A rampant virus, skeleton staff, ongoing legislative changes, and flailing funding all make for a decidedly bumpy tax season ahead. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is battling backlogs with a grossly understaffed team (20,000 fewer employees than in 2010) and the delays and complexities engendered by stimulus check deliveries and advances in Child Tax Credits.
More specifically, the department counsels are looking out for W-2, 1099 forms, and additional letters regarding Child Tax Credits and Economic Impact Paymentsfor those who received benefits last year.
Read on to know more about precisely what you can expect during the upcoming tax season: key dates, important information, and tips to help you prepare better.
Important IRS Dates for 2022 to Keep a Tab On
February 15—deadline for eligible employees to submit W-4 forms (tax exemption) to employers.
April 1—Deadline for Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) payments from retirement accounts for senior citizens who turned 72 in 2021.
April 18—Deadline for tax filing for most Americans.
April 19—Tax filing deadline for taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts due to Patriots’ Day falls on April 18 in those states.
May 16—Deadline for tax filing submissions for victims of the Colorado wildfires and Midwest Tornados.
June 15—Tax filing deadline for those applying for extensions, military members, and Americans living overseas.
October 17—Deadline for taxpayers who requested an extension for tax filing submissions.
December 31—RMD contribution deadlines for those 73 and older.
Typically, the deadline to file and pay taxes is April 15; however, the dates have been adjusted due to the public holidays. With Emancipation Day falling on the 15th, the deadline has been extended to April 18. A similar occurrence is visible in Maine and Massachusetts due to Patriots’ Day on April 18.
Things to Keep in Mind While Filing Tax in 2022
As you prepare to file taxes for 2022, we recommend keeping the following in mind:
On a grassroots level, individuals may owe more to the government and receive less if they did not opt-out of Child Tax Credits or didn’t include any student loan deductions. Therefore, taxpayers have been advised to brace themselves given the fluid situation.
Child Tax Credits
As discussed above, Child Tax Credits could impact your tax outlook for the year, given that Congress not only inflated the credits but also began to pay out half of the credit value in advance.
This was done through monthly installments to help struggling families quickly. Additionally, the CTC was refundable (there was no minimum income required to claim it) but fluctuated according to income levels.
Ideally, taxpayers who received the installments would receive the remaining half of the credits as a part of their tax refund, but reconciling exactly how much was paid can complicate matters.
Some may have received more than they were eligible for, and others less. For this reason, it is imperative to safeguard Letter 6419 sent to all payment receivers so that it may be verified in your tax return.
Economic Impact Payments
Stimulus checks of 1400 USD were issued to eligible receivers from March 2021 as a part of the Economic Impact Payments scheme. If you received the entirety of the payment, you need not include any information while filing your taxes.
However, those missing some payments could be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for the same. The missing amount would be included in tax refunds. You must note, though, Letter 6475 (YourThird Economic Impact Statement) plays a crucial role in determining whether this applies to you. Much like Letter 6419, it must be given equal importance as W-2 and 1099 forms.
Extending Your Submission Deadline
While it is never advised to miss tax deadlines, those who require more time can qualify for an immediate extension by filling and submitting Form 4868.
This grants a 4-month extension, usually till October 15. However, with it being a Saturday, the final deadline is October 17. The IRS stresses that this extension is only for submitting tax returns and does not apply to payments.
If an individual owes taxes, the deadline remains April 15. Failing to pay on time results in penalty fees. Taxpayers can incur hefty charges: 5% of the amount due each month, a monthly penalty of 0.5% of the unpaid amount, 3% in accrued interest, and a maximum of 25% of what is owed.
When Can you Expect your Refund?
The IRS urges taxpayers to check thoroughly for document and numerical accuracy and to file their taxes as soon as their documentation is ready.
The agency advises filing online and opting for a direct deposit to make the process as seamless as possible for a quick return. Taxpayers who choose direct deposits could see their accounts credited within 21 days of submission by approximately mid-February.
However, refunds involving often misused credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (CTC) will take longer due to more stringent verification processes.
