The Correct Tax Forms for J1 Visa Teachers

Please take note:

1. Form 1040NR (Non-Resident Alien Tax Form) is the correct form to file for the first two tax years for J1 visa holders (including J2 dependents). 

If you had your first US salary in December 2021, you would need to file your tax on or before April 18, 2022 (the deadline is typically every 15th of April). 

For tax purposes only, it is already considered your first year as being non-resident (but you have the first two years for tax exemption). Please don't confuse it with the counting in the J1 visa program.


2. For the first two years, because of the Philippines-US Tax Treaty, you are exempted from paying taxes. Thus, you will get a refund from the taxes you paid and may get credits from the salary bracket tax computation.


3. If you are already in your third year of filing taxes, the correct form is Form 1040 (US Individual Tax Return). You are already considered a "resident" for tax purposes ONLY and are now eligible to claim more credits including the stimulus checks.


Please do not confuse "residency" with your J1 visa status.


4. If you have J2 dependents, no matter what the age of your children is, be sure to file them an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for securing Social Security purposes only.  


No, they will not work or will not be employed. But with the SSN, they can claim child credit and other forms of credit if they are already in college. 


CREDITS means DOLLARS!


5. If you are married and your husband has a J2 visa. Married Filing Jointly still gives the best tax refund.


6. Please allow a professional tax preparer to do it for you at least for the first year if you plan on doing it yourself for the following years.


7. What if you filed the wrong tax form? (because your tax preparer do not know about your case, or for any other reason) Please find a tax preparer who can help you to amend your taxes. You have three years to amend. 


The IRS advises that you file Form 1040X to amend a tax return within three years from the date you filed your original tax return, or within two years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later (https://www.creditkarma.com/tax/i/filing-amended-tax-return).


Amending your tax gets you right with the federal and state tax laws. If you filed Form 1040 during your first two tax years, you could have gotten an incorrect tax refund. Getting your tax amended may get you the correct refund.


But it's not just about the refund; it's doing the right thing.


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