you lived and /or worked, as some states do not require you to pay state tax.

    In order to reduce your tax liability during filing, the IRS permit au pairs to pay tax in quarterly instalments. To do this, all you’ll need to do is submit Form 1040NR-ES (estimated tax return) to the IRS on a quarterly basis and enclose a cheque for the amount you are paying. You may also pay your tax in full at the end of the tax year with your 1040NR-EZ.

    Prepare your Au pair taxes hassle-free with Sprintax

    What taxes are Au Pairs exempt from?

    Because au pairs are paid for their work in the setting of a private home, they are not subject to mandatory US income tax withholding and reporting on Form 941 and W-2.

    Wages will also be exempt from social security and Medicare (FICA) taxes because of the au pair’s status as a nonresident alien. However, if you had previously been in the United States as a student, teacher, trainee, or researcher in F, J, M, or Q non-immigrant status, then you may be classed as a resident alien, meaning you may be subjected to these taxes.

    Tax deductions

    Most au pairs are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes, so they are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Hope Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.

    What happens if an au pair does not pay taxes?

    It’s important to note that, by not filing your tax return, you can severely jeopardize your chances of securing a US visa or Green Card in the future.

    How to pay taxes

    If the case arises where you end up owing additional taxes along with your return, you have various options to pay. The most common forms of paying are pay by check, bank transfer or your credit or debit card.

    You may need to prepare a payment voucher and mail it to the IRS with a check or money order if you choose this payment method.

    If you choose to pay with a payment voucher, Sprintax will provide the filled out form for you. You will find detailed information about the method you have chosen in your instructions.

    Check out this guide on what to do if you missed the tax deadline.

    How to file my US tax return as an Au pair

    Usually, you have until 15 April of every year to file your tax return, however – with the ongoing COVID19 pandemic causing chaos across the globe, the deadline for 2020 has been moved forward to 15 July.

    • In order to file your au pair tax return you need:
      Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN);
    • Calculate how much you earned in the US during the previous calendar year. The simplest way is to multiply your weekly stipend with the number of weeks you worked as an au pair;
    • File form 1040NR-EZ with the IRS;
    • Send a payment to the IRS with the amount of any taxes owed.

    At Sprintax, our software has the capabilities to help you to prepare your federal tax return easily online. We will also assist you with your state tax return.

    By preparing your tax documents with Sprintax, you can also ensure that you receive your maximum tax refund! And with the average Sprintax user receiving a tax refund of $1,153, it’s easy to see why it’s worth your time checking to see what you are owed!

    With Sprintax you can:

    • Save time and stress!
    • Determine your residency status
    • Prepare a fully compliant US tax return
    • Maximize your State tax refund if available
    • Avail of our 24/7 Vita Qualified Live Chat facility

    Prepare your Au Pair tax return today!

  • U.S. entry and exit dates – how to check your travel history

    US entry and exit dates - check travel history

    In order to prepare your US tax documents, you will need to know the exact dates on which you travelled in or out of the US.

    However, if you don’t know your travel history and you need to double-check the exact entry and exit dates, the good news is that you can easily do this online.

    The US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) keeps a record of all nonresidents who travel to the country over the past 5 years.

    These documents also include the reason for their travel and the dates of their previous visits to the US.

    In this post, we will discuss how to track all your travel history paperwork. Continue reading “U.S. entry and exit dates – how to check your travel history” »

  • The top 5 mistakes nonresidents make on their tax returns and how to avoid them

    Mistakes nonresident aliens make on their tax returns

    US tax is tricky and it is easy to make a mistake when filing your tax return.

    Such mistakes can be frustrating and lead to delays in both processing your tax return and retrieving your tax refund.

    In this guide, we’ll highlight the five most common mistakes made by nonresidents while filing their tax return and provide top tips on how to avoid them! Continue reading “The top 5 mistakes nonresidents make on their tax returns and how to avoid them” »

  • Your US Tax Residency Status Explained

    US residency for tax purposes explained

    Determining your tax residency status is important, as it will decide how much tax you must pay while in the US.