Resting your laurels will not quicken or ease the process; hence compiling documents and visiting a tax planner should be top of your priority list. A non-exhaustive list of documents required are listed below:
W-2 form from your employer.
1099 form for income earned from investments.
Mortgage payment proofs.
Letter 6149 for Child Tax Credits.
Letter 6475 for Economic Impact Payments.
Receipts and bank statements for deductible expenses.
Proofs of taxable transactions and investments for things such as cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
As an Indian in unfamiliar territory, preparing to file your taxes can be a daunting task. AOTAX has been helping Indian professionals in the US with their tax requirements for almost two decades and provides hassle-free consultancy, planning, and filing services. So, sign up for free today and let us help you with financial peace of mind.
Taxes received from citizens are a country’s principal source of revenue. In India, too, the income tax collected accounts for most government revenue.
If you’re an Indian IT professional having links to the US, you may be required to pay income taxes in the United States even if you are not a U.S. citizen. Whether you should file a tax return in the United States is determined by whether the US government deems you a “tax resident.”
Although paying taxes in both countries is sometimes necessary, the two nations have treaties to safeguard NRIs, such as the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement. Tax planning for Indian IT professionals need not be tricky when you know the nitty-gritty of the same.
Immigration and Taxes: Who Has to Pay Taxes?
In terms of taxes, the United States divides people into two categories: tax residents and non-tax residents. You may be asking how to figure out how immigration and taxes apply to you if you have recently immigrated to the United States?
Even if you are not a US citizen, you may be obligated to pay US taxes in different circumstances. Whether you must file and pay taxes is determined by the government’s classification of you as a tax resident.
However, not all non-immigrant visa holders are tax residents, though. Even if you are not a tax resident, filing an income tax return if you have worked for an employer who withholds taxes from your salary is a good idea since you may be eligible for a refund.
Non-immigrant visa holders can only become tax residents if they stay in the United States for at least 183 days in the current year. For example, if you spend 200 days in the US and have a non-immigrant visa, you must report your earnings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Furthermore, even if you spent less than 183 days in the United States during the current year, a weighted system could classify you as a tax resident.
Unless you spent less than 30 days in the United States during the current year, you are a tax resident if you have spent at least 183 “weighted” days in the US during the previous 3 years.
This means that if an NRI works in the United States and earns money from India, he is only liable for US taxes. For this purpose, the person must present a US IRS-issued Tax Residency Certificate to his Indian payee. If taxes were deducted in India, the NRI could file a tax claim in the United States for that amount.
NRIs’ income received in India is taxed differently in the United States, depending on their taxation policies. The following are the criteria on which NRI taxation in the United States may be imposed. This can help in tax planning for Indian IT professionals.
1. Income from salary
In India, if an individual receives a pay package with multiple components, each component is taxed separately. Individuals may also qualify for tax breaks or exemptions if they get medical reimbursements or allowances.
In the United States, however, the same taxing conditions do not apply to salaries. An individual’s income is taxed regardless of how much the person earns.
The taxable components of your salary are listed on the well-known Form 16 in India. In contrast, if an individual or NRI files an ITR in the United States, all tax-free components of the pay received in India must be disclosed. At the same time, these individuals must pay taxes on those components in the United States.
NRIs must use the tax return Form 1040 to report their salary income in India. Form 1116 is used to file a tax return or claim a tax credit.
2. Freelancing and contractual income
This is applicable for NRIs who provide consulting services in the United States but earn money from India. In this case, the linked NRIs are taxed in the United States on that income. Therefore, whether the income is received in the United States or an Indian bank account, this tax must be paid.
The provisions of the DTAA, or Double Tax Avoidance Agreement, must be considered in this case.
3. Rental income
If an NRI rents an Indian property, his rental income will be taxed in the United States. Any rental income from immovable property may be taxed in the country where the property is located, according to Article 6 of the DTAA.
As a result, any income from rent in India is subject to taxation for US NRIs. NRIs, on the other hand, must declare this income while submitting their US tax return. Taxes paid in India would be credited to them.
It’s worth noting that salary and contractual income are only taxed in the country where they’re earned. Both countries, however, have the option of taxing rental revenue.
