J1 访问学者3年免税和 F1 留学生 $5,000 免税额的政策

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读者 Jenny 持H1-B签证来美国高校做博士后,听说自己是「非居民」不用交联邦税和州税,又听说「H1B前3年免联邦税和州税」。这是误解。她的情况前3年不用交联邦税,原因是中美之间对此有税务协议,和 RA/NRA 以及H1B没有关系。

中美之间1987年签订了协议 United States-the People's Republic of China Income Tax Convention,官方原文在这里。以下两条是留学生和访问学者享受税务减免的政策依据,适用于在美国的中国人,也适用于在中国的美国人。RA(Resident Alien)和NRA(Nonresident Alien)的定义和区别参见这里

教师、教授和高校研究人员3年内豁免联邦税

官方文件

ARTICLE 19
(Teachers, Professors and Researchers)

An individual who is, or immediately before visiting a Contracting State was, a resident of the other Contracting State and is temporarily present in the first-mentioned Contracting State for the primary purpose of teaching, giving lectures or conducting research at a university, college, school or other accredited educational institution or scientific research institution in the first mentioned Contracting State shall be exempt from tax in the first mentioned Contracting State for a period not exceeding three years in the aggregate in respect of remuneration for such teaching, lectures or research.

中国居民来美国的高校和科研机构从事教学、演讲、做研究,3年内的这部分收入无需缴纳联邦收入税。该文件的中文版本参见这里(当然若需引用的话还是用英文版本)。

访问学者一般是 J-1 身份,也有少数的 H-1B,如上面这位读者。关于在美国有工资收入的博士和博士后如何报税,参见这篇文章

“Three years in the aggregate” 如何计算

既然是“aggregate”,所以无需是连续的3年,若中途离开美国、回到中国、之后再次回来美国,仍然可以接着计算。参见 IRS 在这份文件里举的例子:Thus, for example, a resident of China who visits the United States to conduct research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for two years, 1986 and 1987, returns to China for a year, and then comes back for another year of research at NIH in 1989 would be exempt from tax on his NIH remuneration for each of the three years. However, if he stayed at NIH in 1990 or returned at a later time the exemption would no longer be available。

「年」的计算是从抵达美国之日起计算365天。最接近官方解释的是IRS 2014 年的一份备忘录,里面引用了 US-UK Tax Treaty 的先例,并举了一个例子,是这样计算的:

It is the purpose of [the exemption under Article 18 of the 1945 U.K. treaty] that such exemption shall cease at the end of 2 years from the date of [the individual’s] initial arrival in the United States. Thus, if [the individual] reaches the United States on July 1, 1945, he is exempt with respect to his remuneration earned in the United States up to June 30, 1947.

在这个例子里,美、英有类似的免税条款,但是只适用于2年(而不是3年),假设此人1945年7月1日抵达美国开始教学,他的免税期到1947年6月30日为止。中美条约虽然我没找到如此翔实的例子,但该备忘录既然参循先例,中美条约应该也是按照这种计算方式。

留学完成之后立刻留下来教书也可以算

上面提到的 2014 年备忘录,是关于中美 Treaty Article 19 是否适用于在美国留学之后留下来教学的人员,其意见认为,只要满足以下4个条件即可使用 Article 19:

  1. the individual is a resident of China for the year at issue or was a resident of China immediately before visiting the United States as a student or trainee;
  2. the individual is “temporarily present” (notwithstanding the fact that the individual was present in the United States in prior years solely for educational or training purposes) in the United
    States for the year at issue for the primary purpose of teaching, giving lectures, or conducting research;
  3. the individual's teaching, lecturing, or research activities take place at a university, college, school, or other accredited educational institution or scientific research institution in the United States; and
  4. the individual has not claimed benefits under Article 19 for more than three years in the aggregate.

只要满足上述条件(只是临时职位、之前没用过或没用完 Article 19),即使是留学毕业之后立刻留在美国教书,仍然可以使用 Article 19 免税。若以前已经用完了 Article 19 的36个月免税条款,今后就不能再用了;比如说:你 2000/07/01-2003/06/30 用 Article 19 享受了3年的免税期,回中国工作了几年,2006年再次来美国从事科研教学工作,就不能再享受3年的免税了。

留学生和培训生有5,000美元免税额度

ARTICLE 20
(Students and Trainees)

A student, business apprentice or trainee who is, or was immediately before visiting a Contracting State, a resident of the other Contracting State and who is present in the first- mentioned Contracting State solely for the purpose of his education, training or obtaining special technical experience shall be exempt from tax in that Contracting State with respect to:

  1. payments received from abroad for the purpose of his maintenance, education, study, research or training;
  2. grants or awards from a government, scientific, educational or other tax-exempt organization; and
  3. income from personal services performed in that Contracting State in an amount not in excess of 5,000 United States dollars or its equivalent in Chinese yuan for any taxable year.

