All posts in Sprintax Returns

  • The ultimate tax guide for international students on OPT

    tax guide for students on OPT

    (Last updated: 23 Feb 2024)

    Are you an OPT/CPT program participant?

    While doing your taxes might not be the most exciting aspect of international student life in the US, the importance of filing your federal tax return correctly cannot be underestimated.

    With this in mind, we’ve created this handy tax guide for international students on OPT. Continue reading “The ultimate tax guide for international students on OPT” »

  • J-1 visa taxes explained – the ultimate US tax return guide for J-1 visa holders

    J1 visa tax return guide 2022

    Tens of thousands of people flock to the US on J-1 student visas each year.

    Every J-1 participant has a tax filing requirement, it’s the law!

    Many J-1 visa holders are confused by the often tricky US tax jargon. However, it’s not as bad as it seems, and knowing even a little about your filing requirements can go a long way!

    With this in mind, we’ve created a blog post that will answer some common queries from J-1 participants in the US! Continue reading “J-1 visa taxes explained – the ultimate US tax return guide for J-1 visa holders” »

  • Explainer: What each Sprintax Product will do for you

    What do Sprintax products do

    It has been nearly one year since Sprintax underwent brand updates to ensure we were delivering the very best possible product for our customers.

    Our goal is to assist employers and nonresidents alike in the US with preparing their taxes, ensuring they are 100% tax compliant.

    Each brand offers a simple and easy-to-use product that couples peace of mind with tax compliance – often a rarity in the US!

    So, what is each Sprintax product, and what will it do for you?

    Find out below!

    Continue reading “Explainer: What each Sprintax Product will do for you” »

  • The Ultimate J-1 scholar tax guide

    J-1 research scholar tax guide

    Thousands of people travel to the US on J-1 visas every year.

    But did you know if you go to the US on a J-1 visa you have a tax-filing requirement? It’s the law!

    With that in mind, we have put together this post that outlines all J-1 Scholars need to know about tax when in the US. Continue reading “The Ultimate J-1 scholar tax guide” »

  • Tax guide for summer camp counselors on J-1 visa

    J1 tax return summer camp counselors in 2024

    The camp counselor program allows you to share your culture and ideas while working in a camp setting in the US.

    To take part in the camp counselor program, you need a J-1 cultural exchange visa. This visa allows non-immigrant aliens to temporarily live in the US to participate in the summer camp.

    Generally, J-1 camp counselors are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. You must fill out important tax documents when you arrive at the camp, and your camp director can help you with this. Continue reading “Tax guide for summer camp counselors on J-1 visa” »

  • Sprintax is Now LIVE For Nonresident Federal E-Filing

    Sprintax Federal efiling live 2023 tax year

    It has never been easier to file your nonresident US federal tax return.

    We are thrilled to announce that Sprintax – the best online solution for nonresident federal and state tax returns – is now live for Federal E-Filing.

    This means that, by completing the easy Sprintax questionnaire, you can file your 2023 federal return directly with the IRS online.

     

    What is E-Filing?

    Sprintax is now approved by the IRS to submit Federal tax returns electronically (E-Filing).

    In short, this means you no longer need to download, print and mail a physical copy of your tax return to the US tax office. Instead, you can now file your federal tax return without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.

    By E-Filing your tax return, you can ensure that your taxes are processed by the IRS faster than if you filed a paper tax return.

     

    File 1040NR Online

     

    How does E-Filing with Sprintax work?

    When you complete the Sprintax questionnaire and proceed through the order breakdown and payment stage, you will be ready to submit your 2023 US tax return.

    If you wish to E-File your taxes, you must firstly confirm that you have not previously E-Filed your tax return before.

    You can then click the ‘Proceed with E-File’ button to move to the next step.

     

    E-File Authentication

    To E-File your tax return you must first electronically sign your tax return using the information requested on the screen.

    Before you can sign your return, we must verify your identity. To do so, we will ask you to provide information from your previous federal tax return.

    If you filed a federal tax return last year, you can either provide your prior year adjusted gross income or your self-selected 5-digit pin.

    You can find your adjusted gross income on line 11 of your 2022 1040NR. Please ensure the information you provide here is correct.

    If you did not file a tax return for tax year 2022, please enter ‘0’ as your prior year adjusted gross income.

    If you filed an amended tax return for tax year 2022, please enter the adjusted gross income listed on the return you filed originally.

     

    Electronically signing your tax return

    You will be required to select any 5-digit number (other than 00000) to electronically sign your tax return. Ensure you keep a record of this pin in a safe place.

    You will need to acknowledge that this pin is your signature and that and that you are now authorizing transmission of your return.

     

    Final steps

    Next, you must read the disclaimer and consent statements and confirm your agreement and that you have reviewed the information that you have entered and examined your tax return.

