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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2009, 09:23 PM
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Default F1-OPT-H1B Tax Filing

Hi,

How do I file my taxes when I was on an OPT for 9 months and 3 months on H1B?

Also,

8 Months of the OPT was in Cincinnati and 1 Month in Chicago.
3 Months of the H1B was in Chicago.

Can I use Turbo Tax to file my taxes or should I go to an accountant?

I got 2 w2 forms from my employer. 1 for the time I worked in Cincinnati and 1 for Chicago. I am not sure if they are 2 different w2 forms or just 1, because on 1 of the w2 forms it says "1 of 2 w2 form" and on the other it says "2 of 2 w2 form".

I am pretty confused, so if anyone was in a similar situation can please let me know what they did, that would be great.

Thanks,
Deejay
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2009, 11:17 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by deejay View Post
Hi,

How do I file my taxes when I was on an OPT for 9 months and 3 months on H1B?

Also,

8 Months of the OPT was in Cincinnati and 1 Month in Chicago.
3 Months of the H1B was in Chicago.

Can I use Turbo Tax to file my taxes or should I go to an accountant?

I got 2 w2 forms from my employer. 1 for the time I worked in Cincinnati and 1 for Chicago. I am not sure if they are 2 different w2 forms or just 1, because on 1 of the w2 forms it says "1 of 2 w2 form" and on the other it says "2 of 2 w2 form".

I am pretty confused, so if anyone was in a similar situation can please let me know what they did, that would be great.

Thanks,
Deejay
There is no difference in filing taxes when you were on OPT vs H1B (by this I mean there are no different forms). When you were on OPT, Social Security and Medicare should not have been with held from your paycheck. If it was, then you need to ask for refund of those taxes from the employer who with held that tax. As far as Cincinnati and Chicago are concerned, nothing special to do for Federal Income tax. However, for state income tax, you will have to file income tax for both Ohio and Illinois as part year resident.

Having said the above, it is your choice to go to a tax consultant or do it on your own or to use Turbo Tax. If you want 100% peace of mind, go to a good accountant. If you want to save money and you think you can handle things on your own, go through all the instructions on all the forms and file it on your own. If you want a little bit of both - you can use Turbo Tax or any other tax software to file your taxes. If you are single, don't own a home and you think yours is a straight forward case (no deductions for work related expenses, medical bills, etc) - you should pretty much be able to do it on your own.

All my initial filings were 1040 NR EZ and so I really did not need any help. In 2005, I got my tax done through IBSN (really horrible experience and I don't think I will ever go to them again) and have used that as template for next year (not much change in my details other that annual increase in salary). Nowadays I use Tax Act standard (standard version is free and also does a free eFile). I have found TaxAct to be really good (even better than IBSN - in that no money charged & spit out the same forms as IBSN preparers) but it asks too many questions which can at times be confusing (at such times I ask my friend google.com). Turbo tax might be a little bit more user friendly, but I suspect like Tax Act it will ask a lot of questions too (and it has user friendly wizards like Deduction Finder, Deduction Maximizer, etc - everything that Tax Act has too - but without any fancy names).
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2009, 11:13 AM
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Default exactly right, check for state tax

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_yaja View Post
There is no difference in filing taxes when you were on OPT vs H1B (by this I mean there are no different forms). When you were on OPT, Social Security and Medicare should not have been with held from your paycheck. If it was, then you need to ask for refund of those taxes from the employer who with held that tax. As far as Cincinnati and Chicago are concerned, nothing special to do for Federal Income tax. However, for state income tax, you will have to file income tax for both Ohio and Illinois as part year resident.

Having said the above, it is your choice to go to a tax consultant or do it on your own or to use Turbo Tax. If you want 100% peace of mind, go to a good accountant. If you want to save money and you think you can handle things on your own, go through all the instructions on all the forms and file it on your own. If you want a little bit of both - you can use Turbo Tax or any other tax software to file your taxes. If you are single, don't own a home and you think yours is a straight forward case (no deductions for work related expenses, medical bills, etc) - you should pretty much be able to do it on your own.
very well said about taxes for OPT/H1.

you should check on state taxes for chicago and cinci....
I have used HR block, and their services are pretty good.

Last year a friend of mine user HR block, he was in situation where he worked in a different state (OPT/H1) for few moths and then he moved to another state. Long story short, he got a letter from state he was living in earlier regarding state tax discrepency.
Surpringly H&R block came thru and did not charge for extra services, rather H&R paid $60 in late fee charges, citing reason that it was their mistake in the first place.