    The most common mistake nonresidents make is filing their taxes as a resident. If a nonresident files as a resident they can claim benefits and receive refunds that they’re not entitled to. Incorrect filing breaks the terms and conditions of a nonresident visa, this can lead to fines and penalties and you may also jeopardise your future visa or green card applications.

    In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about your residency and how you can determine your residency status.
    Continue reading “Your US Tax Residency Status Explained” »

  • I filed as a resident in 2018. I have since left the US. I received the CARES payment. What should I do?

    Filed as resident in 2018, but since then left the US and now received the CARES act stimulus check, what should I do?

    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the US government rolled out the emergency CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

    Essentially, it is a stimulus package which provides workers (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.

    The stimulus payment can only be claimed by US citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes (individuals who can pass the Substantial Presence Test) who have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), who have filed their 2018 tax return (in 2019), or their 2019 return (in 2020) and who will be considered a qualifying resident alien for the 2020 tax year.

    For more details on how US residency for tax purposes is determined, check out this blog post.
    Continue reading “I filed as a resident in 2018. I have since left the US. I received the CARES payment. What should I do?” »

  • Top Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers

    The US tax deadline may have been extended until 15 July, but many will inevitably wait until the last minute to file their tax returns.

    International students must file a tax return as a condition of their visa. You may be subject to penalties and interest if you don’t do it.

    If you’ve procrastinated and haven’t done your taxes yet, you are not alone!

    But don’t worry! We are here to help with our top tax tips for last-minute filers.
    Continue reading “Top Tax Tips for Last-Minute Filers” »

  • I filed an incorrect tax return. Should I file an amended return to fix it and how?

    How to amend your US tax return - Sprintax

    “Don’t worry if you made a mistake on your tax return or forgot to claim a tax credit or deduction. You can fix it by filing an amended return.” – The IRS

    Made an error on nonresident alien income tax return? Don’t worry, fixing it is not as difficult as you might think!

    US tax can be tricky – especially if you’re a nonresident who is not familiar with the American tax system. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knows the tax code is complex, and that people make mistakes.

    A tax return can be considered ‘incorrect’ or ‘incomplete’ for a variety of different reasons. Simple things like forgetting to sign a form to big issues like misreporting income or incorrectly calculating a deduction can all affect the validity of a tax return. While making a mistake on your return is not necessarily a big deal, it is important that you rectify the situation by filing an amended tax return, where appropriate.

    If you realize that you made an error on a tax return you already filed or you have come across new information (for example you received an additional W-2 or 1042-S), simply file an amended tax return to make a correction.

    Continue reading “I filed an incorrect tax return. Should I file an amended return to fix it and how?” »

  • Nonresident aliens: Your guide to navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments

    Can I claim the CARES payment as a nonresident?

    Updated 5 January 2021

    Note: Have you received the second pandemic stimulus payment – worth $600?

    In December 2020, the US government authorised the release of a second pandemic stimulus payment – worth $600. If you’re an international student or nonresident and you have received the second stimulus payment (by direct debit or check), you can find out everything you need to know in our guide here.

    What you need to know about the CARES Act

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government introduced the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act in April 2020.

    In short, the CARES Act is a stimulus package which aims to support workers (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.

    Married couples (who file jointly and earn less than $150,000) will receive $2,400 and families will also get $500 per child.

    Taxpayers who have filed US tax returns in 2018 or 2019 have already begun to receive CARES payments.

    With that in mind, in this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the CARES payment, who is entitled to receive it, and what you should do if you receive the payment when you are not eligible. 
    Continue reading “Nonresident aliens: Your guide to navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments” »

  • COVID-19, the CARES payment and the tax deadline – all of your non-resident tax questions answered!

    COVID-19 tax questions

    As a non-resident in the US, you probably have a lot of questions about tax.

    That’s why, at Sprintax, we offer a 24/7 Live Chat service. Our team are available any time day or night to support you and answer all of your tax questions.

    In this blog, we’ve compiled some of the most common tax questions that our team have received recently.
    Continue reading “COVID-19, the CARES payment and the tax deadline – all of your non-resident tax questions answered!” »