Presentation on theme: "Internal Revenue Service Wage and Investment Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication Spring 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Internal Revenue Service Wage and Investment Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication Spring 2012
International Students & Scholars Income Tax Seminar #2 Note: This workshop will explain only the basic rules of resident income tax filing.
Please Note This workshop is for students on F-1 or J-1 visas who have been in the U.S. for 5+ years. It is also for scholars on J-1 visas who have been in the U.S. for 2+ years out of the last 6 years AND employees on H-1B, TN, O, etc. visas.
Internal Revenue Service The taxation agency of the U.S. Government to which you –File your personal Income Tax Return
State Tax Departments The taxation agency of the State Government to which you may need to –File your personal Income Tax Return If you resided in New York State in 2011, you may need to file a NYS Income Tax Return. If you lived in another State, you may need to file that States Income Tax Return. If you lived in two States, you may need to file two State Income Tax Returns.
Basic Tax Vocabulary Alien: generally, any person who is not a U.S. citizen Student: person temporarily in the U.S. on an F, J, Q or M visa Scholar: person who is not a student & who is temporarily in the U.S. on a J or Q visa
Basic Tax Vocabulary (cont.) Resident or Non-resident: refers to ones tax filing status (Nothing else!) IRS: Internal Revenue Service Income Tax Return: statement filed (submitted) by individual taxpayer to the IRS
Do I file as a Non-Resident or Resident?
Determination of Residency Status Do not confuse Federal Tax Residency with Immigration Permanent Residency OR New York State Residency requirements for state tuition rates
Federal Tax Residency Rules For Federal Tax purposes, foreign nationals are classified as: Resident Aliens OR Nonresident Aliens (anyone who is not a resident alien) Note: There are also Dual Status aliens, who are considered as residents for part of the year and nonresidents for part of the year. This topic will not be covered in the presentation.
Resident or Nonresident? The following determines whether you are a resident or nonresident for federal tax purposes: 1.Green Card Test 2.Substantial Presence Test 3.Residency Through Marriage
1)Green Card Test Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S. Who is a Resident for Tax Purposes?
Green Card Test Your residency starting date for tax purposes is based on the date your status changed to Lawful Permanent Resident. Remember: There is no option. If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, you are a resident for tax purposes.
Who is a Resident for Tax Purposes? 2) Substantial Presence Test Calculation that takes into consideration presence during the current year and two immediately preceding years
Substantial Presence Test 31 days during the current year and 183 days based on a calculation that considers presence during the current year and two preceding years
Residency Rules A.Current year days in U.S. x 1 = ___days Must have at least 31 days in current year B.1st preceding year days in U.S. x 1/3 = ___days C. 2nd preceding year days in U.S. x 1/6 = ___days D. Total Days in U.S.A+B+C = ___days If Line D equals or exceeds 183, 183-day test is passed. Must pass both 31-day and 183-day tests. Substantial Presence Test (2-Part Test)
Substantial Presence Test If Line A equals or exceeds 31 days and Line D equals or exceeds 183 days, then you are a Resident Alien for federal tax purposes. If not, then you are a Nonresident Alien for federal tax purposes and do not need this workshop.
Some individuals are exempt from counting days toward the Substantial Presence Test. Days of an EXEMPT individual Commuter from Canada or Mexico Others (see Publication 519) Residency Rules
Residency through Marriage 3) A nonresident spouse can be treated as a resident for tax purposes –You are required to file jointly with your U.S. Citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (for tax purposes) spouse. –You must report world-wide income.
Establishing a Closer Connection If you want to remain a non-resident for tax purposes by claiming a closer connection to your country, you can if you: –are present in the U.S. less than 183 days in the current year AND –have a tax home in a foreign country AND –file Form 8840 Note: See next slide and Form 8840 instructions for the criteria.
Questions Asked to Determine If You Have a Closer Connection to a Foreign Country Where is your permanent home (must be available all year)? Where is your family? Where are your personal belongings (e.g. car, furniture)? Where are your current social, political, professional or religious affiliations? Where do you hold a drivers license or vote? Where are the charitable organizations to which you contribute? What country of residence do you designate on forms and documents? What types of official forms did you file (e.g. W-9, W-8BEN or W-8ECI?)
Residency Starting Date Residency starting date under green card test If you meet the green card test at any time during a calendar year, but do not meet the substantial presence test for that year, your residency starting date is the first day in the calendar year during which you were present in the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Residency Starting Date Residency starting date under substantial presence test Your residency starting date is generally the first day you were present in the U.S. during that calendar year. Note: When both the Substantial Presence Test and Green Card Test apply, use the earlier of the two dates.
Residency Starting Date Important Note If you became a resident for tax purposes after January 1, 2011, then you have to file two federal income tax returns. One would be a nonresident income tax return for the time period during which you were a nonresident. The other would be a resident income tax return for the time during which you were a resident.
Are you required to file a U.S. Resident Tax Return?
Gross Income Wages, salaries and tips Bank interest Taxable Investment Income Taxable Scholarship/Fellowship Note: These are only a few examples.
