Thousands of Irish students on a J-1 in the States need to file their tax returns by Monday 15 April
Many Irish students may not be aware of the new tax laws implemented this year.
One of the things that most people know about the United States is that every year, they have to do their own taxes, and that it sounds like it is a bit of a nightmare.
This year, that get-your-taxes-in date is Monday 15 April, but the estimated 7,000 Irish students who travelled to the United States on a J-1 working visa in the last 12 months may not be aware that they too must file their taxes for the last year.
Eileen Devereux of tax-filing specialists for international students Sprintax explained the situation further:
"In January 2018, a new tax bill came into force: the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act 2017. This means that J-1 students from Ireland, and elsewhere, now have to pay 10% tax from the first dollar earned when working in the States.
"This means that the refunds traditionally claimed by these students once they have returned home will now reduce significantly. However, we believe there is widespread confusion about the impact of this change in the tax law. Firstly, many students will still be eligible for a refund of some form – it will be lower than the historical average, but it’s still worth claiming.
"Secondly however, and this is more important in the long run, any student who has taken part in the J-1 working holiday visa programme is legally obliged to file a tax return for the 2018 tax year. Failure to comply with these tax obligations may affect future visa applications.
"You never know what future opportunities may arise for you in the US. That’s why it is so important to have your tax in order if you like the idea of working in the US in future."
Essentially, that means the previous tax exemption of earning $4,050 without being taxed has been dropped to $0, so anyone on a J-1 in the States needs to file their taxes by close of business on Monday 15 April.