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taxmanrog
taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Licensed CPA, MA, MST with 29 year's experience. Teach Accounting and Tax courses at Masters level.
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You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who

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You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States under an “F,”“J,”“M,” or “Q” visa, and you have no income that is subject to tax under section 871 (that is that is, the income items listed on page 1 of Form 1040NR, lines 8 through 21, and on page 4, Schedule NEC, lines 1.

I read this in the exception section of the 1040 nr form what does this mean? My wages were not taxable under treaty I was on F-1 do I fall in this category?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answers! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you! I will do my best to help!

 

The section of the instructions you are referring to tells the reader who is not required to file a Form 1040-NR. If you do not have the types of income, or any "effectively connected income" you are not required to file a tax return.

 

In the United States, the F Visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States. F-1 students must maintain a full course of study. Except for on-campus employment of 20 hours a week or less, F-1 students are generally not permitted to work in the U.S. without prior authorization

 

Since you are not allowed to work, you do not have any of the income that would subject you to the filing requirements of Form 1040-NR.

 

I hope this answers your question! If you have any more, please feel free to ask! If you have found my answer helpful, please rate me highly. I would appreciate it!

 

Again, thanks! Have a great weekend!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I had income from working on campus but it was not taxable since my country had a treaty with the US and I was on F-1 visa on that time so does this apply to me that I didn't have to file this form since my wages were exempted from taxes?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

You are correct. As I said, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week on campus. The income is not taxable. The only reason you would file is if they withheld any US income tax on it (look at Box 2 of the Form W-2). If there is no withholding, there is no tax liability and no filing requirement.

 

Let me know if you have any more questions. And good luck with your studies!

 

Thanks again! Have a great weekend!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That makes sense but why does it say in the instructions for form 1040NR at places no matter what even if you had treaty you have to file? This is what's confusing me because in the exceptions section it says if you have any income that is not taxable you don't have to file this form. Aren't these negating statements?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

The instructions are made to cover as large an audience as possible, and to address as many situations as possible with as little effort as they can. In your case, the facts that allow you to not file are your F-1 visa.

 

There are other situations where one might be required for tax. For example, if someone were here on an H-1 visa (which allows them to work), and they were here for 2 months, they normally would be taxable on their income. However, if the treaty said they would not be taxable for the first six months of work in the US, they would still be required to file a Form 1040-NR to report the income, then they would have to claim the benefits under the tax treaty stating that they were exempt. So, even though the work is exempt, in this case a return would still be required. In your case, the F-1 states that you are not taxable.

 

Just for my own information, what is your treaty country? And how much income did you earn? Was there any withholding on it?

 

 

I hope this answers your questions! If you have any more, please let me know.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Pakistan and now I have a green card I was a student for 5 years didn't file the max I ever made was $2200 in a year.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So just wanted to make sure didn't break the law
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

No, you were not breaking the law. Your F-1 visa status protects you. Even if it dis not, your income level does. A nonresident alien (which you are with your F-1 visa) is allowed a personal exemption. This exemption has been over $3,000 for many years. So, even if you did not have your visa, your low level of income, since it is less than the personal exemption, would allow you not to file.

 

Congratulations on your green card! You realize that now, as a resident alien, you are subject to taxation on your world-wide income. You are treated for tax purposes the same as any American citizen.

 

I hope this answers your questions! If you have any more, please let me know!

 

Again, thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So I came across this Filing IS required by nonresident alien students who have any of the following:
A taxable scholarship or fellowship (described in Chapter 1 of IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education)
Income that is partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treaty
Any other income which is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code

So now that again puts me in confusion since my income was exempted from tax due to the treaty any comments on this?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

You did not mention that you had any scholarships or fellowships. You said that you worked at the college and made under $2,200 per year. This situation DOES NOT require you to file a Form 1040NR.

 

If you receive a scholarship or fellowship grant, all or part of the amounts you receive may be tax-free.

Qualified scholarship and fellowship grants are treated as tax-free amounts if the following conditions are met:

 

  • 1) You are a candidate for a degree at an educational institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities; and

 

  • 2) Amounts you receive as a scholarship or fellowship grant are used for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.

 

 

You must include in gross income amounts used for incidental expenses, such as room and board, travel, and optional equipment, and generally amounts received as payments for teaching, research, or other services required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant. Also you must include in income any part of the scholarship or fellowship that represents payments for services.

 

So, if the scholarships and grants you received were used for tuition, books, fees, etc., you do not have to include them as income. The only taxable portion is that which was used for incidental expenses, as in the paragraph above.

 

I hope this answers your questions! If you have more, please let me know!

 

Again, thanks! Have a great weekend!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My Tution was paid for automatically I didn't see the money I was an RA so things were automatically paid for with that. So is that taxable? And secondly I was referring to the second point which says about income that is partially or totally exempt from treaties? Since my money was exempted due to a treaty so should I have filed?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

If the tuition was paid for by scholarships, the treaty does not have any effect, as scholarships are already tax exempt. The only time the treaty would apply was if you received stipends, or other TAXABLE income that the treaty made tax-free.

 

So, if you received scholarships, don't worry about it! You would know if you got a taxable scholarship - you would have received a Form W-2 showing Federal wages, with no Social Security or Medicare wages, for the amount of the taxable scholarships, which I am sure would be more than the $2,200 you received!

 

I hope this answers your questions! Let me know if you have more!

