Due to recent changes to the tax laws in the U.S. income tax system, and the elimination of personal exemptions (which was $4,050 per individual in 2017), Camp Counselors and Campowers (who hold J-1 visas) are now required to file a U.S. Federal income tax return and in certain cases, a State income tax return to satisfy their U.S. income tax liability.
Kindly note that as a non-resident alien of the U.S., the due date to file your income tax return for tax year 2019 is April 15, 2020. There is an automatic six (6) month extension to file the return (but the income tax liability due has to be paid by April 15, 2019).
Please note that our organization does not have tax preparation capabilities but can provide a referral to an accounting firm which can assist with completing and filing the foregoing tax forms and remitting the tax due to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Below is an outline of the documents that you would be required to submit in connection with your U.S. tax reporting obligations.
What you will need to file your tax return(s):
W-4 Form: Employees must submit IRS Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) to their employers so that the proper amount of federal taxes could be withheld from their wages.
W-2 Form: This form is your U.S. earnings statement for 2019. If you don’t have yours yet, contact your camp directly. You will need to submit a copy to your tax preparer should you decide to retain an accounting firm to complete your Federal and State (if required) income tax returns. Employers are required by law to supply a W-2 to Camp Counselors but if you chose to prepare your tax return(s) yourself and know the amount of taxes that have been withheld, even though we do not recommend it, you might be able to calculate your income tax liability before your receive your W-2.
IRS 1040 NREZ Form: Declare your federal taxes using this form. Please be sure to read the form’s instructions before filling it out.
State Tax Form: Declare your state tax- each state is different, so use the link to find information on your state’s tax filing forms and procedures.
How to complete your tax declaration:
You can choose to file your tax declaration by yourself.
You can pay to use an accredited U.S. tax preparer. If you decide to go this route, please complete the attached documents:
a) Engagement letter to retain the accounting firm;
b) IRS Form W-8BEN (this form basically evidences your foreign status); and
c) E-filing authorization forms authorizing the tax preparer to submit your U.S. income tax returns (Federal and State, if required) electronically.
You can use designated tax software, such as Sprintax. Sprintax is a designated preparation software that will guide you throught the process in simple steps. We have negotiated a reduced filing fee of $15 with Sprintax for your Federal tax return. You will receive an email with direct access to the reduced rate on September 1st. Of course you are free to explore other solutions should you choose to do so.
AIFS Camp Counselor and Campower Program is not affiliated with any particular U.S. tax preparer, and we recommend thoroughly checking the preparer’s credentials before using their services. Please note that there is a price for using the services of designated agencies or Sprintax software.