The benefits provided under this Article shall extend only for such period of time as is reasonably necessary to complete the education or training.

中国居民来美国学习或接受培训,学费、奖学金等收入无需交税;其他个人收入享有5,000美元的免税额度。这里的 taxable year 是指 calendar year,而不是365天。留学生一般是 F-1 或 M-1 签证。

转换身份可能无法享受豁免

本站一位作者以F-2身份入境美国,后来转成F-1读书,用学校提供的软件报税时发现无法 claim 这一条 treaty。根据读者 Andy F 的查找,IRS 在2002年对此的解释如下:

Individuals who first enter the U.S. as an F-2 or H-4 are NOT eligible to claim the tax treaty benefit for students as they did not enter the U.S. for the purpose of being a student. The Treasury Dept is very specific about China in particular.

In general, persons who change immigration status from dependent to principal are not eligible for tax treaty benefits UNLESS the change to principal occurs within two months from the original arrival in the U.S. The IRS maintains that it is the PURPOSE for original arrival in the U.S. that determines treaty eligibility. Therefore, if someone changes purposes (goes from dependent to student, for example) they cannot benefit from tax treaty exemptions. AND, in the case of an F-2 who has been in the U.S. for a year or so, passes the TOEFL and goes home for the summer to apply for an F-1 visa and returns that fall, the IRS still says a resounding no to treaty benefits. This is because the NRA hasn't been physically residing in the treaty country for at least a year prior to their arrival as a student in the U.S. Officially, they're from "no country" for tax purposes, because they're an NRA in the U.S., but U.S. tax law also has them as a nonresident in the home country. (There are a few exceptions to this, but mostly for diplomats who are considered tax residents of their home country no matter where they live or how long they've been away from home.)

IRS 认为,他们使用其他签证入境,其目的不是来求学,因此不能享受此 treaty。

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有效期至美东时间2月18日 4:58 pm。

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有效期至美东时间2月19日 2:59 am。

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29 条评论

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  1. 关于第三点,转换身份有可能无法享受豁免,我周围也遇到过两个,一个是F2->F1,一个J1->F1,原因大概是因为转换身份之前F2和J1都在美国,学校的payroll在一个软件上弄了半天,结论是不能享受豁免。

    个人猜测,如果转换身份之前,比如F2,在国内待了一定的时间(比如一年),再以F1进入美国,可能就可以享受豁免了。

    Andy F. 2019-01-14 18:27:31 # 回复
    1. @ Andy F.: 最近在买买提考古,发现买买提真是个宝库,关于这个第三点转换身份的,2002年的时候买买提网友获得的IRS的通信,帖子链接我就不贴了,具体可以去税版精华区目录一下面几个帖子考古。我复制粘贴如下,

      " Individuals who first enter the U.S. as an F-2 or H-4 are NOT eligible to claim the tax treaty benefit for students as they did not enter the U.S. for the purpose of being a student. The Treasury Dept is very specific about China in particular. "

      " In general, persons who change immigration status from dependent to principal are not eligible for tax treaty benefits UNLESS the change to principal occurs within two months from the original arrival in the U.S. The IRS maintains that it is the PURPOSE for original arrival in the U.S. that determines treaty eligibility. Therefore, if someone changes purposes (goes from dependent to student, for example) they cannot benefit from tax treaty exemptions. AND, in the case of an F-2 who has been in the U.S. for a year or so, passes the TOEFL and goes home for the summer to apply for an F-1 visa and returns that fall, the IRS still says a resounding no to treaty benefits. This is because the NRA hasn't been physically residing in the treaty country for at least a year prior to their arrival as a student in the U.S. Officially, they're from "no country" for tax purposes, because they're an NRA in the U.S., but U.S. tax law also has them as a nonresident in the home country. (There are a few exceptions to this, but mostly for diplomats who are considered tax residents of their home country no matter where they live or how long they've been away from home.) "

      Andy F. 2019-02-05 16:01:47 # 回复
      1. @ Andy F.: 原来是这样。非常感谢!

        Derek Yang 2019-02-05 17:31:39 # 回复
  2. 那么请问这个个税法里说的有住所,是指在中国有房就算不住在中国也为居民个人,需要上报境外收入吗?还是说有住所指的是在中国居住?

