Whether you are a US citizen or a non-resident (such as ten of thousands of students on a Work and Travel program), you will be paying four types of taxes in the US.
If you have worked temporarily in the USA you have most likely overpaid these taxes and are due a tax refund. The IRS reports that over 80% of all taxpayers receive a tax refund.
At the end of the tax year you have to file a US tax refund to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) – even if you were only in the US for a few months. In the United States, the tax year ends on the 31st of December and IRS tax refunds need to be filed by the 15th April of the following year to avoid penalties.
IRS Tax Returns Explained
- If you earned above $3500 in 2008 or $3650 in 2009, you are obligated by law to file a USA tax rebate to the IRS at the end of the tax year. The US tax authorities are very strict and so you should always file a tax return to avoid any unnecessary problems with US visas in the future.
- If you do not file your tax return civil penalties may be imposed. These can be a deducted refund or in cases when you owe the IRS – taxes you need to pay will be forever assessed with interest and penalties.
- If you are a US resident criminal charges may be brought against you. Not filing a tax return is a criminal offense punishable by one year in prison for each unfiled year and a fine of $25000 each year.
- If you need to pay taxes and you filed your tax return but did not pay them, there is no criminal penalty.
Therefore, filing an IRS tax return will most likely to get you money back and will avoid legal problems in the future with visas and penalties.
Preparing and filing a US tax return involves tedious work. Dealing with piles of complicated forms and documents is both confusing and time-consuming. To save this hassle, many people chose to get a tax refund company such as taxback.com to file their returns on their behalf. Please note that if you are a non-resident you are not allowed to e-file your tax return.