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was an Resident assistant in grad school and the income I recieved the last 2 years was stipend there was only 1 W-2 I had that held $32 in taxes and showed wages as $0 others showed income and no withheld tax but at that time I was working for the dining services so I guess I should've filed the W-2 that had tax withheld since it was stipend money?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

If the amount that the university or college reported on the Form W-2 was less than the personal exemption, so under roughly $3500, you still DO NOT have to file, as you have earned less than the personal exemption. The university should be making the determination if the amount is taxable or not. If it is taxable, they have to report it on the Form W-2. IF not, they do not report it. So, if your Form W-2 amount is small, either the amount that you received, or the amount that they determined as taxable, is the small amount on the Form W-2.

 

You stated that the highest you ever received was $2,200. As this is under the personal exemption. Therefore you do not have to file.

 

I hope this answers your question! If you have more, please let me know. I probably won't be answering until tomorrow, as I am about to go to bed.

 

Thanks again!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for all your help I appreciate it. One last question what is form 8833? And after signing the treaty do I have to file that? Cause I'm just confused about that wasn't ever told had to file anything like that. And secondly there was never tax deducted from my paycheck I guess that was because of the treaty so keeping that in mind since all income has to be reported under treaty do I still don't have to report since it was below $3700?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

The Form 8833 is a form on which you claim treaty benefits. However, before the form is filed, there has to be a filing requirement. Since your income was below the exemption amount, you don't have to worry about that Form - you do not have to file in the first place!

 

And yes, I believe that there was no withholding on your income because the university knew how much you would be making, and that the amount would not generate any tax liability, so no withholding requirement.

 

I hope this helps! If you have more questions, please let me know.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I appreciate it Roger... I forgot to tell you in 2011 when I started grad school I was a graduate resident assistant in the dorms. The job counts as 20 hours a week and it automatically covers tuition and room and board. It is like a graduate assistantship. Now would that tuition that they paid be taxable? Or is it still exempt from taxes. I don't have my form 1042S so I'm not sure do you know if that's taxable?

Thanks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
One thing more I was required to teach a class for the fall of 2011 as a Graduate Residnent Assistant
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

I have done a bit of checking, and the IRS actually exempts the value of room and board for RAs. You received your $2,000 or so of income for being an RA. Since an RA has to live in the dorm, it is a nontaxable working condition fringe benefit. The meals are to allow you to eat on campus while living there in your RA position.

 

Additionally, requiring you to teach a class does not affect the taxability of your tuition. It is actually in furtherance of your education, so it is not taxable.

 

So, in answer to your question, your room and board is not taxable. I already told you that amounts received to pay for education/tuition costs are not taxable. So you have nothing to worry about! You have no tax liability, and no tax filing requirement.

 

I hope this answers your questions!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That sounds good so if I'm understanding correctly eventhough if my tuition waiver was because of me being a resident assistant which is a perk of the job it's tax free? I just want to add that you've been immensely helpful
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

Yes, under the Tax Code, your room and board are what they call a "working condition fringe benefit" and as such, are tax free to you. Tuition that is waived is qualified scholarship, and is also tax free.

 

It has been my goal to provide accurate, clear easy to understand service. Thank you for finding me helpful!

 

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So eventhough tuition waiver is because of performing Graduate Resident Assistant duty it's tax free?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Cause I was reading and it says for graduate assistants the only amount excludable is $5250 after that it's taxable..
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

The $5,250 is an amount that employers can give employees as tax free for further education. Also, any amount for tuition for classes that are related to the employee's job are not counted towards this limitation.

 

There are other exceptions that apply as well. The first one is, as I said, awarding you a qualified scholarship. Any qualified scholarships are tax free, regardless of the amount, as long as they cover qualified tuition and fees.

 

Additionally, there are other exceptions - the "no additional cost" fringe benefit allows employers to provide a benefit as long as there is no additional cost. This is one reason that airline employees fly for free, tax free. The airline spends the same amount to fly the plane whether there is an empty seat in it, or if an airline employee sits in that seat. For you, the school still offers the class, still pays the instructor, so there is no additional cost to have you in the class.

 

So as I stated all along, there is nothing to worry about for your tuition, fees, or room and board.

 

I hope this helps! If you have more questions, please ask. I am heading out for a while to take my son to football. His team is in the playoffs (8th grade). But I will be back later.

 

Again, thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks Roger I appreciate it good luck to your son and his team, hopefully they'll win.... Have a wonderful time out there
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

Again, thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So I was reading this under WV tax law does this apply to me by any chance Q: I have a room and board scholarship; should I receive a Form 1042-S?A: Yes, if you are a nonresident alien, your room and board which is a taxable scholarship should be subject to 14% withholding (30% if your immigration status is other than F, J, M, or Q) and reported on Form 1042-S under Income Code 15. If you were exempt under the terms of a tax treaty, no tax would have been withheld but you should still receive a 1042-S. And one more thing I would like to add is on my 2011 W-2 form the wages section shows $0 but there's $32 withholding tax any idea why that may be the case? Thanks once again hope your son did well
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

With all your reading in Taxation, you must be working towards your Masters in Taxation!

 

The passage you are referring to is from WVU's FAQ for International Students/Employees - Income Tax questions. This FAQ, like the IRS instructions, are written as simply as possible to cover as many situations as possible. Your situation, in which you 1) received a tax-free scholarship, and 2) you worked as an RA for your room & board, and 3) you earned less than the personal exemption, which allowed you to NOT have to file a tax return, is complex enough that no general FAQ would address all those situations. You did not receive a taxable scholarship, which is what code 15 refers to. Additionally, your room and board are NOT a scholarship. They are a working condition fringe benefit for your RA job, and are therefore not taxable and not reportable. This is different from the FAQ, which addresses aliens who receive a "room and board scholarship". You did not receive a scholarship, you had a job.

