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Can a J1 Visa holder get a Federal Tax Refund?

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Can a J1 Visa holder file a Federal Tax return? My J1 Visa started in July 2011 and will end June 2013. I’ve filed tax return 2011 period. I was told I can file and take a tax return then, I was told I couldn’t. I do not want to run into any legal problems.

Welcome to JustAnswer. I am here to help you resolve your tax and finance concerns. Please feel free to ask anytime you need extra help.

Not only can you file a tax return and, perhaps receive a refund, if your income exceeds certain levels which change each year, you are required to file. Visa status has nothing to do with this requirement.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Please give more details. I want to know if what I did is legal or not.

Here is a statement from the IRS to help you see this.

Do I Need to File a Tax Return This Year?

IRS TAX TIP 2012-02, January 4, 2012

You are required to file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level, which varies depending on your filing status, age and the type of income you receive. However, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that some people should file even if they aren't required to because they may get a refund if they had taxes withheld or they may qualify credits.

To find out if you need to file, check the Individuals section of the IRS website at or consult the instructions 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ details that may help you determine if you need to file a tax return with the IRS this year. You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant available on the IRS website. The ITA tool is a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.

Even if you don't have to file , here are six reasons why you may want to:

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld

You should file to get money back if your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year over payment applied to this year's tax.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit You

may qualify if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means you could qualify tax refund. To get the credit you must file a return and claim it.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit

This refundable credit may be available if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.

4. American Opportunity Credit

Students in their first four years of postsecondary education may qualify much as $2,500 through this credit. Forty percent of the credit is refundable so even those who owe no tax can get up to $1,000 of the credit as cash back eligible student.

5. Adoption Credit You may be

able to claim a refundable tax credit expenses you paid to adopt an eligible child.

6. Health Coverage Tax Credit

Certain individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible 2011 Health Coverage Tax Credit.

Eligible individuals can claim a significant portion of their payments made health insurance premiums.

information about filing requirements and your eligibility to receive tax credits, visit


  • Forms and Publications
  • Health Coverage Tax Credit.
  • 1040 Central
CGCPA and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you