Covid-19 payment to former J1 students may affect ability to return to America
The situation could potentially affect thousands of people.
Former J1 students have received emergency Covid-19 payments from the US government that could potentially threaten their ability to return to the country.
Taxback.com, a tax advisory company, are reporting calls querying payments which have been mistakenly made to former international students and J1 working holiday makers from Ireland.
The payments have been made as part of the US CARES scheme (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security), which is a stimulus package that aims to support workers in the US (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.
The Irish tax company say that, with approximately 14,000 J1 visas issued to Irish people in 2018/2019 and approximately 1,000 visas issued to Irish students to study in the US in the same period, this issue is relatively widespread and could have further ramifications for those looking to travel to the US in the future.
It is currently unclear how many Irish people have wrongfully received this payment.
Laura McHugh of Taxback.com explained the situation, saying: "It is not uncommon for Irish J1-visa holders who spent a summer in the US to mistakenly file their end of year return as a ‘resident’.
"Most of these people will have submitted the return themselves through a US tax preparation software such as TurboTax and may not have been fully informed of their nonresident status."
If you have received these funds in error, you are being urged to return the payment and make an amended tax return.