 

I am not sure why they withheld $32. But it probably is not worth following up on, it would cost more than $32 to get a CPA involved to look at it!

 

My son lost his game, so they are done for the season. They finished tied for 3rd in the league, but lost the tie-breaker by a point, so ended up #4 overall out of 18 teams. This was the playoffs, and they lost to the #1 team.

 

I hope this answers your question! If you have more, please let me know.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you Roger I really appreciate it... One more thing in the instructions for 1040 NR form I read thisWho Must File File Form 1040NR if any of the following four conditions apply to you c.Your income is exempt from U.S. tax under a tax treaty or any section of the Internal Revenue Code. And under the exemptions this is one of the conditions This is one of the conditions... You have no other need to file a return to claim a refund of overwithheld taxes, to satisfy additional withholding at source, or to claim income exempt or partly exempt by treaty; Students, teachers, and researchers. Amounts paid to foreign students, trainees, teachers, or researchers as scholarship or fellowship income, and compensation for personal services (whether or not exempt from tax under an income tax treaty), must be reported, this is the condition for form 1042S now I think I should have filed this am I correct ? Now this all is confusing since it seems like no matter what if your an international student you have to file taxes.... now when I was working for dining services from 2007-2010 and later as an RA they never deducted income tax from my pay I believe that was because of the treaty between my country and the US so how does this affect me than since no tax was deducted due to the treaty for individual pay checks and what about form 8843. I'm just paranoid cause this year is the first time I have filed and I don't want the IRS to come back and say why I haven't filed taxes for previous years when I received form 1042 S and all.... It's been a hectic week or 2..That's great they finished 4th that's great achievement hopefully they'll go all the way next year.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So I spoke to the tax services department at West Virginia university since I was a student there... The funny thing is the reason why I don't have any income showing on my 2007 and 2011 form is cause it was reported on form 1042S and for years 2008,09,10 and 12 it shows wages since apparently I had to go and sign the treaty every year. Apparently they only have my form 1042S for 2007 and 2011 as for the rest I was told I never signed the treaty and they don't have records of those forms. I'm kinda confused cause I remember I never had any tax deducted from my pay during those years as well.
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.
They would not have deducted tax from your pay because your earnings are so low. Did they say they sent you a Form 1042-S for EACH year? Or did they only send them in 2007 and 2011?

Sometimes filing a tax return even when one is not required is a smart thing to do. While you may not have HAD to file one, if you do file one it starts the Statute of Limitations running, so the IRS can only come back for 3 years to assess additional tax. If you never file, the statute never starts running. I have prepared tax returns for children of taxpayers. These children often earn less than the standard deduction, and owe no tax. However, by filing, the IRS can't come back later and try to collect again.

So check and let me know if you did receive any Forms 1042-S during the missing years. You can call the IRS yourself, and they can tell you if you have received them. It is called an account income transcript. If you want to call, the number is XXXXX Call from a speaker phone, so you can work or do something while you sit on hold for an hour or more waiting for your turn in the que.

Let me know what you find you.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They told me they don't have those forms because there was no treaty for those years so nothing was reported. Apparently I never signed the treaty for 2008,09 and 10. Still the strange thing is no tax was deducted from my individual cheques. The lady on the phone told me I didn't make enough for the tax tables to kick in most probably. As for the 1042S they only have them for 2007 and 2011 not even 2012. I did file taxes for 2012 already does that mean IRS can only audit back to 3 years or have 3 years to audit everything.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So now since there was no treaty do I still have to file those 2008,9&10 taxes or I can still be exempt since I was a F-1 student?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.
Each year has its own statute of limitations. If you already filed 2012, they only have three years to audit you.

As far as the prior years, the IRS gets its information for assessing tax from the annual information return forms that the payers send it. So if the University never sent the Form 1042-S to the IRS, the IRS will not have any information on you in it's computers. It will not have anything to "match" to a return. So even if you never filed a return, the IRS will not be able to match it to anything. So I would not worry!
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I understand but they did send form 1042S for 2007 and 2011 so the IRS would have those wouldn't they? Can't they track those?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.
Do you have the 2007 and 2011 Forms with you? Can you upload them to the website?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Nope don't have the forms but I called and found out in 2007 the gross income was $2664 and in 2011 it was $1400 that's why no wages showed on the W-2 form cause they were adjusted already. So the question I really have is should I file for 2007 & 2011 since I was never issued forms for 2008,9 or 10 and my income was below the personal exemption amount shouldn't I be fine for that cause the tax department told me there was no treaty and the reason why no tax was withheld was because the tax table never kicked in cause the income was so low
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.
With income that low, it is below the personal exemption. There still would be no tax liability. You don't need the treaty to get this status. So I don't think that you are required to file.

Thanks! Have a great week! Today looks like the last good day for a while. Tonight it drops down below freezing, tomorrow we get rain mixed with snow, then cold for the rest of the week.

Roger
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Are you located in WV? cause I live in Texas now moved here last year and got married few months back.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Roger,I was reviewing my 1098T form and I'm confused it says that my tuition waiver is a qualified education expense and room and board is a non qualified eduction expense. What does this mean I'm confused now do I have to file that as taxable income or how does that work this is really stressful and confusing. I want to add I did call my friend back in school and he told me that they taxed him for it this year so that is really confusing and once again thanks for your help Roger
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

The Form 1098-T has nothing to do with the Form 1042-S. They are unrelated. The 1042-S is income, the 1098-T is for educational tax credits. You could be a US citizen, and have your employer pay for your education (Which would be taxable and put in your Form W-2) and still get a Form 1098-T and be able to take a tax credit for the education expense.

