All posts in Tax Tips

  • 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?” »

  • How to apply for a Social Security Number as a nonresident / international student in the US?

    how to apply for ssn as an international student

    Are you a nonresident of the US wondering how you can get a Social Security Number (SSN), or whether you are in fact eligible for a SSN?

    In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Social Security Numbers – such as how to apply for SSN, when is best to apply for a SSN, filling out Form SS-5 and the documents you will need when applying!

    Continue reading “How to apply for a Social Security Number as a nonresident / international student in the US?” »

  • 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


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

    au pair paying taxes

    (Last updated: 9 Oct 2023)

    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.” »

  • 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?” »

  • Missed the US tax return deadline? Here’s how to file late taxes

    international student did not file taxes

    Last Updated: September 20, 2023

    Every nonresident alien in the US is obliged to file a federal tax return before the tax deadline, which in 2023 was 18 April.

    If you’re an international student or scholar in the US, by law you must file Form 8843 at least, but depending on your circumstances, you may also need to file a Federal tax return by filing a 1040NR, a State Tax return or two and maybe even a FICA return.

    Not filing a tax return could get you into a whole heap of trouble, leaving you with hefty tax fines and penalties, on top of possible problems getting US visas in the future. Continue reading “Missed the US tax return deadline? Here’s how to file late taxes” »

  • I am a nonresident working in the hospitality industry in the US. Should I pay tax on my tips? How do I do this?

    claiming tips on taxes

    Tipping is very common in the US, especially in the hospitality industry.

    And for those that receive them, tips can account for a significant portion of an employees’ overall pay.

    In fact, employers in various states in America are entitled to pay staff working in particular industries below the minimum wage rate, because they receive tips.

    If you’re a nonresident employee who receives tips from customers in the US, it is important to understand that this income is taxable and must be reported to the IRS. Continue reading “I am a nonresident working in the hospitality industry in the US. Should I pay tax on my tips? How do I do this?” »

  • Your frequently asked nonresident tax questions answered

    nonresident alien FAQs

    (Last updated: 1 Aug 2023)

    Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about U.S. taxes. Continue reading “Your frequently asked nonresident tax questions answered” »

  • 13 US tax questions every nonresident student asks us!

    Are you a nonresident student in America? Do you find US tax to be confusing?

    Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Even for the most financially savvy US citizen, American tax can be pretty tricky.

    That’s why we’ve prepared a list of common questions nonresidents ask us and answer them here in this handy blog!
    Continue reading “13 US tax questions every nonresident student asks us!” »

  • Welcome to the NBA Victor Wembanyama! Here’s how much nonresident tax the French superstar could pay

    Do foreign NBA players pay taxes in the U.S.?

    (Last updated: 13 July 2023)

    What this article will cover:

    • How much will the NBA’s number 1 draft pick earn?
    • Do foreign NBA players pay taxes? And how much tax do NBA players pay?
    • When it comes to tax, why are overseas players treated differently to US-born players

    Continue reading “Welcome to the NBA Victor Wembanyama! Here’s how much nonresident tax the French superstar could pay” »

  • The W-4 tax form explained for nonresident aliens

    nonresident alien w4

    Let’s face it…

    Nobody wants to pay more tax than they need to!

    That’s why, if you’re working while in the US as a nonresident alien, it’s very important to fill out your tax and pre-employment documents correctly.

    Besides, how you handle your US tax affairs can also play a big part in whether or not your future visa or Green Card applications will be successful.

    One of the most important forms that you’ll need to complete is the W-4 form.

    In this blog we’ll lay out some of the key information you need to know before filling out the W-4 form, so that the correct amount of tax is withheld from your paychecks.

    Continue reading “The W-4 tax form explained for nonresident aliens” »

  • How to Get a Full Tax Refund as an International Student in US

    full tax refund international students

    (Last updated: 23 June 2023)

    Many international students on F-1, J-1, M-1 and Q engage in practical training and earn income through one of the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) approved programs or participate in on-campus and off-campus employment during or post-study.
    Continue reading “How to Get a Full Tax Refund as an International Student in US” »

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

    how to amend my tax return

    “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 your nonresident alien income tax return? Don’t worry, fixing it is not as difficult as you might think!

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

  • 5 Important US tax documents every international student should know

    US tax documents international students

    Let’s face it – tax is super boring!

    And when you move to the US as an international student or scholar, the local tax system will likely be the furthest thing from your mind.

    However, boring or not, compliance with the American tax authorities – the IRS – is crucial for any international student. In fact it’s one of the conditions of your visa! And how you handle your US tax affairs can play a big part in the outcome of your future visa or Green Card applications.