The first right belongs to the country in which the property is located. As a result, the NRI will pay tax on his rental income in India first, according to his available Indian tax slab.
The rental income must then be declared by the NRI taxpayer in the United States. The tax on his entire income is then calculated using his tax bracket in the United States. The NRI might claim a tax credit in the United States for whatever taxes he paid in India.
NRIs in the United States must file Form 1040 Schedule E for tax purposes. In India, rental income is subject to a 30% tax reduction. Actual expenses, such as maintenance and repair, are deducted in the United States. Form 1116 tax credit claims must be completed.
4. Income from the sale of agricultural land
In India, the selling of agricultural land is a tax-free transaction. It is, however, taxed in the United States. An NRI’s income from the sale of agricultural property must be declared in the United States and taxed as part of their global income.
5. Capital gains
A capital gain is any profit earned from selling capital assets such as land, property, stocks, shares, mutual funds, etc. In India and the United States, the time period used to establish whether an asset is a long-term or short-term capital gain is different. NRIs face new challenges because of this.
It may result in NRIs paying tax on their sales in India and additional tax on the remaining amount in the US, notwithstanding the possibility of claiming the tax credit in the US. To an NRI, this could result in a double taxable asset.
Long-term capital gains in the United States are taxed at the same rate for all assets, one year. Long-term capital gains are taxed at a rate of 15%, whereas short-term gains are added to your total income.
The following table summarizes the above topic of capital gains taxes:
6. Income from interest generated
Interest income is added to the total income of each Indian resident and then taxed according to the overall tax bracket. This is usually 30% percent of the interest income.
Interest earned in India or the United States is added to the NRI’s total income and taxed according to the bracket in which it falls. This may be different in the United States, depending on the state’s legislation where the NRI resides.
If an NRI earns interest on deposits in India, he will have a tax deduction of TDS in India at a reduced 15 percent rate if the DTAA is in place.
7. Income from dividends
In India, any dividend income is tax-free. On the other hand, Dividends are added to total income and taxed in the United States.
NRIs must report “Interest and dividends” income on Schedule B of Form 1040 to be taxed. Foreign tax credits can be claimed using Form 1116.
8. Foreign Tax Credit Limit in the USA
In the United States, NRIs can claim a tax credit; however, the IRS has set a limit. For this, you’ll need to fill out Form 1116. This means that the foreign tax credit should be calculated in accordance with the NRI’s US tax due in the same proportion as the NRI’s total income.
It’s important to realize that taxes in the United States differ from state to state. As a result, the taxes paid by NRIs in different states vary. The above criteria for NRI taxation can help in tax planning for Indian IT professionals.
Personal tax returns can be a stressful undertaking. AOTAX can relieve you of this burden by preparing your Personal Tax Returns for you.
We are all Registered Tax Agents with vast hands-on expertise, and we all take great pride in assisting our clients in achieving their objectives.
We do everything we can to minimize your tax while making the overall taxing procedure as efficient, easy, and cost-effective as possible, thanks to a staff of highly skilled and experienced Tax Accountants. Contact us if you are an IT professional working in the USA and looking at filing tax in the USA.
It’s that time of the year when most Indians residing in the US are searching for whether and how to file tax returns online. The first question – do you even have to file taxes – is easy. The answer is yes, probably even if you are not a U.S. citizen.
If the government considers you a US tax resident (more on this later), then you have to report all income earned to the IRS and pay taxes. However, that does not automatically mean that your income will be taxable. You’re simply reporting it to the United States government.
The second question – how to file tax returns – is trickier. So, here’s a cheat sheet that tells you all you need to know about filing returns.
How to File Tax Returns Online for 2022?
The tax season begins on Monday, January 24, 2022. From that date, all permanent residents and tax residents can start filing their taxes. Also, even if you aren’t considered a tax resident, it is a smart idea to file them anyway. Why? You might qualify for a tax credit or be able to claim a refund.
Do green cardholders have to pay taxes?
Yes, all green card holders are US tax residents. They need to report all income and pay taxes, whether earned in the US or internationally. You must file tax returns using the IRS Form 1040 by April 15, 2022, even if you haven’t stayed in the US all year.