 

As I said, your RA position is what enables you to get the room and board for free. This is under the Internal Revenue Code, and NOT through any tax treaty. This is the same for you as it is for a US citizen. So stop worrying! It is a nontaxable fringe benefit under Internal Revenue Code §119.

 

IRC §119(a) - Meals and lodging furnished to employee, his spouse, and his dependents, pursuant to employment

 

There shall be excluded from gross income of an employee the value of any meals or lodging furnished to him, his spouse, or any of his dependents by or on behalf of his employer for the convenience of the employer, but only if-

 

(1) in the case of meals, the meals are furnished on the business premises of the employer, or

 

(2) in the case of lodging, the employee is required to accept such lodging on the business premises of his employer as a condition of his employment.

 

In English, this code section basically states that if your employer provides you with free housing, you can exclude the housing value from your gross income if your employer satisfies certain requirements. The lodging must always be on the employer's premises, acceptance of the on-site housing is a condition of your employment and there must be a business reason for providing the lodging, which means the housing is solely for the convenience of your employer and not yours. In your case, you are living in the dorms (your employer's premises), you have to live there as a condition of employment (how can you be an RA and not live on the floor?) and the housing is for the employer's benefit (having you as an RA helps your employer maintain the dorm safety/living environment). Yoru meals are in the cafeteria (your employer's).

 

So the value of your room and board are NOT income to you, regardless of you are a resident alien or a nonresident alien or a US citizen.

 

So stop worrying! You are fine!

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks Roger that does make sense but I didnt understand you reference to the 1042S form ? How does that relate in this situation ?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

The Form 1042-S is the form that, had the income been taxable, it would have been reported on.

 

Thanks again!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Gotcha and the school would have issued me this form if it was taxable right? Since they did for 2 years when I had the treaty ?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.

You are correct! The school would have sent you one if it was required.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you very much Roger I appreciate your assistance and patience with me...
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 11 months ago.
No problem! I would appreciate it if you could rate me. That is how the question is closed out.

IT was a pleasure working with you! If you ever have any more tax questions, you can ask for me by putting "This is for Taxmanrog" or "This is for Roger" in the first line. Most of the experts will respect this. If one does not, just tell him or her that you want me.

Thanks again!! Have a great week!

Roger
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you Roger for the info last night my whole point was in my 1098T form issued the housing and board showed as a non qualified education expense. So that's why I was worried that since they have classified it like that if I'm required to include that as a taxable income, so even though it showed as a non qualified expense under IRS rules I'm not supposed to include it as income right? And secondly if that's the case why do you think they have started taxing it from this year my friend who is an RA still in school back in WV says they deducted $800 tax and put it on his student account .
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
You have to look at what the purpose of the Forms is for. The 1098-T is for claiming a credit against your US income tax. It is strictly for qualified education expenses. Some people were just taking the total amounts of the checks they paid to the various universities, and taking this amount to calculate the credit. Since these people were also paying room and board (which is NOT allowed when calculating the credit) the IRS wanted to make sure that they just took the correct amounts for the credit, that they did not take room and board as qualified expenses, when they are not. It is just to clarify the amounts, and also to allow the IRS to have something to check against for people who claim the credits. Since you don't have any tax liability, and won't be filing a tax return, you do not have this issue.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Roger did you watch the Giants and Vikings game by any chance?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
A bit of it. I am originally from Wisconsin, and am a Packer fan, shareholder and season ticket holder. I have been a GB fan since I was a kid. My mom has a picture of me when I am 6 years old with the great Ray Nitchke! So, as a GB fan, I am concerned with the Vikings and how they play. I watched part of the game last night. Not a very good game for MNF! I am waiting for a week from next Monday, when my Packers play the Bears on MNF! But for Minnesota, it is kind of hard to win when you cough up the ball 7 times! The Vikings are now 1-5? The division is going to be a fight between the Packers and the Bears, I think. With Jay Cutler, Lance Briggs,Martellus XXXXX, XXXXX Tillman and DJ Washington out and Major Wright and Julius Peppers playing injured for the Bears, and XXXXX XXXXX, XXXXX Starks, XXXXX XXXXX, Clay Matthews, XXXXX XXXXX and Jermichal Finley all out for Green Bay, it is going to be a battle of who can get well faster!