    Mina 2018-09-08 03:03:42 # 回复
    1. @ Mina: 你是中国籍,就算没房子也算有住所,因为你有户口。

      Fan Zhao 2018-09-08 03:57:28 # 回复
      1. @ Fan Zhao: 那么请问这种情况,在中国没住满183天,也需要交个税吗?

        mina 2018-09-08 14:21:43 # 回复
        1. @ mina: 好老实的纳税人。很多人住在中国、连中国境内的收入都不报税,你在美国 F1、居然还打算向中国申报你在境外的收入。我厚着脸皮代表祖国为你点赞。

          Derek Yang 2018-09-09 04:34:24 # 回复
        2. @ mina: 不需要呀亲。

          Fan Zhao 2018-09-09 04:58:54 # 回复
  3. 您好,我在中国没待满183天,可是我在美国是F1前五年也算作non resident报税,这种情况下我在中国也可以算非居民个人吗?非常谢谢您

    Mina 2018-09-08 02:58:33 # 回复
  4. 您好 请问留学生在美国交了税了 还需要交中国的个人所得税吗?

    Mina 2018-09-07 14:42:37 # 回复
    1. @ Mina: 修正后的个税法
      第一条 在中国境内有住所,或者无住所而一个纳税年度内在中国境内居住累计满一百八十三天的个人,为居民个人。居民个人从中国境内和境外取得的所得,依照本法规定缴纳个人所得税。
      在中国境内无住所又不居住,或者无住所而一个纳税年度内在中国境内居住累计不满一百八十三天的个人,为非居民个人。非居民个人从中国境内取得的所得,依照本法规定缴纳个人所得税。
      纳税年度,自公历一月一日起至十二月三十一日止。
      -----------------------------------------
      你本纳税年度在中国境内居住满183天,则需要申报/缴纳中国的个人所得税;没满183天则不需要。

      Fan Zhao 2018-09-07 16:40:09 # 回复
  5. 您好,冒昧地想咨询一下,若来美第一年(J1 research scholar)是通过国内经费渠道,并不在美国有收入;第二年转成博后开始学校给工资。这样所谓的不交联邦税的3年是从第一年最初时就开始计算,还是从第二年中某月实际开始有美国收入开始计算?非常感谢!

    Sam 2018-09-02 04:52:21 # 回复
    1. @ Sam: 从第一年开始计算。

      Derek Yang 2018-09-02 21:02:11 # 回复
      1. @ Derek Yang: 十分感谢您!

        Sam 2018-09-17 16:19:30 # 回复
  6. 如果访问学者还在treaty免税期,买房后出租房子的收入为26000刀一年,按照现行税法超过了家庭24000刀的免税额,需要另外报联邦税吗?谢谢

    bat150 2018-06-21 18:55:55 # 回复
  7. 你好,我是H1b签证过来的博后,免的联邦税,包括FICA吗,之前已经签了免税申明,看了工资单上还是有这两项被扣了。

    boxx 2018-04-18 18:49:02 # 回复
    1. @ boxx: 问学校啊。多交的税来年报税可以退回。

      Fan Zhao 2018-04-18 19:30:25 # 回复
  8. 关于第三点的疑问:
    1. FICA有两年免税期,按照Calendar Year计算,这没问题;
    2. Income Tax Convention (1987) 第19条款里所指的 3 years 应该理解为入境起的36个月吧?
    参考:
    "在美不超过3年(从入境起实际在美的36个月)的J1访问学者、客座教授从事教学与科研的收入不必交联邦和部分州的所得税。"
    https://usstudent.com/read/guide/baoshuizhinan.html

    Zachary 2018-03-30 19:02:52 # 回复
    1. @ Zachary: 打开你提供的网页,映入眼帘这句话:「居民外国人(Resident Alien):拥有绿卡,或者通过实际拘留天数测试(Substantial Presence Test)。」
      你被拘留多久了?好歹也参考点靠谱的网站啊……

      Derek Yang 2018-03-30 19:42:55 # 回复
      1. @ Derek Yang: 第19条:"... for a period not exceeding three years in the aggregate ..." 累计三年。我们当然希望对自己有利哈。然而真的很难确定到底哪种说法才是对的呢。。。
        参考:
        http://www.chinatax.gov.cn/n810341/n810770/c1153055/part/1153056.pdf
        http://www.chinatax.gov.cn/n810341/n810765/n812156/n812499/c1187126/content.html
        http://www.mitbbs.com/article_t/TAX/31347877.html