What about nonimmigrant visa holders?
If you’re in the US on a nonimmigrant visa, you may have to file taxes, depending on whether you’ve passed the Substantial Presence Test (SPT). The test declares that a nonimmigrant visa holder who has spent 31 or more days in the US in the current year is a tax resident.
You’re also a tax resident if you spend 183 days (calculated using a weight system) in “the current year and the two years immediately before that.”
As green card holders, all nonimmigrant visa holders use IRS Form 1040 to file taxes, and they have to do it by April 15th. The difference is that they only report income earned in the US. No taxes need to be paid for earnings outside the country.
The US government uses a progressive tax system, so people with lower taxable income pay fewer taxes, and those with higher income pay more. So, how does the US calculate how much tax you need to pay? By dividing your income into tax brackets. Each bracket has its corresponding tax rate, and for this year, it is:
37% for individual single taxpayers with incomes over 539,900 ($647,850 for married couples filing jointly).
35%, for incomes over $215,950 ($431,900 for married couples filing jointly).
32% for incomes over $170,050 ($340,100 for married couples filing jointly).
24% for incomes over $89,075 ($178,150 for married couples filing jointly).
22% for incomes over $41,775 ($83,550 for married couples filing jointly).
12% for incomes over $10,275 ($20,550 for married couples filing jointly).
10% for single individuals with incomes of $10,275 or less ($20,550 for married couples filing jointly).
The benefit of a progressive system is that the tax rate does not apply to your entire income, irrespective of which bracket you fall into.
Pick how to file your tax return
You can file tax returns online, by hand, or hire a tax preparer. Filling out the Form 1040 manually and then emailing it is not a great idea because the process is much, much longer.
If you expect a refund, filing taxes online is better because the IRS processes e-filed returns faster. There is plenty of tax software that makes it very convenient.
The third option is to hire someone who provides tax preparation and filing services. You should strongly consider it if you are filing taxes for the first time, have never prepared tax returns using software, or have a complicated revenue stream. Professional guidance is crucial in the last instance.
Say you have a business that makes your finances complicated, or you also earn through a side gig, then a professional would make it easier to understand which forms are required, what common deductions to factor in, etc.
Collect all your documents
The last step before you sit down to file your tax returns online is to gather all your documents. You will need an ITIN, which is an individual taxpayer identification number. It’s issued by the IRS to people who do not have a Social Security number (SSN). You will also need to gather all:
Proof of income.
Proof of taxes already paid.
Proof of expenses to get tax credit or deductibles.
Filing taxes is never easy. But it becomes a daunting task the minute you get your provisional (and later permanent) green card. After that, you have to report all your income earned anywhere globally, even if you don’t spend a day in the US throughout the year.
For tax purposes, the US considers you their resident. It’s also a laborious task for Indians who have just gone to the US and filed their returns for the first time.
People often think of tax preparation when they think about doing their taxes. As tax time approaches, people scramble to find savings and frantically rush to file their returns and avoid incurring penalties. However, a tax strategy is not just for filing your taxes every year. It can be an effective means of planning for the future and minimizing your taxes simultaneously. This is exactly where you need tax planning.
So, then are tax planners different from tax preparers? In a nutshell, yes. The process of tax preparation is reactive, whereas tax planning focuses on the future.
While these words sound similar, each refers to a different aspect of taxation and has distinct meanings. As we go through each service, let’s see how they differ and choose the best one.
What is Tax Preparation?
Preparing taxes is typically a one-time task. Normally, tax preparation takes place between January and April. A tax preparer or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) prepares tax returns before the deadline for filing. Tax preparation needs several documents that provide valuable information regarding income, investments, and retirement plan statements. The approach also considers multiple income streams, deductions, and charities.
The role of a tax preparer
A tax professional prepares the tax return by organizing and entering the previous year’s tax information. So you need to visit a tax preparer once or maybe twice a year. Their expertise in tax laws ensures that returns comply with the IRS regulations. So you can rest assured about meeting the federal and state regulations.