Are you a Dallas fan since you live in Texas? Or Houston?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm actually a Steelers fan since I went to college in WV my wife is a die hard Texans fan since she's from Houston. I like the packers I'm a big fan of XXXXX XXXXX, He's a fantastic QB.
So Roger lastly even if my scholarship amount exceeds the amount used for qualified expenses. Which is even if my Box 5 is greater then Box 1 on the 1098T since I was paid the extra for room and board as an RA the greater amount should not count towards my tax liability right?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
And one more thing I was reading I know you answered me this before but for my knowledge it says if you're compensated for your services that amount is taxable for tuition purposes. Lets look at my example I get a tuition waiver for being a Graduate Resident Assistant which means they compensate me for my services as GA by paying my tuition and all so wouldn't that count towards the $5250 threshold since I've been reading and it says that if you're a GA you are being paid that for your services and that is taxable. The only time it's exempt is if no services are required of you. Thanks once again
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
No this does not mean automatically that your tuition is taxable. Since they are also including the amount in Box 5 (you said Box 5 was more than Box 1) they are considering it a scholarship, not earnings. Additionally, as a GA, any courses that you take that are related to your work are not taxable. As a GA, almost any class you take could help you in your work, since you are expected to assist students who live on your floor. So there are a couple reasons why it is not taxable income to you.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was a petroleum engineering major does that still justify? And secondly like I mentioned the tuition waiver is a part of the job they send the waiver request to the appropriate departments and that's how that works? They haven't reported anything on my W-2 as wages is that my responsibility to tell them they were supposed to and I'm just a little confused how does my thing qualify as non taxable since it's a GA position and I was an engineering major not that I'm complaining but want to make sure was I supposed to report anything in my Tax return, if it's not reported on my W-2 as wages would the IRS computer still find it to be a discrepancy and that it was supposed to be reported? I don't think I've very been this stressed in my life
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
It still justifies. You are not the tax expert, there is no responsibility or requirement that you tell the University how to file your W-2 or 1042-S. They have large tax departments and payroll departments that are set up to handle these matters. The fact that they reported you as they did means that their tax people determined the numbers and the filing. You don't have to worry, and you don't have to question their numbers.

The IRS is all about matching information. They did not file a 1042-S, so the IRS is not looking for you. If you go ahead and file anyway, they will have nothing to match. You are supposed to report based on what the University provides to you and the IRS. As I have stated earlier, you did it correctly, and based on what you have told me, the University has taken a position that is in line with the Tax Code, so, you have nothing to worry about!

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That sounds good so regarding 1042S is every non resident supposed to get the form or only supposed to get it when you have a treaty signed?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
You are only supposed to get it in certain circumstances, namely when the payer (in your case, the University) deems that it is required to be sent.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Roger do you think I would've gotten a form 1099 for any of this cause I'm not sure ill call the tax office and find out but what's reported on 1099?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.

No, none of this would be reported on a Form 1099. Non employee compensation is reported on a Form 1099, and you were an employee.

 

Stop second guessing the tax department at the University. They sent you the forms that you needed. You are not required to file, and you have no income that they did not report. They would have sent you a Form 1042-S if you did. They are experienced and do it for a living, so rest peacefully knowing that they did there job and you have no income to report.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Roger,Thanks for the info yesterday so I did a little calling around at school turns out the tuition waiver is approved by the department we are under for my case would be the petroleum engineering dept. does that change the picture by any chance? Cause what the residential education do is they get the department to approve the waiver so basically the waiver is coming from the department of engineering
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
No, this would not change my answer. The University feels that you taking classes in and of itself is related to your RA job. As this was approved by the university, I would rely on their tax department to do the right decision when they decided you were not to receive a Form 1042-S. I would leave it at that. You have been very diligent in your attempts to get clarification, including contacting this website, so the fact that the university and I both reached the same conclusion - that you do not have to file and had no taxable income - you should be able to rest easy with that decision.

Good luck in your career! Solve the world's energy crisis!

Thanks again!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Lol!!! I will work on that Roger for my info purpose what is a form 1042? Not 1042s but 1042 am I supposed to get one ?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
No, there is no Form 1042. It is 1042-S, although some people leave off the "S" because they are in a hurry. They are referring to the same Form. Again, if the university's tax department felt you needed one, they would have sent you one. So, don't worry!

Thanks again!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Roger here's a link to the form 1042 http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1042.pdf
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I saw this yesterday and wanted to ask you what this was?
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.

This is part of the Form 1042-S. The Form 1042-S reports the tax to the individual people. The Form 1042 is just the transmittal to the IRS, showing when taxes were withheld (if at all) and the amounts, as well as the total amount of income paid and the number of Form 1042-S that were filed. This is simply the form that the payer sends to the IRS. This is NOT a form that any individual would receive. It is only for the IRS.

I hope this answers your question!

Roger

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Roger please explain me this exception rule as this confuses meForm 1040NR if: 1.Your only U.S. trade or business was the performance of personal services; and a.Your wages were less than $3,800; and b.You have no other need to file a return to claim a refund of overwithheld taxes, to satisfy additional withholding at source, or to claim income exempt or partly exempt by treaty; or 2.You were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States under an “F,”“J,”“M,” or “Q” visa, and you have no income that is subject to tax under section 871 (that is, the income items listed on page 1 of Form 1040NR, lines 8 through 21, and on page 4, Schedule NEC, lines 1 through 12).What does this really mean it looks like F-1 is treated as a special non-resident case the first part talks about personal services what does that mean? And secondly the second part talks about you have no income that is subject to tax look at the items on form 1040nr. I mean I still had wages but no tax was withheld Does this mean I have to file since I did have wages and I remember you telling me about the personal exemption rule I read thisHowever, if your only U.S. source income is wages in an amount less than the personal exemption amount (see Publication 501), you are not required to file.NOTE: If you were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States on an "F,""J,""M," or "Q" visa, you are considered engaged in a trade or business in the United States. You must file Form 1040NR (or Form 1040NR-EZ) only if you have income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc. Refer to Foreign Students and Scholars for more information.This line is right below that exemption I mean what's really going on they say one thing and say the other the next line. Are F-1 students treated specially for even non resident purposes?I just want to know this for my personal knowledge thanks Roger
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.

Hi! Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I have been without Internet for the past couple days at home, and we had some issues with my wife. I don't know if I told you, she has stage 4 kidney cancer, so it makes scheduling things like time online here difficult at times. Then, Comcast disconnected my internet while hooking up a neighbor, and it took DAYS to get a technician out to the house. Gotta love Comcast and their lack of technical service!


