If you received a paycheck during your internship or training program in the U.S. during 2015, taxes were likely withheld from your pay. It's important that you file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 18, 2016 in order to receive any refund that you may be due.
5 Things to Know About Filing Your Taxes:
1. 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.
2. You should receive a W-2 Form from your employer before you file your taxes. This is a document issued by your employer that shows your total earnings in 2015, 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.
3. 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. Download Form 1040NR-EZ and filing instructions from the IRS website.
4. State and local taxes may have also been withheld from your paycheck. This depends greatly on the state you were working in. 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.
5. 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 visit the IRS webpage on Taxation of Non-Resident Aliens.
You may be eligible to file your taxes directly with the IRS for free. Visit the IRS website to find out more. The IRS also offers a complete list of companies who can help you file your federal taxes. Be cautious, as 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.