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Tax question - H-1B

Tax question - H-1B

Old Mar 4th 2005, 3:00 pm
  #1  
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Default Tax question - H-1B

Hi all,

Would very much appreciate some tax advice. I've been living in NYC since Oct 2000. First 18 months on a J-1 visa and after that on an H-1B. I've always filed the NY state IT-203 Non-resident tax form but recently discovered that for tax purposes I am considered a resident. So, should I have been filing the resident IT-201 form?

With the IT-203 I get money back ($600). With the IT-201 I owe ($200). This has never been picked up by the the IRS but if this is the case, it seems I owe them for the past few years. I'm worried they may find out and give me trouble for what was an honest mistake, if it is a mistake that is.

I'm leaving in June 05 but hope to come back in a few years time on another H-1b. I heard they check your previous tax payments when/if applying for H-1b/ greencard so this has got me thinking.

So, should I continue with the IT-203 (non-resident) which gives me money back? Or should I switch to the IT-201? What is the worst that could happen?

Thanks everyone.
P
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Old Mar 4th 2005, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: Tax question - H-1B

Originally Posted by pablopicasso
Hi all,

Would very much appreciate some tax advice. I've been living in NYC since Oct 2000. First 18 months on a J-1 visa and after that on an H-1B. I've always filed the NY state IT-203 Non-resident tax form but recently discovered that for tax purposes I am considered a resident. So, should I have been filing the resident IT-201 form?

With the IT-203 I get money back ($600). With the IT-201 I owe ($200). This has never been picked up by the the IRS but if this is the case, it seems I owe them for the past few years. I'm worried they may find out and give me trouble for what was an honest mistake, if it is a mistake that is.

I'm leaving in June 05 but hope to come back in a few years time on another H-1b. I heard they check your previous tax payments when/if applying for H-1b/ greencard so this has got me thinking.

So, should I continue with the IT-203 (non-resident) which gives me money back? Or should I switch to the IT-201? What is the worst that could happen?

Thanks everyone.
P
For real tax advice, your best bet would be to go to a licensed and trained tax advisor instead of hoping for the best on a message board.




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Old Mar 4th 2005, 8:41 pm
  #3  
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Default Re: Tax question - H-1B

Originally Posted by pablopicasso
Hi all,

Would very much appreciate some tax advice. I've been living in NYC since Oct 2000. First 18 months on a J-1 visa and after that on an H-1B. I've always filed the NY state IT-203 Non-resident tax form but recently discovered that for tax purposes I am considered a resident. So, should I have been filing the resident IT-201 form?

With the IT-203 I get money back ($600). With the IT-201 I owe ($200). This has never been picked up by the the IRS but if this is the case, it seems I owe them for the past few years. I'm worried they may find out and give me trouble for what was an honest mistake, if it is a mistake that is.

I'm leaving in June 05 but hope to come back in a few years time on another H-1b. I heard they check your previous tax payments when/if applying for H-1b/ greencard so this has got me thinking.

So, should I continue with the IT-203 (non-resident) which gives me money back? Or should I switch to the IT-201? What is the worst that could happen?

Thanks everyone.
P
I'm very surprised that you think you were better off filing as a non-resident. Given that residents (for tax purposes) are eligable for many more tax deductions than non-residents, it seems highly unlikely that you were owed a refund as a non-resident but own the IRS money as a resident.

Regardless, NC Penguin is right. I have offered tax advice many times on this board, but when it comes to a situation where you may be facing problems with the IRS and even future visas, you really must talk to a tax professional, or the IRS directly, or ideally both.

Most strip-mall tax professionals (H&R Block etc.) will know sod all about your questions, so make sure you talk to someone with experience of expatriate tax issues. One such company is Global Tax Network who have given me and others on this board excellent advice in the past, and have very reasonable fees.
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Old Mar 4th 2005, 8:54 pm
  #4  
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Default Re: Tax question - H-1B

thanks for getting back to me.

i know that i'm better off filing as non-resident because i completed both forms last night and compared the results.

anyway, i guess i will seek professional advice as you suggest.

thanks again
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Old Mar 5th 2005, 2:52 am
  #5  
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Default Re: Tax question - H-1B

Residency rules for State Taxes versus Federal Taxes are not always the same. You need that expert advice. I should add that the deductions allowable on a State tax form (regardless of whether you file as a State resident, part resident or non-resident) can also be different for Federal Nonresidents versus Federal Residents. And the State instructions rarely tell you about this.

Last edited by AdobePinon; Mar 5th 2005 at 2:55 am.
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