You are looking at the exceptions that allow people not to have to file a Form 1040-NR. There are actually two exceptions for filing Form 1040NR, and you meet the first one - it says that if your only source of income was from the performance of services, and your wages were under $3,800 (yours were) and you have no need to file a return to get a refund for any taxes withheld (you had no taxes withheld) then you don't have to file. You do not meet the exception under #2, which says that if you were a student on an F-1 visa and you have no income (wages, dividends, interest, capital gains, self-employment income, etc) you do not have to file. You do have wages. However, they are under $3,800, so that brings you back to the first exception.

 

You have stated the rule in your own question - "If you were a nonresident alien student, teacher, or trainee who was temporarily present in the United States on an "F,""J,""M," or "Q" visa, you are considered engaged in a trade or business in the United States. You must file Form 1040NR (or Form 1040NR-EZ) only if you have income that is subject to tax, such as wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, etc." I added the emphasis on the important words. You do not have income subject to tax, as Exception #1 applies - your income subject to tax is under $3,800.

 

I hope this allows you to rest easier! I also hope you had a great weekend! I hope you have a great week coming up!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Roger thank you so much for explaining me this, I really appreciate it. I'm really sorry to hear about your wife I hope and pray she gets better soon and feels better. I wish you and your family all the best. Hope you have a wonderful week and once again I can't emphasize enough on how much I appreciate all your assistance, thank you very much Roger.
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.

No problem! It has been a pleasure working with you. And the prayers are appreciated! We take one day at a time. Today is not too bad, she slept most of the day, and is at chemo now. My son is asleep, the Packers won, life is not too chaotic at the moment!

 

Thanks again!

 

Roger

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Roger I hope you're doing fine and you're wife is feeling better now. Roger I remember you told me about the RA benefits being tax free well my school is counting that as gift aid on my 1098T and sAys it might be taxable. And also I found this online http://www.swarthmore.edu/admissions-and-aid/financial-aid-and-cost-information/current-students/resident-assistants.xml this school is saying that these benefits are taxed as well. I'm a little worried since my waived was credited straight to my account as well is this taxed will I receive a cp2000 for under reporting income? I'm extremely worried and tense about this Roger I would appreciate your assistance. Thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
And another thing shouldn't the law be consistently followed by all schools? If the IRS has an exemption for that shouldn't all schools abide by that and not consider this taxable? I'm extremely confused and my school has really left me bamboozled
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.

A CP-2000 notice would only be generated if the school reported something on a tax form (usually a W-2 or a 1099) that you did not report on your tax return. In your case, there was no reporting to the IRS, so there will be nothing for the CP-2000 to match.

Furthermore, here is an exempt that I found from a private letter ruling. This is the IRS' position on room and board being taxable to Resident Assistants.

"Per Internal Revenue Code Section 119, reduced or free room and board for employees may be considered excludable from income in situations where the benefit is provided as a convenience to the employer and when it is provided on the employer’s premises. In addition, acceptance of the employer provided lodging must be required as a condition of employment."

So again, I would not worry about what Swarthmore College says. They are not the Internal Revenue Code. They are, frankly, incorrect. I am going to send them a letter stating so.

 

I just called Swarthmore. If you read that quote, it says they receive a check for $2800 and $4700 is credited to their account and is non-taxable. The $4700 is the cost of the room and board. They treat it as non-taxable. In ADDITION to the room and board, they are paid $2800 in cash. The CASH is what is taxable, just as the university you went to reported some cash that you did receive. So things ARE consistent across the universities.

You need to look at what the law says. The law says that for a RA, room and board are NOT taxable. So stop worrying!

Thanks for asking about my wife. She is still fighting. We are supposed to go to the oncologist later this afternoon to see what the next step. I have been saying prayers all day!

Good luck! Have a great week!

Roger

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They did report the 1098T to the irs and showed that money as gift aid does that matter? Ill pray for you guys hopefully you'll get great news...
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
Sorry, the actual numbers Swarthmore uses are $4,390 credited to the college bill as not taxable and not reported in the W-2, and $2,358 is paid in cash to the RA, and is reported in the W-2.

The 1098-T does not report anything as a gift or anything else. It simply reports tuition charged and scholarships received. It does not have any income tax reporting attached to it. It is only used for people who claim the Lifetime Learning tax credit or the American Opportunities tax credit.

Again, thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But they say that the $4390 should be reported on the federal tax return...
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Btw I never told you my father is a cancer survivor if you ever have any questions or anything regarding l would be more then happy to share info with you. And I just spoke with the financial aid office at swathmore as well they told me that the waiver is taxed separately on the federal income tax return. That's weird they gabe different information to us...
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
I spoke with the student accounts person. If you read the paragraph, it says that the $4,390 credited directly to the College bill is not reported on the Form W-2 and must be accounted for separately on your Federal income tax return. That term, ACCOUNTED, does not mean Taxable or even reported! What this means is that if the amount you received as other scholarships, plus this $4390, exceed the total cost of tuition, books, room, board, fees, etc, then there may be a portion that is taxable. In your case, this is not the situation. Your room and board are therefore tax free!

The only time this number comes into play would be if you were filling out the FAFSA. Then the free room and board are considered "income" for the FAFSA, but NOT for taxes!

