If you received a paycheck during your internship or training program in the U.S. during 2016, taxes were likely withheld from your pay. In order to receive any tax refund you may be owed, it's important that you file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 18, 2017.
Which federal taxes do I pay?
U.S. law requires that J-1 Interns and Trainees pay federal, state, and local taxes on income earned while in the United States. This includes income from salaries, wages, and tips.
What is my W-2 Form?
You should receive a W-2 Form from your employer before you file your taxes. This document is issued by your employer and shows your total earnings in 2016, as well as the amount of taxes you already paid. If you did not yet receive a W-2 Form from your employer, please contact them immediately.
Which form should I use?
Interns and trainees on a J-1 Visa are required to file Form 1040NR-EZ with the IRS for their federal U.S. individual income tax returns. You can download Form 1040NR-EZ and filing instructions from the IRS website.
What about state and local taxes?
Depending on which state you worked in, state and local taxes may also have been withheld from your paycheck. Some states do not have a personal income tax; others may tax income as much as 8%. Similarly, local taxes will vary but will be lower than state taxes. Please ask your employer if you are required to file a state and/or local tax return.
Which taxes do I not have to pay?
As non-resident J-1 Visa holders, interns are generally not required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. For more information on tax regulations for exchange visitors to the U.S., please read the IRS' rules for Taxation of Non-Resident Aliens.
You may be eligible to file your taxes directly with the IRS for free. The IRS also offers a complete list of companies who can help you file your federal taxes. Many websites offer free federal tax filing; however, they may charge a separate fee to help you file your state tax forms.
InterExchange Career Training USA is not a licensed tax advisor, and we cannot provide official tax advice. Please contact a professional tax advisor or the IRS to determine your individual tax situation.
Allison joined the InterExchange team in 2011 and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and an M.A. in Higher Education. She oversees the daily operations of the Career Training USA program where she has the privilege of working with students and professionals from around the world pursuing U.S. internships and training programs. Allison is originally from Massachusetts and studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.