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J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

Old Mar 27th 2018, 6:04 pm
  #1  
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Default J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

Dear All,

Any help would be appreciated.

I am a UK based researcher and coming to Boston to do some work.

I will be paid by the US university and I appreciate that on a J1 visa and in accordance with Article 20A I will be exempt from US taxes for 2 years.

My questions are:

1. If the UK university also paid a stipend, would I be liable for UK taxes even though I am non-resident

2. For Article 20A, does the 2 year limit start from the date of arrival in the USA or the date when employment starts. I was hoping to have a 2 week holiday with my family before starting work on the J1 visa and implementing Artcle 20A.

Many thanks
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Old Mar 28th 2018, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

I am not sure about the UK stipend but my friends on HFSP/EU/German/Spanish fellowships did not pay taxes.

For me, the tax treaty exemption was for 18 months as I moved in June. Although my reading says that the treaty is for a calendar year, my HR department changed my status for the '3rd' tax year(a tax year is 1st Jan to 31st Dec).

Of course, This was in 2004 and I had to pay back all that tax when I stayed. Be careful to not spend that 'tax' money - put the money in a savings account. You never know what might happen in life, you might end up staying. I only came for one year...but stayed.

One German pal claimed the treaty but stayed in the USA over two years. He did not pay the past taxes and the IRS contacted him.


The US university HR will know all about the tax treaty.

Good luck.
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Old Mar 30th 2018, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

1 - You remain tax resident in the UK the whole time, you have to file a 1040NR and an 8843 each year for the period you are in the US, this is basically to inform the IRS that you are resident abroad for tax purposes. Do not forget to do this. You have to report all your US earnings to HMRC and claim a foreign tax credit in the UK. You are exempt from FICA, on your W-4 state that you are a non-resident alien teacher/student on the dotted line after question 6 (if the payroll person asks, the instructions that tell you to do this are hidden away on an obscure page of IRS publication 515). Note there is a big difference between being purely a non-resident alien and a non-resident alien teacher/student.

2 - you have entered for the "purpose" of whatever your J-1 was issued for, so the 2 years start from the date of arrival.
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Old Apr 5th 2018, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: J1 Visa Article 20A 2 year limit

2) It's the date of arrival, not start of work.

I actually asked the IRS about this a few years ago and received the following response:

Regarding your question concerning the Treasury Technical Explanation for Article 20A (Teachers) of the United States-United Kingdom Income Tax Treaty, the term “date he firsts visits that State” means the “date of arrival”. The term does not mean “date he starts working”.
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