So again, don't worry. To ease your fears, look at IRS Pub 519, here:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/fringe_benefit_fslg_2013.pdf

If you look specifically at Section 12 on Page 43, it addresses meals and lodging provided by your employer. The first example is you specifically, except for the State tax part. It says "An employee of a state institution is required by his employer to reside at the institution in order to be available for duty at all times. Under the applicable state statute, the employee's lodging is regarded as part of the employee’s compensation. Although the amount may be subject to state tax, for Federal tax purposes, the amounts are nevertheless excludable."

So, for Federal income tax purposes, you are not taxed! So don't worry!

Thanks again!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks that makes sense I spoke with the financial aid office and she told me it's taxed once again thanks a lot and good luck at the doctors...
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
Thanks! And good luck with your future work!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks so lastly even though I'm a student employee this still covers my situation as well? Cause the lady at my school was like you're a student bla bla and that's why don't quote the fringe benefit to me...
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The lady at my school was very rude to me she completely kept on negating everything I said and basically told me to go figure everything out on my own. She mentioned its on the 1098T so ask a tax preparer or something... They really confuse the life out of me
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
Don't worry about her. She is not a tax professional. That is why she said to talk to your tax preparer. And people tend to be rude when they are called or questioned on items that they know little about. The IRS is the only authority you need, and I have showed you their position - NOT TAXABLE!

The Form 1098-T is just a form that reports scholarship amounts for purposes of the tax credits. That is it. It is not an income-reporting form.

So rest in the knowledge that you have nothing to worry about! Don't be confused or let others confuse you.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I hear you Roger the lady is the tax manager at my school and she just doesn't understand what I tried explaining to her. I mean she is a tax manager and should be knowledgeable about things like this but instead shut me up. Thanks a lot Roger for the info I will keep this in mind. Once again good luck at the doctors.
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 10 months ago.
Thanks! And good luck with your career!

Roger
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Roger I hope you got good news from the doctor so I see you mentioning the fact if the funds exceed cost of attendance. So I got a tuition waiver and this room and board so my scholarship was $15000 and qualified expenses were $11470 as reported on my 1098T since they don't include room and board as qualified expense. And I read this online so want to know youre insight https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1866982-tuition-credit-on-1098-t-for-resident-assistant-taxable-as-income-in-tt-for-qualified-educ-expSo that being extra it still shouldn't be taxable right since it is for me being an RA? Btw Roger just want to say I have found you extremely helpful may god bless you and your family. Thank you
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
The doctor won't be getting back to us until next Wednesday! So we have to wait in limbo, with her still getting her daily chemo.

Once again, you are comparing apples and oranges. A scholarship that includes room and board is not the same as an RA where the room and board are a condition of your employment. Someone could receive a scholarship that requires them to teach, which would make part of the scholarship taxable. I am looking at getting my PhD in Accounting from Northwestern. They have a full-ride scholarship that I could get, plus they would pay a stipend to me for living expenses. The first year (it is a three year program) there is no teaching requirement. The second and third years, I am required to teach 10 hours per week. That makes part of the scholarship taxable. The stipend is already taxable as it is simply cash given to me. However, if I gave up the living expense stipend, and lived on campus as an RA, then my room and board would still be paid, and it would not be taxable. Only a portion of the scholarship would be in years two and three (for the teaching requirement). Do you see the difference?

Look at your Form 1098-T. What is in Box #1? What is in Box #5? Let me know and I can better answer.

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The box 1 says amount paid for qualified tuition and expenses and box 5 says scholarships and grants received box 1 has an amount 11710 and box 5 has 15808 the difference is the Room and Board waiver since that is considered non qualified education expense. And it shows as a waiver and in details says gift aid
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
So if I'm understanding correctly from your statement even though this is listed in scholarship amount but the waiver is for being a Resident assistant so that should not be taxable even though that exceeds the amount for qualified tuition and expenses? See if this link works this is my 1098 form https://www.1098t.com/access/1098t/2012/1098t_form.asp?t=569301784038544
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
No it won't open, it is asking for your first and last name and SSN. You will have to open it and let me know what the numbers are.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The numbers are box1 amount paid for qualified tuition expense is 11710 and scholarships and grants received is 15808 the difference is the room and board waiver does that help?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
And the turbo tax link I sent you earlier says that you have to consider the difference taxable but why should I since this waiver is for me being an RA right so shouldn't matter even if it exceeds the qualified expense. I mean I know that if you pay for room and board with a scholarship that's taxable since it's non qualified but this is my job requirement so I don't know why they are suggesting that it's taxed
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
So Box 5 lists $15,808? This is actually a different question than your original question. If Box 5 is more than Box 1, there MAY be taxable income, depending on the circumstances. This is true whether or not you are an alien, which was your original question.

The RA room and board should not be included in the scholarships and grants. You need to see if it is. If it has been included, deduct the room and board portion from the amount in Box 5, the $15,808. If this amount is now equal to or less than the amount in Box 1, you have no income, and nothing to worry about. If the amount is still more than Box 1's $11,710, then you have income, but since the amount will be less than the $3,800 personal exemption amount, so you will still not have to pay any income tax. There is also no reporting requirement if you are below this amount, so if you did not file, you still have no problem.

I hope this helps! It is somewhat confusing, I am not sure why the school would include the value of the room and board and count it as scholarship, when it is really a working condition fringe benefit. If I were doing the return, I would certainly remove it from the amount on box 5 and correctly find that no return is required.

Who keeps suggesting that it is taxed? You need to stop worrying about this. If it were taxable, the IRS would notify you. The amount of tax would be zero, since the amount is under the personal exemption amount, so there is no tax and no filing requirement. Penalties are based on the amounts due, so no amount due means no penalty. So no worries!

