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Old 02-06-2015, 01:41 AM
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Non-resident alien on "optional practical training" status

I am a non US national, currently in the US on the "optional practical training" part of my F-1 visa which provides work authorization. In Nov 2014 I began working as an independent contractor for a NY based org (I am currently in another state). The work is project-based and I have received payments by check, no pay slips provided and as far as I am aware no tax has been deducted from the sums paid to me. I have never been furnished with any tax documents. The sums received in 2014 are minimal - perhaps $1000.

The organization has now asked me to complete and return Form W-9. Is this the correct form for someone in my situation? I thought this was only true is they withheld tax from my payments. I read somewhere that if they didn't, I should use Form W-8 BEN instead. I know the funds are so limited I won't actually have to pay any tax, but I don't want to provide any incorrect paperwork.

Secondly, I had always understood that all I had to do was complete Form 1040NR. However, I registered for the tax software provided by my school for former students now working, and following confirming I am a non-resident alien for tax purposes the software is asking me to complete: W2, 1042-S, 1049-B, 1099-DOV, 1099-G, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC; and 1099-R. The list of forms doesn't include the 1040-NR. What should I do here?

I hope someone is able to help - I know we are not talking about an actual liability here but I am concerned that if I file the wrong paperwork it may have some impact on my visa status here.

Thank you.



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Old 02-06-2015, 01:00 PM
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The organization has now asked me to complete and return Form W-9. Is this the correct form for someone in my situation?=======>>>>>>>>>>correct it depends.. if you have an SSN, the W-9 is also fine. You'll pay your taxes when you file your 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ tax return.u also need to file form 8843. I assume your are not us resident for tax purposes, then, yea.you need to give your employer w9. Unlike the Form W-4, which employees use to authorize an automatic tax withholding from their paychecks, filling out a W-9 does not causes taxes or Social Security payments to be withheld. You, as an independent contractor, are solely liable for the full amount of taxes on your income.

I thought this was only true is they withheld tax from my payments.=======>>>>>>>>as mentioned above;aslongas you are a regular w2 employee, then, it is the Form W-4, which employees use to authorize an automatic tax withholding from their paychecks

I read somewhere that if they didn't, I should use Form W-8 BEN instead. I know the funds are so limited I won't actually have to pay any tax, but I don't want to provide any incorrect paperwork.======= if you are in F1 status (first five years), then, you are a NON-Resident, so you may use W-8 Ben; w8ben is youare subject to a 30% withholding tax on income you receive from US sources. However, there are exemptions so you need to fill out the W8-BEN form to establish you are not a US person;confirm you are a non-resident claiming exemption from the 30% (if you are eligible).

Secondly, I had always understood that all I had to do was complete Form 1040NR. However, I registered for the tax software provided by my school for former students now working, and following confirming I am a non-resident alien for tax purposes the software is asking me to complete: W2, 1042-S, 1049-B, 1099-DOV, 1099-G, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC; and 1099-R. The list of forms doesn't include the 1040-NR. What should I do here?======== >>>>>>>>>>>>>Private companies offer software helping prepare the forms, but the forms must be printed out and mailed to the irs.



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Old 02-06-2015, 04:32 PM
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Thank you so much - that's really helpful. I am still confused about the following:

Should I complete and return the W-9 that the organization has asked me to give to them. My hesitation is that on reading the form, it says if you are a "foreign person" then you should use the appropriate Form W-8 instead. As I understand myself to be a "foreign person" based on being non US tax resident, it seems contrary to the W-9 instructions for me to complete this form. Also, Part II of the W-9 requires me to certify under penalty of perjury that I am a US citizen or other US person. Given that I do not meet these definitions, I am extremely reluctant to certify otherwise! How should I proceed?



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Old 02-06-2015, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdarmstrong82 View Post
Thank you so much - that's really helpful. I am still confused about the following:

Should I complete and return the W-9 that the organization has asked me to give to them. My hesitation is that on reading the form, it says if you are a "foreign person" then you should use the appropriate Form W-8 instead. As I understand myself to be a "foreign person" based on being non US tax resident, it seems contrary to the W-9 instructions for me to complete this form. Also, Part II of the W-9 requires me to certify under penalty of perjury that I am a US citizen or other US person. Given that I do not meet these definitions, I am extremely reluctant to certify otherwise! How should I proceed?
As i mentioned, unless you are a US resident for tax purposes(or unless you have US SSN#), you may use W8BEN instead of W9.If you, as a nonresident alien, are claiming a tax treaty benefit, you would indicate the reason for the claim in Part II of the W-8BEN

Read more : Do I Need a W-8 for a Nonresident Alien Contractor? | eHow IRS notes that foreign persons who receive income in the U.S. "for services performed" are subject to U.S. tax at a rate of 30 percent. While a U.S. citizen / resident / a US resident for tax purposes would submit a W-9 form, nonresident aliens submit a comparable form, known as the W-8BEN.Do yo understand what a US RESIDENT FOR TAX PUROPOSES???



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Old 02-06-2015, 05:05 PM
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Thank you for referring me to this web page, and I appreciate your help and patience when dealing with someone who has neither education nor experience of the US income tax system.

I do have a US SSN - graduated F1 visa holders (dated 2013) on OPT work authorized status obtain these and I therefore have one-----"unless you have US SSN#, you may use W8BEN instead of W9."---- my understanding from what you have said here is that I may not use the W8BEN, because I have a SSN. However, the W9 still requires certification under penalty of perjury that I am "a U.S. citizen or other U.S. person." My understanding from the reading that I have been able to find is that I am not"a U.S. person." Per Form W-9, US person is defined as:
An individual who is a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien,
• A partnership, corporation, company, or association created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States,
• An estate (other than a foreign estate), or
• A domestic trust (as defined in Regulations section 301.7701-7).

I am none of the above. I understand I am not a resident alien for tax purposes because as an F visa holder, I am exempt from the substantial presence test that would otherwise apply.

So this makes me think I have to complete W8-BEN, notwithstanding that I do not require to make any tax treaty claim because the level of income is beneath the amount that I understand to be exempt (circa $4000). My principal concern at this stage is that I give the organization with which I have the individual contractor relationship the correct paperwork, and do not commit perjury!



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