Tax preparers can offer general tax advice and tax-saving suggestions based on your previous records. A tax preparer can address general questions regarding the filing process. There will, however, be no proactive tax strategies to help you reduce your tax liabilities. The reason – Such meticulousness, detail, and planning fall into a more comprehensive process requiring more expertise and attention.
Qualifications to look for in a Tax Preparer
Preparer tax identification numbers (PTINs) are the primary requirement for preparing taxes. A PTIN needs no additional credentials or accounting experience. Some states require tax preparation certification, similar to a PTIN but do not signify expertise or competence. Tax preparation services can be provided for a fee by qualified tax preparers.
While anyone with a PTIN and the required state credential can prepare your tax return, it’s a prerequisite to be either a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), enrolled agent, or an attorney who can address things like IRS issues, payments, audits, and collection activities.
Benefits of tax preparation
Save more money. A tax professional understands tax laws and compliance. They maximize your tax deductions and credits.
Save time. It takes a great deal of time and effort to prepare your tax return independently. A tax preparer can save all that time.
Error-free returns. A mistaken tax return can have disastrous results. Errors can lead to audits and penalties. Additionally, you can reduce your risk for audit with tax preparation.
What is Tax Planning?
A comprehensive tax strategy will help you chart a course of financial behavior that will help you manage your taxes in the future. When it comes to tax planning, it’s less about your specific return and more about how to maximize it.
The role of a tax planning agency or tax planner
Financial planning often entails a regular meeting with a financial planner and taking an active role in making decisions about your finances. Tax planning, on the other hand, is an ongoing process, one that shifts and changes as your goals do. A tax planner or tax planning agency integrates the changing financial dynamics and fosters an open and transparent relationship with its client. A tax planner will analyze your financial objectives, values, and future vision to create a personalized financial plan.
Creating a tax plan that meets your needs and considers your goals is essential. Few tax planning services like AOTAX have specific plans for businesses and individuals. They chalk out a plan considering both business and individual tax needs. The services vary from advisory services to business tax preparation and planning. All that so you can act fiscally responsible and tax-friendly.
Qualifications to look for in a Tax Planner
While tax planners require a great deal of expertise and specific knowledge, they are not subject to any federal or state regulations. They need to hold a CPA for general tax planning or be an accredited tax advisor for sophisticated cases. The biggest asset for a tax planner is their industry knowledge regarding applicable laws and particular situations.
Benefits of tax planning
Reducing tax liability. An individual tax planner or tax planning agency focuses primarily on lowering liabilities or routing investments. When you have business income, planning throughout the year ensures you maximize tax credits, harvest losses from investments, and manage your wealth accordingly.
Flexible estate planning. Don’t just leave your assets, but add a legacy to your heirs. You can lower your own and your heirs’ tax liabilities with tax planning.
Know your investment returns. Your carefully thought-out investment plan can be ruined by expenses, capital gains, and even inflation, leaving you with considerably fewer returns than you anticipated.
Tax Planner vs. Tax Preparer
Tax preparation businesses cannot provide you with the expertise you need for tax planning. Planning your taxes and saving money are two ways tax planners can help you. A tax planning strategy must be implemented year-round to minimize your tax liability.
Tax planners typically offer the following services:
Strategy for harvesting tax losses.
Tax bracket management.
Constantly plan other investment strategies which could get deserved returns while saving on taxes.
Tax preparers typically provide the following services:
File tax returns.
Comply with state and federal tax laws.
Handle missed deadlines and resolution paperwork.
Finally, a tax planning agency is the best solution by weighing the differences. A tax planner will tailor the plan to meet your needs. They care about your individual or business financial goals and plan the future. Their meticulous planning strategies will help you reach those objectives while also fitting the taxation rules. Investing and taxes can sometimes seem out of reach. But not anymore with AOTAX. Get in touch today to get your free tax draft!
Living in the US with a working visa comes with its share of challenges, and navigating the legal terrain can be difficult, especially when it comes to something as complex as filing your taxes. For all money earned in the United States, H1-B visa holders are subject to US income tax legislation. But things start to get critical when filing for tax deductions.
So we’ve created a comprehensive guide to tax filing for Indian H1B visa holders. Read on to learn more about the process and get through it painlessly.
