Find out how to be reimbursed for taxes paid abroad and still stay up to date with the country!
According to the rules of the J-1 visa obtained by most exchange participants in the USA, it is mandatory to present an income statement at the end of the fiscal year in that country. This fact is neglected by many students and that could cause problems in the future if they intend to work or live in the USA someday.
In this article, we will explain how to file a tax return for those who worked in the USA, and the process is very similar for those who worked in countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Canada, etc.
Why should we file taxes in the US?
In addition, of course, to the possibility of receiving a cash refund, according to the rules imposed by the IRS, all foreigners living in the US with visas that allow paid activity must submit an income statement. It is very important to be up to date with your tax obligations, thus avoiding problems, especially if one day you think about applying for a visa to the USA again.
How will I receive my refund?
According to current rules imposed by the IRS, refund payments can be made in 2 ways:
-Deposit into a US bank account in the name of the applicant. (best way)
-By check issued by the Government that will be sent directly to the applicant.
What are the requirements to receive a TAX REFUND ?
In general terms, any foreigner who has worked legally on a temporary basis paying taxes is entitled to some reimbursement.
Is the process the same in any state? I lived in one state and worked in another, how to proceed?
The state process will be carried out with the tax administration of the state where you worked because the employer collected the labor taxes there. Federal procedures are always carried out with the IRS.
What is the deadline for making the declaration?
The deadline for declaration is 4 fiscal years.
How soon will I receive my refund ?
Processing time varies depending on the type of application:
- Federal taxes: 3 months;
- State taxes: 3 to 6 months (depending on the state);
- FICA (Medicare): 6 months or more.
What documents are needed?
The required documents are:
- Duly completed and signed forms;
- Copy of W2 or last paycheck;
- Copy of the “Social Security Card”;
- Copy of the visa in the passport;
- Receipts and other supporting documents for expenses that vary from case to case.
I don’t have my W2 or paychecks, what should I do ?
If you have lost your W2 or paychecks, taxback can help recover them from your former employer or the US IRS through local offices.
How much will I receive as a refund?
The amount of refunds varies from case to case and depends on 4 main factors:
– Total won;
– Total taxes paid;
– State where you worked (some states refund local taxes);
– Whether or not you paid FICA (medicare).
To give you an idea, Brazilian exchange students working in the USA receive an average of $800 in reimbursement between federal, state and Medicare taxes.
Is there a step-by-step for the declaration?
As tax returns depend on the assessment of extremely personal factors, there is no official guide or manual that covers all cases.
What’s wrong with doing it yourself?
A US tax return involves submitting several documents and forms and may seem simple to lay eyes, but there are hundreds of variables to consider as a small mistake can have unpleasant consequences such as fines, delays in obtaining visas and charges for part of the American government. Another aggravating factor in the case of non-residents is the fact that the declaration must be sent on paper to the IRS (the online service only applies to residents) and there is always the risk of loss.
What is the biggest mistake people make when making the declaration?
From our experience processing over 350,000 cases a year, the most common mistake is filling out forms that do not apply to your tax status, often applying as a resident (online). The IRS will always believe that the applicant knows what he is doing. There are cases of people who file returns with wrong forms and receive higher refunds than they would be entitled to and then are subpoenaed to return the money with interest and penalties for an attempt (albeit involuntary) of tax fraud.
Since the beginning of 2017 (Trump administration☺) sanctions have become even tougher for cases of attempted fraud and “irregular” applications so it is important to be aware and carry out the process using the correct method to avoid future problems with the US government .
I want to request my refund, how do I proceed?
To request a tax refund with Taxback , simply fill in the contact details in the form below and wait for an advisor to contact you who will assist in the entire process.
If you’ve already received your W2, you can still use our online refund calculator and instantly find out how much you can claim based on your earnings and taxes paid.
What are the advantages of receiving my refund with Taxback ?
There are several benefits and I mention the most important ones below:
Convenience : You will be attended by an advisor and you will fill in all the forms in Portuguese.
Security : You can be confident that your process in the US is being carried out by highly trained and up-to-date professionals to ensure you receive the maximum refund possible while respecting US law.
Confidence : You will receive a non-binding estimate of the amount to be refunded, calculated by our accountants before the application is made. If you are not entitled to a refund, you do not need to pay for our service.
trackability: You will be able to follow the progress of the process in real time through your online account in the TaxTracker® system where you can also update your data and upload the necessary documents.
If you’ve done a paid internship or exchange in the US or any other country, fill out the form below and our taxback partners will contact you to verify without obligation how much you have to refund.