All You Need to Know About How to File Tax Returns Online

All You Need to Know About How to File Tax Returns Online

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. 

If you’re not a green card holder or haven’t passed the Substantial Presence Test, this official site lists all the possibilities where you may have to report income. If you’re an H1B visa holder, here’s a complete guide on how to file your taxes.

Have a Basic Understanding of Tax Brackets


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. 

Swing by here for all the documents and forms you’ll need to file your taxes online (or get them done by professionals).

How to File Tax Returns Easily and Without Worry?

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. 

At AOTAX, we help Indians living in the US file their tax returns online. We’ve been doing this for a decade and a half with the help of an expert and qualified professionals. Besides tax preparation and filing services, we also offer tax planning advice, ITIN processing services, and extension filing. The entire process is online, making it effortless for you while ensuring you get the maximum returns possible! With AOTAX, you get to rest assured that your taxes are done right. Sign up and file tax returns online!

Does it make sense to file your taxes early?

Does it make sense to file your taxes early?

Does it make sense to file your taxes early?

Filing taxes can be a bit boring and overwhelming. Apart from your life and work, you need to devote some time and energy to file your taxes early. A lot of taxpayers barely are able to file their taxes on time, let alone before time.

What if there are some strong reasons and benefits for filing your taxes early? Would that pull you into the idea of filing your taxes early? If yes, here are some of the most prominent reasons why you must seriously consider filing your taxes early.

1.To Avoid Missing Out On Tax Benefits

Usually filing your taxes at the end means, that you are running against the clock. In such cases, the chances of missing out on some information are quite possible. A common mistake made by taxpayers filing their taxes in the end if using a wrong SSN or forgetting to mention their SSN, or their dependent children’s SSN or spouse’s SSN. Missing out on SSN is a sure way of missing out on certain tax deductions and tax credits.

2.A quicker Tax Refund

When you consider data from the previous years, you will find out that about 72% of taxpayers receive tax refunds up to $3,000. That is a decent chunk of money that you can use as rainy-day savings or paying off some debt. Filing your taxes earlier allows for a quicker tax refund.

3.Possibly Bigger Refunds

When you file your taxes early, you can benefit from certain life changing milestones. Milestones such as marriage, or the birth of your child, starting your own business, etc. can translate into better tax refunds or deductions. Which ultimately will help you save money. Thus, filing your taxes early can be beneficial.

4.Debt Management

In the event that you are struggling with some of the debts, opting for an early tax filing can save the day for you. The IRS expects to issue tax refunds within 21 days of your filing tax returns. The earlier you file your taxes, you boost the chances of an early refund and thus, it can help you manage some of your debts as well.

5.Leverage Your Time and Money

When you file your taxes early, you are firstly not under any pressure of filing them before the deadline. It enables a smoother filing. Secondly, the chances of mistakes are also minimal, thereby allowing you to spend less time on tax filing. And more importantly, you can expect an earlier refund as well. You can then use these funds either for a quick trip while your friends and colleagues are busy filing their taxes or use them for other purposes.

6.File Taxes Online

Once you have made up your mind to file your taxes early, you can visit online portals to help you file your taxes. There are a lot of trusted portals, which can help you file your taxes within a few minutes. All you need to do is provide some basic information and answer simple questions. The portals can help you extract the most out of your refunds as well. And the best part is, you can do this from the comfort of your home or office or even while you are vacationing. If you need additional help in the form of an Enrolled Agent or a CPA, the portals would be able to help you with that as well.

Apart from the most obvious benefit of peace of mind and no stress during the tax filing season, the above are some of the other benefits of filing your taxes early. If you have never filed your taxes early, now might be the best time to give it a shot and reap its benefits.