    You will also need to confirm that the social security numbers of each person on the return are correct.

    You must then sign the above consent disclosure by entering your date of birth.

    Finally, simply click ‘E-File My Return’ to electronically send your tax return to the IRS.

     

    Can I E-File my state taxes with Sprintax?

    No. You can only E-File your federal tax return with Sprintax.

    However, if you are required to file a state tax return, Sprintax will help you to prepare the documents you need.

    When you complete our questionnaire, our software will provide you with your completed state tax return.

    To file your tax return, simply download, print and sign your documents and mail them to the tax office.

     

    Can I E-File for tax years prior to 2021?

    At present, E-Filing is only available for the 2021 tax year and later years.

    However, Sprintax can help you to prepare the tax documents you need for prior tax years.

    Can everyone E-File their federal taxes?

    No.

    You will not be able to file online if:

    1. Any names or SSN do not coincide with the information provided at the About You step of the Sprintax questionnaire
    2. Any of your payment documents do not have an EIN
    3. Any of your 1042-S forms do not have a unique code identifier
    4. You have capital gains income
    5. You have form 1099-NEC
    6. You have form 1099-INT
    7. You have form 1099-MISC with box 4 higher than box 0
    8. You have included your final payslip
    9. You have self-employment income

    If you are not eligible to E-File your taxes, don’t worry. You can still download your completed forms from Sprintax and mail them to the IRS

    Note: If your W2 forms do not have a control number you must enter any 5 digit number instead.

     

    Do I have to E-File my tax return?

    No. If you would prefer not to file your taxes online, you can file by mail instead. Simply download your tax return, print it, sign it, and mail it to the IRS.

     

    When is the tax filing deadline?

    It is important to file your tax return before the 15 April 2024.

    If you owe the IRS money and you don’t file your tax return by the deadline, you may incur late filing fines and penalties from the IRS. You may also jeopardize your future US visa applications.

    What’s more, 70% of Sprintax users receive a tax refund. By not filing, you risk missing out on your tax refund.

    The average federal refund is $1,004. Do you really want to leave that kind of money in the US? Of course not!

     

    E-File your 1040NR US tax return with Sprintax

    File 1040NR Online

     

    Who must file tax documents in the US?

    Every nonresident in the US has a tax filing requirement.

    If you earned income in the US, you will be required to file a federal tax return. You may also have a state tax filing requirement.

    Nonresident aliens who are in the US on a J or F visa must file a Form 8843 “Statement of Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition” even if they received no income in the US.

    No matter what nonresident tax document you need to file, Sprintax can help you.

    Get started with your US nonresident tax return here.

     

    Why choose Sprintax?

    Sprintax will cater to all of your nonresident tax filing requirements.

    • We help more than 215,000 nonresidents (from over 200 nationalities) with their taxes every year
    • We are now live for Federal Tax Return E-Filing
    • Automatic generation of completed tax documents including federal, state and FICA tax returns, form 8843, tax return amendments and more
    • Your maximum US tax refund guaranteed – our average federal refund is $1,004
    • 24/7 Live Chat tax support

     

    How to get started

    To file your US federal tax return online with Sprintax, simply create your account or login here.

    Next, we will ask you a couple of easy questions about your time in the US and the income you earned.

    Our software will then automatically apply any treaty benefits or tax relief you are entitled to – minimizing your tax bill!

    You will then have the opportunity to either E-File or download your completed documents.

    It’s that easy!

     

    E-File your tax return with Sprintax

    Start here

     

  • Tax information for nonresident winter workers in the US

    Winter work and travel program Tax information

    Are you going to the US to work for the winter season?

    If so, it’s likely that you have many questions on the types of winter work jobs available, the Winter Work and Travel program, H-2B visas, tax residency status, claiming your tax back afterwards, and more!

    In this article, we will delve deeper into the above topics to answer frequently asked questions. Continue reading “Tax information for nonresident winter workers in the US” »

  • A Complete Tax Guide for Au Pairs in the U.S.

    au pair paying taxes

    (Last updated: 22 Jan 2024)

    Each year, thousands of au pairs move to the US to live with host families.

    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.

    Continue reading “A Complete Tax Guide for Au Pairs in the U.S.” »

  • Filing an international student tax return – U.S. tax season survival guide for students on F-1 visa

    F1 International student tax return guide 2023

    A handy tax guide for international students and scholars in the US on an F-1 visa

    Tax filing might not be the most exciting aspect of international student life in the US.

    After all, tax returns for international students probably weren’t high on your list of priorities when moving to the US!

    However, the importance of completing these forms correctly cannot be underestimated – the way you handle your international student tax affairs will have a major impact on future Green Card and visa applications.