        Zachary 2018-03-30 19:58:37 # 回复
      2. @ Derek Yang: 还有个更厉害的解释: "... Thus, for example, a resident of China who visits the United States to conduct research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for two years, 1986 and 1987, returns to China for a year, and then comes back for another year of research at NIH in 1989 would be exempt from tax on his NIH remuneration for each of the three years. However, if he stayed at NIH in 1990 or returned at a later time the exemption would no longer be available. ..."
        ARTICLE 19 in https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/chintech.pdf

        Zachary 2018-03-30 20:08:15 # 回复
      3. @ Derek Yang: 我挖到了宝贝...
        Example in Article 19...
        https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/chintech.pdf

        Zachary 2018-03-30 20:15:29 # 回复
        1. @ Zachary: 这个文件我以前看过,里面的例子只澄清了“in the aggregate”,即无需「连续」3年:1986-1987为第1、2年,1988年离开1年之后,1989年再回来还可以算第3年;这个例子并没有澄清「年」的计算。针对你提到的这份文件的这个例子,在这个网站上有人讨论,「专家」(不知道具体身份)的意见是:“Thus, for example, a resident of China who visits the United States to conduct research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for two years, 1986 and 1987, returns to China for a year, and then comes back for another year of research at NIH in 1989 would be exempt from tax on his NIH remuneration for each of the three years. However, if he stayed at NIH in 1990 or returned at a later time the exemption would no longer be available. Based on that example - we may think that you might be correct - and any part of a year is counted as a full year. But again - that is not clearly identified in any of these documents.”
          不过我有个好消息给你:IRS 2014 年的一份备忘录,关于中美 Treaty Article 19 是否适用于在美国留学之后留下来教学的人员,这份备忘录里引用了 US-UK Tax Treaty 的先例,里面举了一个例子,是这样计算的:

          It is the purpose of [the exemption under Article 18 of the 1945 U.K. treaty] that such exemption shall cease at the end of 2 years from the date of [the individual’s] initial arrival in the United States. Thus, if [the individual] reaches the United States on July 1, 1945, he is exempt with respect to his remuneration earned in the United States up to June 30, 1947. If he then leaves the United States on vacation but resumes his duties in the United States at the beginning of the school term in the fall of 1947, he is not exempt with respect to his remuneration earned thereafter. If, however, he leaves the United States for an entire year or more and then returns to the United States, it is the intendment of the article that he will then enter upon another exemption period of 2 years.

          在这个例子里,美、英有类似的免税条款,但是只适用于2年(而不是3年),假设此人1945年7月1日抵达美国开始教学,他的免税期到1947年6月30日为止。中美条约虽然我没找到如此翔实的例子,但按照该备忘录参寻先例的做法,应该有比较大的把握说也是按照这种计算方式。回头我修改一下文章。你若想100%放心,可以联系 IRS 问问,再来回复我。我因为不适用这些条款,所以没有动力去问,哈哈。

          Derek Yang 2018-03-30 21:37:36 # 回复
          1. @ Derek Yang: 非常感谢!

            Zachary 2018-04-01 03:18:10 # 回复
  9. 这第四点似乎是一个很灰色的地带. 我太太2016年12月来美访学, 办J1签证半年, 实际呆了两个月不到, 国内研究基金出钱. 2017年10月, 再次办J1签证一年, 去NIH, HR先把联邦税扣了, 说她此次来美国之前为中国居民不满一年, 不符合中美treaty. 然后2018年又要把她当作resident alien处理, 原因还不太明白.
    我在尝试2017年的退税能否要回来。您有何高见?

    lhrh98 2018-01-25 19:00:56 # 回复
    1. @ lhrh98

      1. Treaty 里似乎没提到1年的要求,不知他们是如何解读 “resident” 的定义,你可以问 HR 有没有官方的解释,或找一位会计师。
      2. 既然不是绿卡,只有满足实质居住测试才是税务居民,参见:美国报税如何判断自己是否可以免除「实质居住测试」
      Derek Yang 2018-01-26 13:49:21 # 回复
  10. F-2期间的stay也是不算入183 days substantial test for tax purpose,我记得IRS有一个ruling就明确指出来了

    Wilson 2017-12-21 09:33:30 # 回复
    1. @ Wilson: 持F/J/M/Q签证的留学生在美前5年,持J/Q签证的老师/教授/研究员在美前2年,都视为非居民NRA。参见这里: https://zaq.us/irs-residents/

      Derek Yang 2017-12-21 14:15:28 # 回复
  11. 5000免税哪里提交?

    小grace 2017-06-28 16:44:34 # 回复