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Old 08-16-2015, 11:03 PM
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J-1 research scholar help

British J-1 (Research scholar) VISA holder here. Moved to the US in August 2014. I have a question that pertains to a tax treaty exemption. The treaty states that I am exempt from federal and state/city taxes for two years if I stay in the US for under two years, otherwise I forfeit this treaty and I have to make a retroactive payment of due taxes. My question is, do the two years refer to calendar years from my date of entry (i.e. August 2016), or does it refer to tax years (i.e. end of 2015)? Also, if I have had taxes withheld, how would I be able to claim these taxes back from outside of the US? I assume my employer would forward me a W-2 to the UK and then I would complete the 1040NR and claim a tax treaty exemption?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 08-18-2015, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ashley View Post
British J-1 (Research scholar) VISA holder here. Moved to the US in August 2014. I have a question that pertains to a tax treaty exemption. The treaty states that I am exempt from federal and state/city taxes for two years if I stay in the US for under two years, otherwise I forfeit this treaty and I have to make a retroactive payment of due taxes. My question is, do the two years refer to calendar years from my date of entry (i.e. August 2016), or does it refer to tax years (i.e. end of 2015)? Also, if I have had taxes withheld, how would I be able to claim these taxes back from outside of the US? I assume my employer would forward me a W-2 to the UK and then I would complete the 1040NR and claim a tax treaty exemption?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
British J-1 (Research scholar) VISA holder here. Moved to the US in August 2014. I have a question that pertains to a tax treaty exemption. The treaty states that I am exempt from federal and state/city taxes for two years if I stay in the US for under two years, otherwise I forfeit this treaty and I have to make a retroactive payment of due taxes. ===> I think so. All J1 visa holders as reserchers are allowed a two year exemption from Social and Medicare Taxes, FICA taxes.ALSO,you are considered Non Resident Alien for Tax Purposesl so, you need to file Form 1040NR EZ and Form 8843.You cannot do a joint return on NR status UNLESS you are rated as a US resident for tax purposes. The exemption is for 2 years and can be claimed only once.You will pay taxes after 2 years.
For many countries, this ememption is lost (even for 1st two years) if the stay exceeds 2 years, So, you need to check if there is no such clause for UK.

My question is, do the two years refer to calendar years from my date of entry (i.e. August 2016), or does it refer to tax years (i.e. end of 2015)?===>>as you said, the two years refer to calendar years from your date of entry.


Also, if I have had taxes withheld, how would I be able to claim these taxes back from outside of the US? I assume my employer would forward me a W-2 to the UK and then I would complete the 1040NR and claim a tax treaty exemption?==============>>>yes; In many instances, J1 visa holders have taxes withheld from a paycheck and may therefore qualify for a refund. In that case, they have to file the same forms. You hold a J-1 visa under a specific provision of the tax treaty between uk and the U.S.you can be totally exempt from all federal taxes for a period of time which is set by treaty. However, this exemption is NOT AUTOMATIC. It must be addressed in a tax treaty, which sets the conditions that must be met to qualify and also sets the time limit for the tax-exempt status. It should also be noted that, in most states in US, the tax exemption does not apply to the state income tax. Hence, while your income may be exempt from federal income taxes and the social/medicare taxes, you must still pay the state income tax most of the time.



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