    With this in mind, we’ve created this handy tax guide for international students and scholars in the US on an F-1 visa.

    We’ve covered everything you need to know about tax returns, refunds, and how to stay in the taxman’s good books! So, let’s get started!

     

    Continue reading “Filing an international student tax return – U.S. tax season survival guide for students on F-1 visa” »

  • How to file Form 8843 – instructions for nonresident aliens

    IRS form 8843 instructions [2024]

     

    There are 3 things that every US international student and J-1 visa holder needs to know about American tax:

      1. Every US international student and J-1 visa holder has a tax filing requirement
      2. It doesn’t matter if you have earned income. You must still file your documents before the deadline
      3. The IRS takes this stuff seriously! In other words, if you don’t comply with your tax obligations, you may encounter complications when applying for US visas in the future

    Regardless of whether you have earned income during your time in the US, if you are a nonresident in the US, you will still need to file what’s known as a Form 8843 “Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition”.

    This blog post will focus on exactly what you need to do in order to file this form and remain compliant with the IRS.

    NOTE: If you are considered a resident for tax purposes, you are not required to file IRS form 8843.

    Continue reading “How to file Form 8843 – instructions for nonresident aliens” »

  • How to prepare for the 2023 US tax season

    Tax tips to prepare international student for 2023 tax season

    The deadline for filing your 2023 US tax return is April 15, 2024, and it’s never too early to start preparing.

    There’s no doubt that, whether you have filed a tax return before, or this is your first year with a filing requirement, the tax season can be a real headache.

    In this blog, we’ll look at 5 things every nonresident alien in the US can do to ensure their tax season runs as smoothly as possible.

    Continue reading “How to prepare for the 2023 US tax season” »

  • Form 1040-NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) explained and how to file it

    Form 1040NR instructions

    As a nonresident in the US, IRS Form 1040-NR is one of the most important tax forms you will need to familiarize yourself with when tax season comes around.

    After all, the 1040-NR is the form you will use when filing a tax return with the IRS.

    In this blog, we’ll analyze whether or not you need to file 1040-NR, and share our top tips on how to file your tax return correctly.

    Continue reading “Form 1040-NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return) explained and how to file it” »

  • Will I pay Capital Gains Tax in the US as a nonresident?

    non resident capital gains tax

    Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax imposed on profit earned from the sale of specific assets.

    For nonresident aliens, these assets often include investments like stocks, real estate, cryptocurrency and personal property.

    So, while living in the US, you may be subject to capital gains tax when you sell these assets and earn a profit.

    Many nonresidents in the US find it challenging to manage their CGT responsibilities. That’s why we’ve put together this guide which will outline everything you need to know to correctly file your capital gains tax return before the deadline.

    Continue reading “Will I pay Capital Gains Tax in the US as a nonresident?” »

  • Important information for J-1 visa holders before they leave the US

    J-1 visa holders leaving US

    Are you currently in the US on a J-1 visa? Or perhaps you are planning to visit the US on a J-1 visa in the future.

    A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows eligible participants to go to the US for a specific time period to engage in a cultural or educational exchange.

    J-1 programs fall under many categories, including Au Pair, Summer Work and Travel, Intern, Student, Research Scholar, and more!

    No matter what J-1 visa you are on, you are sure to make great memories in the US, exploring the country and gaining invaluable life, training and employment experience.

    Although taxes are probably the last thing on your mind as you enjoy your adventure, it is important to stay compliant with the IRS. After all, each J-1 program participant has a tax filing requirement. And if you do not have a clean tax record, you may encounter complications when applying for future US visas.

    In this article, we will share important information on your J-1 tax obligations as well as other tips to consider before you leave the US.

     

    Tax obligations on a J-1 visa

    Most J-1 visa holders are considered to be ‘nonresident aliens’ for tax purposes in the US.

    Your tax residency status will be determined by what’s known as the Substantial Presence Test. This test determines an individual’s tax residency status based on the number of days spent in the US.

    If you meet the Substantial Presence Test, you will be considered a resident of the US for tax purposes and if you don’t you will be considered a nonresident and therefore will only be taxed on income earned in the US.

    It is important to understand your tax obligations as a J-1 visa holder.

    Regardless of your tax residency status, everyone in the US on a J-1 visa has a tax filing requirement and must file a tax return to account for their time in America.

    Even if you didn’t earn any income during your time there, you will still be required to file tax documents.

    J1 tax filing obligation

     

    Filing your nonresident tax return

    You must file a US tax return to be compliant with the IRS and avoid any fines or penalties.

    The tax deadline in the US is usually 15 April. This means if you are working in the US on a J-1 visa in 2023, you must file your tax return before the tax deadline in April 2024.

    When filing your tax return you will need a Form W-2 along with Form 1040NR if you earned income, or Form 8843 if you did not earn anything.

