I'm a Peruvian in a J1 Trainee visa since January 2020. I entered the US on January 1st 2020, my program will end in May 1st 2021. I'm still in the US and need to file my taxes for 2020. Now, I'm not sure if I need to file under non resident or resident as I don't quite understand the Substantial Presence Test. Also I was unemployed from March 2020 to July 2020. Does the stimulus check apply?
I had a J1 work and travel visa from Dec 2014 to March 2015
I had a J1 work and travel visa from Dec 2013 to February 2014
Please I'm not sure how to properly file my taxes for 2020.
File as a resident. J-1 Trainees are generally exempt tor two calendar years and the U.S. and Peru do not have an income tax treaty. You have more than two exempt years (2013, 2014 and 2015).
U.S. resident aliens are qualified to receive stimulus payments. If you did not receive the Economic Impact Payments in 2020, they will be added as Recovery Rebate Credits on your 2020 income tax return.
Generally, if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020, were not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number that is valid for employment, you are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Thank you for your fast reply. The IRS said there is a 6 year period for the 2 year tax exempt:
You will not be an exempt individual as a teacher or trainee if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 2 of the 6 calendar years preceding the current year. However, you will be an exempt individual if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 3 (or fewer) of the 6 preceding calendar years and:
- A foreign employer paid all of your compensation during the current year.
- A foreign employer paid all of your compensation during each of the preceding 6 years you were present in the United States as a teacher or trainee.
Since it was back in 2013 , 6 years would have been 2019. Does 2020 not count as a fresh count for another 6 years? I'm confused with this.
Thank you for your time.
I am a little cautious to advise you to declare yourself exempt because of the broken periods you were a J1 status. In your example, the lookback period dates back to 2014.
it does say "You will not be an exempt individual as a teacher or trainee if you were exempt as a teacher, trainee, or student for any part of 2 of the 6 calendar years preceding the current year." The current year for tax purposes is 2020 thus the look back would be from 2014-2019.
It is my opinion based on this fact, that will not qualify to be an exempt individual this year but may qualify next tax season.
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@asaga189 I did further research. Awesome Tax Expert @DaveF1006 is correct. File as a nonresident. Look at Understand how residency for federal tax purposes is determined from the University of California, San Diego. It explains “J is the only status that can start out as a exempt individuals become a resident, and then become a nonresident again.”
TurboTax does not handle nonresident returns. Our partner Sprintax can handle your situation.