I hope this helps!

Roger
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Exactly my point that's why I called my school and asked them the same question. For some reason they are considering this as financial resource and putting it there. That's what the tax manager was going at me for saying you're a student the work fringe benefit don't apply to you that's why it shows as gift aid in the 1098T. I didn't argue much cause I have found a million schools that state this waiver is not taxed none what so ever. And that's exactly what you told me as well. My school is reporting it messed up for some reason or interpreting the law in some other way cause if other schools say it's not taxed this should be a uniform policy since it's a tax matter not a personal matter. I spoke to one f my friends who was an RA with me and he told me he put this as non taxable income on his return and that was that. I'm not sure why they do that and in understand it is a source of finance but is a requirement of work.
The stipend is taxed and that's that well thanks for your help and good luck with your wife have a great week ahead.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Btw I remember you telling me about my assistantship being tax free for grad school I have read if it is for services rendered then it's not. As a grad RA the waiver is approved by the department I'm a student of. This is the exact job description of the thing http://housing.wvu.edu/r/download/45732 I just want to be sure I don't have to add this to my income. It is recorded as gift aid under 1098T and the resident education gets this waiver from the respective department. Room and board is waived and the stipend is recorded on W-2. Other than that there's nothing this is another overview about the job http://grad.wvu.edu/financial_assistance/assistantships. The reason why I got this was because my hall was considered an engineering hall so it was a justified Tution waiver for them since id be helping engineering students.
So in the light of all of this you still think it is non taxable
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I wish my school was a little more helpful or explained this a little better I wouldn't have to bother you with so many questions
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
The school is doing this NOT to follow the IRS rules, but to make it easy for the FAFSA reporting. The tax manager is wrong, whether you are a student or not, you are an employee of the college when it comes to the RA position. I bet that their insurance policies even have you classed as that! If you got hurt in your RA capacity, Workman's Comp (or the school) would be paying your medical bills. For legal and employment purposes, the RA job IS a job, and therefore the room and board are NOT income to you.

I am guessing that they are doing this for simplicity. They probably issue thousands of award letters for either free and/or reduced room and board. However, there are probably only a handful who get RA positions, so rather than try to figure out which ones get which treatment, and pay some expensive software programming fees, they just leave it at what the majority of the students are and let the handful such as yourself argue otherwise.

As far as the RA position, I think that this proves the employee relationship. The IRS has a series of standards on what is an employee and what is an independent contractor. These outlines for the RA position show that you are clearly an employee. Therefore, if you are an employee, living in the employer-owned living quarters, and are required to do your job during the employer's hours (basically around the clock, from what the descriptions say) and the employer limits your outside activities (you can only work 100 hours per semester outside of the dorm) you are living there for the convenience of the employer, and under Internal Revenue Code §119(b), the value of this room and board is NOT taxable income to you.

So, if you take the $15,808, and deduct the value of the housing that the school has included in the number, your amount will be LESS than or EQUAL TO the Box 1 amount, so there will be NO taxable income to you.

It does not matter how the college procedure works. What matters is that the IRS would consider you an employee, and as such, your room and board are not taxable.

There...still no change in the answer!

Thanks!

Roger
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
That part I understand I'm asking about the tuition waiver not the room and board looking at the links is the graduate tuition waiver still tax free for me
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The room and board part I've completely come to terms with cause the law is the law but Im just getting a reassurance about the tuition waiver provided on top of this?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
And I think I now understand what the tax manager was saying after reading closely RA's are staff members of the residential education and are student workers may be that's why they are not considering this as an employer employee relation. They consider RA's as student workers who are staff members. Cause even on my W-2 the employers name is XXXXX XXXXX WV West Virginia University. May be that's what they are doing in any case I don't think it's fair for them to do that at all. What do you think? Cause they are increasing student liability like this
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
They are increasing student liability. They may be doing this to prevent students from trying to collect unemployment after the RA job ends!

Anyway, your tuition waiver is a scholarship. It is not taxable income to you. Period. As I said before, the process the university goes through to arrive at the scholarship amount is not material to the tax question. For taxes, any amount that is given to you to pay qualified expenses at a place of higher education is considered a scholarship. Yours is tax-free.

I hope this helps! I will only be on line for another hour or so, then I have to leave for a short trip. I have to see my parents, who are not doing well. They are in their 70s, and age is catching up to them. My mother needs several operations, and my dad is having vision problems and has severe RA. So I have to run up to see them.

Have a great weekend!

Roger
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Roger one last thing before you go I found out this year one of my friend international student and RA they charged him non resident alien tax on his account and that's for his RA waiver. Isn't that wrong how can the university do that when it's not supposed to... Btw I hope you're parents feel better my parents live all the way in Pakistan and I only get to see them once a year and there health is not really up to par as well. I feel your concern hope your trip is wonderful and they feel better...
Expert:  taxmanrog replied 9 months ago.
Unfortunately, the University does what it wants to do. Your friend could file a tax return, and on the return show that the RA income is not taxable under §119, and then the IRS would determine if it was taxable or not.

It is more and more common for the "big businesses" of the world to do what is least complicated, what is easier for them, rather than to do what is correct or right!

I will keep your parents in my prayers. Mine are only a few hours away, so I can go see them for a few days more often!

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Roger
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Appreciate it Roger have a great weekend...

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    MequonCPA

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

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    CPA, Over 30 yrs experience w/individuals and small businesses. Masters in Tax.