    Learn more about filing your J-1 tax return here.

     

    What is Form W-2?

    Form W-2 details important information regarding the income you earned throughout your employment in America and the taxes withheld.

    You’ll need this document when filing your tax return and you will typically receive it from your employer by the end of January.

     

    What is Form 1040NR?

    Form 1040NR is the form that is used by nonresidents in the US to file a tax return.

    There are a number of documents you will need to have close by when you sit down to file your J-1 tax return. These include:

    • Passport
    • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
    • 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.)
    • Visa/immigration status information – Form DS-2019

    Read our ultimate US tax return guide for J-1 visa holders to learn more.

     

    Here are some more important things to keep in mind when you leave the US at the end of your J-1 program

    j1 visa leaving us

     

    Retain your DS-2019 Form

    This form certifies that you have been approved for a J-1 visa program and contains details about the program such as the J-1 visa category and the start and end dates of the program.

    It is important not to disregard your DS-2019 as you will need it for future visa applications.

     

    Closing your American bank accounts

    When you arrive in the US, it’s a good idea to open a bank account as soon as you can. It will make your life easier when you are being paid by an employer.

    It is advised that you visit your bank before leaving America to discuss the closing of your account. Some banks may require you to be present to close your account while others can be closed online.

    It is important to note that the process of receiving your J-1 tax refund is more straightforward if you have a US bank account.

    If it is a requirement to close your bank account in person before leaving the US, alternative options to receive your tax refund include by check, advancing the amount owed to a future tax return, or by Wise. Find out more about the options you have to get your hands on your American tax refund here.

    By doing so, you will avoid maintenance or other fees building up in your bank account, which may affect your ability to obtain future American visas.

    Don’t forget to cancel any direct debits you might have set up during your time in America.

    Another tip is to notify your bank that your address will be changing. This will ensure any confidential letters are no longer posted to that address.

     

    Keep your Social Security Number (SSN) safe

    Most J-1 visa holders have to get a SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when they arrive in the US.

    SSNs or ITINs serve as tax identification numbers and they are used for tax filing purposes.

    Many people ask “does J-1 SSN expire?

    The answer is no, a SSN is a lifelong personal identification number. Therefore, if you visit the US in the future on another visa or for a work opportunity, you can still use the same SSN.

    With that in mind, it is important to take note of your SSN or ITIN and not disregard your identification number as you will need it when filing your tax return and if you are working in the US in the future.

    Does J1 SSN expire

     

    Understanding your J-1 Visa 30-day ‘grace period’

    It is very important to understand the J-1 visa grace period.

    The J-1 visa 30-day grace period refers to the time you have to depart the US following the completion of your J-1 program.

    Generally people on a J-1 visa use this time to travel to different locations in the US.

    Amongst all of the planning and excitement to visit the top places on your list, it is important not to stay in the US past the grace period.

    Keep in mind that you must only travel within the US during this period. For instance, if you decide to travel to Canada, you will no longer be able to enter the US on your J-1 visa.

    During the grace period you cannot work in the US, and staying in the US past this period is another factor that could affect your chances of obtaining future visas to the US.

     

    Can a J-1 visa be extended?

    Eligibility to extend J-1 visas varies depending on what J-1 visa category applies to you.

    In most cases, J-1 Summer Work and Travel visas are not eligible for extensions. This visa is specifically designed for students to work and travel in the US during the Summer period.

    If you are taking part in this J-1 visa program you could explore other visa options to allow you to stay longer in the US.

    Whereas, some other J-1 visa categories may be eligible for an extension. For instance, if you are in the US on a J-1 visa under the ‘Student’ or ‘Research’ category you may be eligible for an extension if the program requires additional time to complete.

    Overall, eligibility to extend your visa in the US depends on the specific J-1 visa category that applies to you and other eligibility factors.

     

    Do you need help filing your tax return from your time spent on a J-1 visa in the US?

    We understand that filing your tax return yourself can be stressful and time-consuming.

    So why not let Sprintax guide you through the process!

    Our tax software will support you from start-to-finish – guaranteeing that you are fully tax compliant in the US and ensuring you receive your maximum J-1 tax refund.

    Filing with Sprintax is a simple online process. To get started, simply create your account by completing the short form here.

     

    More reasons to choose Sprintax

    • Simple online process – no paperwork required
    • We are the official nonresident tax filing partner of TurboTax
    • Access to 24/7 live chat with our team of experts

     

    Start your J-1 tax return

     

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

    Form 1040NR vs 1040 vs 1040NR-ez

    (Last updated: 21 Sep 2023)

    Important: Since 2020, the IRS no longer uses form 1040-NR-EZ. Form 1040NR has been simplified and will be used instead.

    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 post, 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?” »