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WORK + J1 VISA SPONSORSHIP FOR ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS
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PAYROLL & TAXES

How to make sure you are withheld the correct taxes from your paychecks as J-1 participant of the U.S. Government Exchange Visitor Program.  

In order to help you to better understand your case as J-1 participant, Architect-US Advisor Team has gathered the following helpful Quick Facts:

J-1 PARTICIPANTS TAX WITHHOLDINGS

The Federal Tax Code requires that J-1 participants are treated as follows:

payroll fotoblog

HOW W-4 FORM MUST BE COMPLETED

The IRS provides the following instructions:

  • Do not use the Personal Allowances Worksheet at the top of the W-4—this is for U.S. residents only
  • Check only “Single” marital status on line 3, regardless of actual marital status
  • Claim only one withholding allowance (enter “1” on line 5)
  • Write “Nonresident Alien” or “NRA” above the dotted line on line 6 of Form W-4.
  • J-1 Visitors cannot claim “Exempt” withholding status on line 7

Payroll diagrama

 

HOW TO CALCULATE FEDERAL WITHHOLDINGS

The following information may be useful to whoever is responsible for processing your payroll. It was gathered from www.irs.gov and applies to tax year 2013. Tax withholding instructions change every year, and employers should be sure to check that they have the latest information. The IRS provides annual instructions to employers in Publication 15, Circular E, which is available at www.irs.gov/businesses.

Employers must follow a special procedure for calculating the amount of federal income tax to withhold from the wages of their J-1 participants. Employers must add an amount to the employee’s wages before calculating how much tax to withhold. This extra amount is solely for calculating the withholding Federal Income Tax—it is not used when calculating Social Security/Medicare withholdings, does not increase the employee’s tax liability, and should not be included on their W-2 form.

The additional amount to withhold depends on the frequency of your payroll, as shown in the chart below.

payroll tabla

 

The example flowchart is for employers who use the “wage bracket” method for calculating withholdings. If your employer use the “percentage” method, Architect-US recommends they consult the IRS or a tax professional to ensure that you withhold the correct amounts.

Payroll flechas

WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN WITHHELD FICA/FUTA?

You should check with your firm’s accounting department and make sure the employee’s witholdings are changed for future paychecks, as well as issue a refund of the total amount withheld in error. You can claim a refund of incorrectly paid  when filling your employer’s federal Tax Return. (See instructions for IRS forms 941 and/or 944 for more information)

 

WHAT’S NEXT WHEN J-1 PARTICIPANTS RETURN HOME 

  • The Host Company will send W-2 forms to the J-1 intern / J-1 trainee at the end of the tax year.
  • We recommend confirming your participants’ addresses with them before they depart.
  • Contact Architect-US if you need a participant’s address and are having trouble contacting them.

Architect-US recommends Taxback.com for J-1 participants who are seeking assistance with their tax returns.

 

 

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