Our Low Cost J1 Tax Refund Service
Low Cost J1 Refund Service
You came for a J1 cultural exchange experience and worked your tail off. Part of your paycheck was withheld for federal and (maybe) state income taxes. You are now back home and, according to US. tax law, you are required to file a US tax return. You're okay with that, because you've been told you might get a substantial refund. However, you don't know how, and you have heard not very good things about the major firms (based outside the United States) that offer this service. Other firms charge way too much. So what do you do?
Got You Covered
Our low cost J1 refund service focuses on individuals who are nonresidents of the United States for U.S. tax purposes (see explanation below), who made less than $50,000, and who have visited the United States to work as short-term J-1 visa holders. These individuals include the J-1 categories of:
- Au Pairs
- Camp Counselors
- International Visitors
- Short-term Scholars
- Summer Workers, and
If you are one of these individuals, we ask that you 1) again, made less than $50,000, 2) lived and worked in only one state while in the US, 3) were on a short-term assignment lasting less than one year, 4) have received, or have access to, your Form W-2 from your US employer (the form that tells you how much you made and how much tax was collected), 5) received only wage income (you could also receive bank interest, which is not taxable to a non-resident), and 6) have a U.S. bank account, or the willingness to apply for a prepaid Payoneer debit card (through us) that can be used anywhere in the world that MasterCard® is accepted. The last requirement allows us to have your refund deposited directly into your account, so you get your refund as quickly as possible.
When we focus on a specific group like yours, we can be much more efficient in the return preparation process, and in turn charge you much less that are regular clients. Here is our J1 Tax Refund Fee Schedule.
Who is a nonresident? You are, if you entered the United States as a J1 visa holder and have not been here longer than two calendar years. If you have been present in the US during more than two calendar years during the past seven years, you don’t qualify. Also, If you entered with a different visa status and converted to J1, it’s not going to work. See Your Residency Status to check if you are a nonresident.
You Can't Beat Our Terms
First, your federal and state tax returns will be prepared by us and posted in your private web portal for your review. Only after you have approved your returns for filing does our fee come into play.
- If your combined federal and state refund, as computed by us, is greater than our fee, and you have signed up for a Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard® through us, our fee will be deducted from your refund once it arrives in your account. There is no risk to you with this option, so even if you currently have a US bank account, this is an attractive choice.
- If you are using a US bank account other than Payoneer for direct deposit of your refund, we will invoice you for 50% of our fee before work begins. After successfully filing your return, we will charge you for the rest.
- If you have a tax liability, or your refund is too small to cover our fee, we will invoice you for 50% of our fee before work begins. After successfully filing your return, we will charge you for the rest. In this case, it’s not necessary for you to have a US based bank account or credit card for you to pay us. Most clients find Transferwise an easy way to pay. Your tax payment to the IRS can be made by a transfer of funds from your foreign bank account, but it could be costly. See Foreign Electronic Payments. The fees and links for other private payment options endorsed by the IRS are described on the IRS site at Pay Your Taxes by Debit or Credit Card.
If your refund does not arrive, or is less than we computed, or if your tax liability is more than we computed, we will contact the authorities to determine why. If the balance was adjusted to pay a previous tax liability, or for any other reason we could not have foreseen or prevented, we will bill you for any unpaid fee. If the tax is adjusted because of a mistake on our part, your tax preparation will be free. Yes, I actually said that: Your tax preparation will be free if we make a mistake.
You Can't Beat Electronic Filing and Direct Deposit
The fastest, most secure, and most reliable way to file a tax return with the IRS and states is through their electronic filing programs. Electronic filing has been required for resident individual tax returns for a number of years, but has not been available for Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ.
However, beginning in 2017, electronically filed nonresident returns were accepted by the IRS for the first time. This greatly simplifies the filing process for nonresidents, especially those living outside the United States. GW Carter, Ltd. is an Authorized E-file Provider, and our J1 Tax Refund program uses electronic filing whenever possible (there are restrictions for certain returns).
Rather than allowing you to suffer the delay, inconvenience, expense, and risk of mailing paper tax returns, we will zip them off to the tax agencies and you will receive filing confirmations within hours. All you need to do is digitally sign an authorization form, which will will send you online.
On occasion, a return will not qualify for e-filing. For example, if all of your income is treaty exempt, the IRS requires paper filing of Form 1040NR. Additionally, certain states currently do not allow e-filing when the federal return is Form 1040NR.
Whenever your federal or state return cannot be e-filed, we offer a convenient service to sign your return for you through a Power of Attorney form, and mail it via Priority Mail. This is all handled through digital signatures, and you receive tracking information when the return is filed. There is never anything for you to print, sign, scan and e-file.
Your Refund Through Direct Deposit
Our process requires you to receive your refund electronically through direct deposit into your bank account. It is necessary for you to have a US bank account or debit card that accepts direct deposits from the federal and state governments. Without an account that accepts direct deposits, your checks will be sent on a perilous journey through two or more government postal services – an odyssey from which they might never be seen nor heard from again.
Lost checks are common. A process that could take months through the mail takes only a few days through direct deposit. If you are reading this while still working in the US, be sure to open a bank checking account while you are here. This generally requires that you have a US address. Then, do not close the account when you leave, at least not until after you have received your tax refunds.
Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard®
If you do not have a US bank account, it can be very difficult to open one once you have returned to your home country. However, if you are in this situation, we have a solution. Through us you can apply for a Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard® to which your refunds can be directly deposited.
Once your Payoneer account is approved, you must receive the card by mail in order to use it. This process will take a few days, so it would be good to start early. Once you have your card and your refunds are loaded, you will be able to use the card to make purchases (online and in stores), transfer the balance to your local bank account, or withdraw funds at any ATM machine where MasterCard® is accepted. To learn more about the Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard®, visit the Payoneer Support Center.
You Can't Beat Our Service
We really want to build this service, so we'll do whatever it takes to gain your trust and confidence. We are Certified Public Accounts, bound to follow a strict code of professional ethics. We are very experienced and are very good at what we do. We have a super efficient approach, which keeps our fees low. So . . . what are you waiting for? Push the Let's Get Started button and and we'll take it from there!