    But, by doing some research into US tax when you first arrive, you can save you a lot of hassle down the line.
    Continue reading “5 Important US tax documents every international student should know” »

  • How to add investment income in Sprintax when filing a tax return

    How to add investment income in Sprintax when filing a tax return

    Many nonresidents are unaware that income earned from investments in the US is subject to tax from the IRS.

    What’s more, if you have earned investment income, you may be required to file a tax return.

    With this in mind, if you are unfamiliar with the process of managing this tax responsibility, you may be feeling daunted by the task of filing correctly.

    In this guide we will discuss everything you need to know to include investment income on your US tax return.


    What is investment income in the US?

    In the US, investment income is considered to be passive income. This means that it is not effectively connected with trade or business inside the US.

    This is an important detail as it indicates that the income is taxed differently to regular US-sourced income.

    Essentially, investment income is made from interest payments, dividends, or capital gains realized on the sale of stock or other assets.

    For example, Cryptocurrency is one of the most popular areas where investment income is earned in the US.

    So, if you made a profit during the tax year on any cryptocurrency (which you traded from a US exchange or broker) while you were living within the US, you will have to declare it on a tax return.


    investment income tax

    Is there investment income tax in the US?

    Yes, if you earn investment income as a nonresident in the US, you will be taxed on it.

    However, many nonresidents are not aware of this tax on investment income in the US. Usually, any share of investment profit you make will be charged at the regular Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rate of 30%.

    Dividends received from your investments will also be taxed at 30%.

    However, if your home country has a tax treaty with the US, you may be able to claim a reduction in taxes paid.


    What forms do I need when filing my investment income tax return?

    If you earned income through Robinhood, eToro or a similar system, it’s likely you’ll receive a 1099-B form.

    You will receive your 1099-B form from your broker or banker. The information on your 1099-B form will need to be outlined on your 1040NR tax return.

    This form outlines gains and losses throughout the year for the trader.

    Information on the form such as the date the share was acquired and sold will be needed to complete it.


    How do I use Sprintax to file my investment income?

    Sprintax Returns can help you complete your 1040NR form so that your investment income is reported properly.

    Once you receive your 1099 form from your broker or banker, you will need to complete your tax return 1040NR with the information from the 1099-B, 1099-Int or 1099-Div forms you received.

    Remember, it’s vitally important you report your investment income tax on your tax return. Doing so will keep you compliant with the tax authorities.

    form 1099-B Copy A

    Below, you can see a step-by-step analysis of each part of the 1099-B form:

    1a – Description of Property

    Тhis will outline the number of transactions made toward one company.

    1b – Date acquired

    The very first date you bought the stocks

    1c – Date sold or disposed

    The last date you sold the stocks

    1e – Cost or Other basis

    The total amount on which you bought the transactions reported.


    The total amount on which you sold the transactions reported.

    1g – Wash sale loss disallowed

    Typically, to estimate your wash sale you have to subtract the wash sale amount from the cost basis amount from the broker’s report and enter the result in the cost basis field on Sprintax 1099-B to arrive at the correct gain.

    Note that this is not something that Sprintax will calculate for you, it is an amount that you will calculate by yourself and then be used by the software to prepare your return.

    Box 4, 16 – Federal/State taxes withheld

    You do not fill anything here as you do NOT have taxes withheld on the 1099 forms.

    Enter ‘0’ if you are not allowed to continue without filling the boxes.

    Box 14State name

    The state you lived in while buying and selling the stocks.

    Box 15State identification no.

    Enter ‘0’ as you do NOT have a state identification number.

    Payer’s details

    You should enter the details of the company you traded with. For example – Robinhood.

    If you do not have their tax identification number – you can put a ‘0’ in each box.


    When you are using Sprintax, you will be asked if your income is effectively connected to an US business or trade.

    If your only US business activity is trading in stocks, securities, or commodities (including hedging transactions) through a US resident broker or other agent, you are NOT engaged in a trade or business in the United States and you can select ‘No’ for this question.

    how to report investment income on tax return

    Where is the best place to file my US taxes?

    That’s easy – Sprintax Returns!

    Sprintax Returns was created specifically with nonresidents in the US in mind, aiming to ensure they complete the often tricky tax-filing process correctly and on time.

    Our specialist software was designed to help you e-file both federal and state taxes.

    We will guide you through the entire process – helping you to claim every tax relief you’re due to minimize your investment tax bill.


    With Sprintax Returns, you can:

    • Avoid unnecessary stress
    • Ensure you are compliant with tax authorities
    • Claim any tax refund due and avail of tax treaty benefits
    • Chat anytime 24/7 with our team in the Live Chat facility

    Simply create your Sprintax Returns account here or login to get started!