Remember Resident Aliens are taxed on worldwide income, just as U.S. Citizens are. Resident Aliens may not claim exclusions of income based on Tax Treaties (with certain exceptions stated in some tax treaties).
Wages, Salaries and Tips Amounts you receive from an employer You should receive a Form W-2 at the end of the year. It reports the annual amount of wages you received.
Taxable Scholarship and Fellowship Scholarship and fellowship grants are not included in taxable income if used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for courses AND if the student is pursuing a degree. Any portion of scholarship or fellowship received for room & board or in exchange for teaching or research is included in taxable income.
What is a Scholarship or Fellowship? You call it: Internal Revenue calls it: Non-taxable Scholarship (No work required) Tuition Waiver
What is a Scholarship or Fellowship? Room and Board Waiver Taxable Scholarship You call it: Internal Revenue calls it:
What is a Scholarship or Fellowship? Teaching or Research Assistantship Stipend (recipient performs work) Taxable Wages You call it:Internal Revenue calls it:
Do you have to file? If your gross income is over the dollar amounts listed on the chart, you must file a U.S. Federal Income Tax Return. If you have overpaid taxes, you must file an income tax return in order to receive an income tax refund.
Do you have to File? First, learn the following tax vocabulary...
Filing Status Single: not married Married: married and file income tax returns together Note: U.S. recognizes marriage from U.S. states and other countries Married filing Separate: married but file income tax returns alone
Filing Status (cont.) Head of Household: single and pays for maintenance of a home for a dependent Note: Read the rules for this status carefully before claiming it. (IRS Publication 17) Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: able to claim this status for two years after the death of the spouse
2011 Filing Requirements for Resident Aliens (from Form 1040 Instructions, Page 8)
Income Tax Forms
What forms should I fill out? Resident aliens can file Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040-EZ (See form instructions for any restrictions.)
More Tax Forms W-2: Wage and Tax Statement 1040 or 1040A: U.S. Resident Alien Income Tax Return 1040-EZ: U.S. Income Tax Return for certain resident aliens who have no dependents Note: See IRS Publication 17 to find the easiest form for you to file.
More Tax Vocabulary Withholding: –U.S. income tax automatically taken from your paycheck Note: U.S. Social Security and Medicare are also taken from your paycheck.
Forms W-2 You could have one W-2 or more from different employers The form was prepared by your employer and mailed to you. You do not write anything on this form. You use this form as a reference when you prepare your income tax return. When finished, you attach this form to your income tax return.
SAMPLE W-2 FORM
How do I file a Resident income tax return (Form 1040-EZ)? First, learn the following tax vocabulary...
More Tax Vocabulary Standard Deduction: standard amount that individuals may subtract from income before calculating taxes owed Itemized Deductions: allowable amounts that individuals may subtract from income before calculating taxes owed –Examples: charitable contributions, state & local taxes withheld, etc. Note: No one can have both a standard deduction and itemized deductions. You have to choose one.
Standard Deduction Amount ( for most people under age 65 ) Single$ 5,800 Married Filing Joint$11,600 Married Filing Separate$ 5,800 Head of Household$ 8,500
More Tax Vocabulary (cont.) Personal Exemption: amount deducted from income for yourself and/or your dependents For 2011, the amount is $3,700.
Which Residents can use Form 1040-EZ? Individuals –who do not claim any dependents –whose taxable income is less than $100,000 –who do not claim any itemized deductions –who had only wages, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, and whose taxable interest was not over $1,500 –Miscellaneous other reasons (see Form 1040-EZ instructions)
Other Credits and Deductions for Which You May Qualify (not covered in this presentation) Earned Income Tax Credit Dependents Child and Dependent Care Credit Retirement Savers Credit Education Credits There are many more deductions and credits listed in various IRS publications.
Lets look at the steps for completing Form 1040-EZ
FORM W-2 Used for 1040-EZ Example
Form 1040-EZ Box 1 from all W-2(s)
Form 1040-EZ Box 2 from all W-2(s)
Form 1040-EZ Read instructions to see if you qualify From Tax Table
2011 Tax Table
When do I file a resident income tax return? The Filing Deadline is April 17, 2012
Where do I file my Resident income tax return? Refund Due Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Kansas City, MO
Social Security Do I pay it or am I exempt? That depends.
You dont pay Social Security Tax if... You are a nonresident for income tax purposes You are present in the U.S on an F-1, J-1, M-1 or Q-1 visa, AND You perform services that are consistent with your U.S. visa status
You pay Social Security Tax when... You are a resident for income tax purposes. You are an F-1 student who has been in the U.S. for 5+ years or a J-1 scholar who has been in the U.S. for 2+ years. You hold an H1-B or TN visa. Note: You will always be subject to Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA) from the date of arrival.
Exception to this Rule If you are a student who would otherwise be subject to Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA), you will be exempt from paying it if you are working at the school as a full-time student. (This exemption may start and stop periodically due to the individuals enrollment status )
The Exception Does Not Apply in These Cases Residents for income tax purposes who are participating in full-time Optional Practical Training should pay Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA) throughout their OPT work authorization period, and Students who are residents for income tax purposes and are not enrolled in 6+ credits during summer break should pay Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA) during summer break.