Frequently Asked Questions about Tax Filing for Indian H1B Visa Holders in the US
Below are some of the most widely asked questions about tax filing for Indian H1B Visa holders in the US:
Who does this taxation apply to?
You’re a highly-skilled professional from a STEM background and fall under the category of ’alien’. You hold an H1B Visa, have permission to work in America for the next three years, and have an employer sponsoring you. Ahoy! You are now subject to paying taxes on your income at the same rate as any other US citizen or resident.
However, it’s not quite so simple. To be considered a US resident for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relies on the additional criteria of physical presence in the country to determine whether a migrant in the workforce is liable to file taxes. What is known as the Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is used to determine eligibility and comes into effect on a calendar-year-by-calendar-year basis.
To pass the test, an individual must have been present in the US for at least:
31 days of the current calendar year and,
183 days over the current year and the two years preceding it. More specifically, this count must include all days in the current year, one-third of the days present in the year before the current year, and one-sixth of the days present two years before the current year.
To illustrate, let’s look at the hypothetical example of Suresh, a software engineer who moved to the US in the year 2019.
Suresh has been physically present in the US for 180 days during the 2019-2021 period and would need to count 180 days for the current year (say, 2021), 60 days for 2020 (⅓), and 30 days for 2019 (⅙). Totaling up, Suresh has 270 days of physical presence in the US, which is more than the minimum required to qualify as a resident for tax purposes.
Of course, there are specific guidelines regarding what counts as a day of presence. You can read more about this on the official IRS website.
How much will I be taxed, and which taxes would I have to pay?
H1B taxpayers can expect to lose anywhere from 20% to 40% of their incomes to federal, state, and local taxes, but this depends on income levels and appropriate deductions. These taxes include:
Federal Income Tax
The taxes charged on your US income as a nonresident H1B holder depend on marginal brackets that vary as per your income. Although tax values are the same as those for US citizens and residents, H1B nonresidents will not qualify for the deductibles available to citizens. You can find out more about an estimate of your tax bracket here.
Medicare and Social Security (FICA)
Roughly 8% of your income will be deducted and paid towards your Medicare (1.45%) and Social Security (6.2%), each of which will be matched by your employer. In addition, employers are liable to pay the same amount on your behalf to the IRS, which secures provisions for pension funds, among others.
State Income Tax
Depending upon the state you live in, the tax you pay could range from 0% to 10% of your income. Some states such as Washington, Texas, and Nevada levy no additional charges, while states like California mandate employers to withhold roughly 7% of employee incomes for taxes.
Local Income Tax
Similar to State Income Taxes, towns and cities may levy additional taxes, and employerscould deduct up to 4% of your income for the same.
Am I eligible for any tax benefits?
H1B Visa holders cannot claim the same tax benefits, credits, and exemptions as permanent residents and citizens.
Preparing the required documentation can be a daunting task, but the general rule of thumb stipulates keeping the following handy:
Social Security number.
Valid wage documents and earning statements from all employers in the last financial year (form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc).
Receipts for relevant deductions.
Documents related to name changes, dependency, and relocation due to marriage for married individuals.Tax Filing for Indian H1B Visa Holders in 2022 – Next Steps and the Road Ahead
Tax Filing for Indian H1B Visa Holders in 2022 – Next Steps and the Road Ahead
Tax season is approaching, and filing doesn’t happen overnight. How should you prepare?
Step 1: Check your eligibility
Take the SPT, and make sure you meet the requirements for days present in the country.
Step 2: Get organized
Gathering documents and getting them in order takes longer than you think it would. So to make tax filing as seamless a process as possible, make sure you have everything ready to avoid last-minute scrambling. This, of course, means being aware of deadlines and being prepared well in advance.
Step 3: Find professionals who can help you
Taxes are confusing at their best and daunting at their worst – especially for Desis in a foreign land. Getting the best returns possible requires the technical know-how of qualified professionals. And at AOTAX, we’ve been helping our fellow Indians file their taxes in the US for over a decade.
Tax planning advisory, return, and preparation services. We also help with extension filing and ITIN and FBAR FATCA processing.
Easy access to an online portal, and free sign-up for new customers.