Taxes in the United States

You have to declare your revenues, regardless of whether or not you were paid in the United States. Failure to do so could cause problems for you in the future if you plan on returning to the U.S. on a new visa.

Your tax return is due by April 15th of each year for the previous year’s income.

As a paid intern on a J-1 visa, you are required to pay some (but not all) of the same taxes U.S. citizens pay. Roughly 10% to 15% of your salary will be withheld for federal income tax. Some states and cities also charge income tax, which would could be an additional 5% to 8%. While your host organization should withhold the correct taxes, it is wise to review your first paycheck to make sure there are no errors and the tax withholding is correct.

As an international exchange visitor, you will most probably be eligible to claim a refund for a portion of the taxes you have paid. Please note that UK citizens (and citizens of any country that does not have a tax treaty with the U.S.) are not eligible for Federal tax refunds. However, you can still get a partial refund of State and local taxes.

We have pre-enrolled you with our partner, Sprintax. You are absolutely not committed to using their paid services and can use other tax filing services or file your own returns. We do recommend using a service specialized in J-1 visa participants’ declarations in order to obtain the highest reimbursement possible.

Should you choose to complete your tax returns yourself, you will need the following forms:

  • W-2 Form: this is sent by your Host Company and details the total wages and the amount of each tax that was withheld.
  • 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.
  • State Income Tax Form: these forms differ for each of the 50 States in the U.S., and you will need to complete the form for the state(s) in which you trained. A list of State tax sites is available on the general IRS website.
  • Local Income Tax form: these taxes will only be withheld in certain cities. Check with your Host Company about local statutory requirements and, if relevant, where to locate the necessary forms.

Unpaid participants (or those paid outside the U.S.) and J-2 dependents must file Tax Form 8843.

Practical information