If you have a paid internship or training position, you will likely get paid weekly or every other week, either by check or direct deposit into your bank account. Your host organization will provide a statement showing the number of hours of training, pay, and the taxes and other deductions taken out of your paycheck.
Please note: Unpaid participants and all J-2 dependents must also file tax forms. If your position is unpaid, there is no tax due. However, participants and all J-2 dependents must still file tax Form 8843. Visit irs.gov for details.
As a foreign visitor receiving paid training 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.
At the end of the year, you will be required to file a tax return – which is due April 15, unless the 15th falls on a holiday or weekend, in which case your tax return will be due a day or two later. The good news? You may be eligible to claim a refund for a portion of the taxes you have paid. Failure to file a return and/or pay taxes may prohibit you from returning to the U.S. in the future.
If you do not already have a Social Security number, you will have to apply for one in order to get paid, open a bank account, and pay taxes. It is legal for you to begin your program before a Social Security number has been issued, but you must have a receipt of application; this shows that you have applied.To apply, visit the nearest Social Security office 5 business days after you register for SEVIS. Bring the following documents with you:
Time-saving tip: You can complete the application form (SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card) in advance to save time.
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