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mb_loulou18
Returning Member

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

Hello,

I am a French national on a J-1 visa (Research scholar status). Until August 2019, I was a non-resident alien for tax purposes, and exempt from taxes under the France-US tax treaty. I have entered this information in Turbotax (in the way explained on this page) and am about to mail my tax return. However, it occurred to me that I might need to add a form that explains this tax exemption, i.e. form 8833. When I look at the instructions for this form, under "Exceptions for reporting" I see that 

"Positions for which reporting is waived include, but are not limited to, the following: That a treaty reduces or modifies the taxation of income derived by an individual from dependent personal services, pensions, annuities, social security, and other public pensions, as well as income derived by artists, athletes, students, trainees, or teachers;" Does this (more precisely, the "teachers" part) apply to me as a Research scholar? I am asking this because until last year, when I was a non-resident alien, I needed to submit form 8843 with my return, where I was in the category "teachers and trainees". 

If I do not need to file this form, is there something else I need to do to report my tax treaty exemption correctly?

Thank you very much!

5 Replies
KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

If you have been on a J1 visa until August 2019 and then received a different visa, you are still a nonresident and cannot file a resident return with TurboTax unless you are married.

 

You would start counting your days of presence the day you receive your new visa in August 2019.  By December 31, 2019, you will *not* have 183 days of presence in the US to pass the substantial presence test.  You cannot include exempt days as days or presence in the US.

 

 Substantial Presence Test (SPT) You will be considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for calendar year 2019.  

 

To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States on at least:  

 

1. 31 days during 2019 and  

 

2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes 2019, 2018, and 2017, counting:  

 

a. all the days your were present in 2019 and  

b. 1/3 of the days you were present in 2018, and 

c. 1/6 of the days your were present in 2017. 

 

You cannot count any days that you were exempt on a J1 visa.

 

If you are married then there is a way for you to file a married filing jointly tax return for 2019.  By using the First Year Choice and then the choice to file married filing jointly with your spouse.

Publication 519.

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mb_loulou18
Returning Member

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

Hello,

Thank you very much for your answer. I am sorry, I was not clear enough. I arrived in the US in the end of August 2017 on a J-1 visa, and am still on this same J-1 visa. According to Example 4 here I am a resident alien for tax purposes in 2019 (and my employer told me this explicitly, so I am pretty sure of this), but I was tax exempt (on a tax treaty) until the end of August 2019. Therefore, I do need to file a form 1040. In the meantime, I called an expert via Turbotax, and they advised me to file form 8833 just to be on the safe side. 

Thank you very much!

KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

If you arrived in August 2017 on a J1 scholar visa,  then you were exempt from the substantial presence test for 2017 and 2018 ( J1 scholar visa exempts you for 2 years or part years).  Starting January 1, 2019 you start counting your days of presence.  So you are a resident for all of 2019 and you cannot exempt your wages due to the treaty.  

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mb_loulou18
Returning Member

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

Well, the tax treaty has an "exception to the savings" clause, meaning that as a Research scholar, I can use the tax treaty benefits for two years from my original arrival date, that is, until August 2019, even if in 2019 I am a resident alien. This is in fact what my employer did, they only started withholding taxes in September.

 

KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

J-1 research scholar 8833 form

Thank you for your explanation!

 

I would file Form 8833 so that the IRS knows why you are excluding the income.  Otherwise you probably will receive a notice.  You will need to mail your return as Form 8833 is not included as a TurboTax form. The link  you provided early has a link to the Form 8833.  

 

 

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