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US Jobs Act 2018: how it affects taxes for J1 Visa W&T students

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a new tax bill voted into law in the United States.Here is how it affects J1 Visa students working and travelling in the USA in 2018.

With the new Jobs Act President Donald Trump's administration introduced several changes of the utmost importance for J1 Visa holders, effective as of 1st January 2018.

Since then, we have found that most of the J1 Visa holders where at a loss as to how to relate to their new tax status.

Hence Dendax is answering in this guide to the most frequently asked questions: what tax amount are you subject to? Can you still get a tax refund? How can you fill your tax return?


Your new tax status as J1 Visa student

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates personal exemptions for tax years 2018 through 2025, regardless of the taxpayer’s status. This affects most of J1 Visa holders as they are deemed as non-resident by the IRS. Prior to this Jobs Act the personal exemption was of $ 4,050, meaning that as J1 Visa holder you could earn up to that amount without having to pay taxes.


As the personal exemptions are eliminated for 2018, J1 Visa holders are now subject to the new Federal Tax Rates for non-residents, hence they'll have to pay:

  • 10% tax on any income up to $9,525,
  • 12% on income from $9,526 to $38,700 etc.


Another change is that after the elimination of the personal exemptions is that every person who earns income in the USA has a legal obligation to fill tax return.


An example of two J1 Visa students working in the US

Leonardo travels to Florida in 2018 under the J1 Visa to work on a resort for summer, and he earns a total amount of $4000.

Under the new 2018 Jobs Act, he'll have to pay a 10% tax ($400) on his $4000 earnings.

Had he worked and earned the same amount in 2017, he would have benefited from the exemptions, not having to pay any taxes.


Vladimir worked for a company in 2018 under his J1 Visa, and he earns a total amount of $8200.

According to the new tax regime for non residents, his taxable income is of 10%, meaning that the amount of taxes is of $820.

Had he earned that amount in 2017, he would have paid a 10% of taxes only on the taxable amount of his earnings, that between $4,051 and $9325. Hence the tax amount he would be subject to in 2017 would have been of $414,9.


2018 Tax rate scheme

USA-Tax-Rate-2018










Can I still apply for a tax refund?

As most of the exemptions for J1 Visa students are gone, chances are Federal tax refunds will be reduced.

But the good news is that  you can still apply for a State tax refund, which will not be affected by 2018 Jobs Act.

The tricky part is that you are now legally obliged to fill a tax return before applying for a tax refund.


How can I fill a tax return as non resident in USA?

As mentioned above, according to the new Jobs Act non-residents such as J1 Visa students are legally obliged to fill a tax return, even if they are not applying for a tax refund.

Filing a tax return for the IRS is not an easy task, as the process can require the assistance of a professional in that field. On top of that, not filling it, or filling it with non correct information could bring you to face legal issues.


Dendax USA Tax Return compiler

Dendax is preparing a new service which will let you fill your tax return and apply for a tax refund in the smoothest and clearest way. It will let you handle your tax return online, and send it directly to the IRS and Tax Office

The service will be officially launched in time for the fall.

Follow #Dendax on any social media platform to stay up to date on this service.

Meanwhile feel free to contact us, we'd be happy to clear the air about the new USA Job Act.

You can also take a look at our tax refund services for USA in our website


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