HTH
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2009, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by a_yaja View Post
There is no difference in filing taxes when you were on OPT vs H1B (by this I mean there are no different forms).
Aren't 1040, 1040 NR, 1040NR EZ different forms?

OP has to figure out whether he/she is a resident for tax purposes or not. Looking at the 9 months NR status and 3 month H status, it appears to me that the OP has Non Resident status. How ever, IRS publication will determine that correctly.

www.nrtaxreturn.com offers tax preparation for international scholars & students. The web based interview on nrtaxreturn does the residency test as well. At least it did 3 years ago when I helped out some one. AFAIK, Turbo tax does not offer Non Resident support.

The reason why OP got two W-2's is because his employer seems to know that FICA & MQFE should not be deducted from students on F1 status, unless they have been in the country for 5+ years.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2009, 01:20 AM
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h1b_holder is on a distinguished road
Default

can someone please give me some advices about this situation?

I'm in US since Aug 2006 with F1 visa (and F2 my spouse).
Nothing changed in 2007, and I didn't leave US at all.
Then in June 2008, my visa status changed to H1B (and H4 for spouse).
I am also receiving tuition waiver as employment benefits (I got the 1098T form for that).
Spouse does not have ITIN and never filed any returns in US. By the way, is there a problem I didn't request an ITIN for my spouse by now? should F2 always have an ITIN even if spouse has never had any income of any sort?
I have always filed 1040NR-EZ (for 2006 and 2007) but didn't claim spouse these 2 years (while on F2)

My question is whether I have substantial presence in US after 3 years or not, and which form should I file. How about spouse's (with no ITIN) tax forms? Thank you.

Last edited by h1b_holder; 03-16-2009 at 01:23 AM.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2009, 01:07 PM
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Default No

Dont use turbotax for ur taxes..?

use 1040-nr-ez...paper file it and get more...

if i am not mistaken.. you can claim rental expenses as deductions if u are on ur first year of H1(only the 1st year)...also since u moved from chi to cin.. you can also claim..job related relocation expense..blah blah..do if u do itemized decuations..u shoudl be able to get truckload of money..... so seek a desi tax guy..

just ask around..


Quote:
Originally Posted by deejay View Post
Hi,

How do I file my taxes when I was on an OPT for 9 months and 3 months on H1B?

Also,

8 Months of the OPT was in Cincinnati and 1 Month in Chicago.
3 Months of the H1B was in Chicago.

Can I use Turbo Tax to file my taxes or should I go to an accountant?

I got 2 w2 forms from my employer. 1 for the time I worked in Cincinnati and 1 for Chicago. I am not sure if they are 2 different w2 forms or just 1, because on 1 of the w2 forms it says "1 of 2 w2 form" and on the other it says "2 of 2 w2 form".

I am pretty confused, so if anyone was in a similar situation can please let me know what they did, that would be great.

Thanks,
Deejay
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2009, 02:26 PM
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You can use the services of some CPA since you have so many changes in status and deductions to claim plus filing of ITIN for your wife. When I changed status from F1- H1 I used the CPA since I was not sure if I would be able to do it right. Better to go to an experienced CPA rather than H&R block kind of people. PM me if you want details of the guy I use.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2009, 03:13 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by h1b_holder View Post
can someone please give me some advices about this situation?

I'm in US since Aug 2006 with F1 visa (and F2 my spouse).
Nothing changed in 2007, and I didn't leave US at all.
Then in June 2008, my visa status changed to H1B (and H4 for spouse).
I am also receiving tuition waiver as employment benefits (I got the 1098T form for that).
Spouse does not have ITIN and never filed any returns in US. By the way, is there a problem I didn't request an ITIN for my spouse by now? should F2 always have an ITIN even if spouse has never had any income of any sort?
I have always filed 1040NR-EZ (for 2006 and 2007) but didn't claim spouse these 2 years (while on F2)

My question is whether I have substantial presence in US after 3 years or not, and which form should I file. How about spouse's (with no ITIN) tax forms? Thank you.
You are "dual status alien" for the purpose of tax filing. I came across same thing when I switched from F1 to H1.
This is one situation, where you ideally "have to Itemized" (and this is true for India and it depends on Treaty with every country, it is different for lot of coutries).
My sincere advise, just go to H and R block and get it done (this was the only year when I had my taxes done through H and R block). From the next year you will be "resident alien" and should be able to file using turbotax by yourself.
Good Luck.
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