J1 Tax Returns – Everything You Need To Know To Get Your Tax Back!

Ok, we get it, tax affairs are less fun to talk about than the Golden Gate bridge, Empire State Building or Navy Pier in Chicago and all the amazing adventures you’ve had this summer.

However, if you stick with us for the next two minutes, you’ll know EXACTLY how to go about claiming your tax back from your J1 employers! Would you rather leave your hard earned dollars in the hands of Hilary or dare I say it, Donald? Didn’t think so…

First things first, if you received a wage from your US employer then you are legally required to fill out a tax return.

How Do I File My Tax Return?

To file a tax return, you may use a tax filing service, of which there are many  or complete the tax return yourself.  The first thing we suggest is to ask your US Employer for copies of your payslips now so you have them on file.  If you haven’t already left your Irish home address with your J1 Employer, make sure that you email them with this information.

In January you will be sent your tax forms (specifically your W-2) in the post by your US Employer. This is a summary of what taxes you paid during your time in the USA. You can’t do anything without this, so you’ll have to wait until this comes through before you can file your return.
Once you have your tax forms, you can lodge your tax return. You can either do this yourself or use a tax assistance agency (USIT is not affiliated with any agencies). If you file it through an agency, they will take a portion of the refund as payment, so it is up to you as to which way you would prefer to file.

Being totally honest with you, the paperwork involved is not easy to navigate but it’s also not impossible, so do your research when the time comes and decide what is best for you! 

What forms will I need?

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If you decide to go it alone and fill out your tax return independently here’s what you’ll need:

  • W-2 Form: This is sent by your employer in January 2017 and details the total wages and the amount of each tax that was withheld/paid.

  • 1040NR-EZ Form:  This form is specifically for non-resident aliens.  It can be obtained, together with instructions for filling it out, on the Internal Revenue Service website at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

  • State Income Tax From:  These forms differ from each of the 50 states in the US, and you will need to complete the form for the state(s) in which you trained.  A list of the state tax sites is available at the website listed above (“State Tax Forms”).

  • Local Income Tax Form:  These taxes will only be withheld in certain cities.  Check with your employer about local statutory requirements and, if relevant, where to locate the necessary forms.

The standard deadline for filing tax return forms is April 15th 2017 for the previous calendar year. The earlier you file your tax return, the sooner you will receive any applicable refund, Yay! 

Got some amazing J1 snaps? Upload your best pics from your time in the US here for our #USITJ1Pics Competition and win some great prizes! You can also send in your snaps in @Instagram or @Twitter!