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I am trying to properly file my taxes from last year. I was…

Hi there, I am...

Hi there, I am trying to properly file my taxes from last year. I was on OPT from Jan thru July of 2017 then was unemployed as I had to leave the country for the remainder of the year while waiting for my 0-1 visa to be approved. I received a w-2 from one place of employement but did not receive a 1099 from the other more freelance job, as I was technically a "student" status as OPT is part of F-1 visa. Do i need to be considered a resident alien for tax purposes and change that status so that I can receive a 1099 from them or should I file the 8843 form. How do I go about documenting this other work which made a little over $2000 for the year?

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3/15/2018
taxmanrog
taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1,042
Experience: Licensed CPA, MA, MST with 31 years' experience. Teach Accounting and Tax courses at Masters level.
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Welcome to Just Answer! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you! I will do my best to help!

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I have worked in international taxation for over 31 years, and I have seen your issue before.

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You do not need a Form 1099 in order to file your tax return.

AS an F-1 visa holder, you are a nonresident alien. And the terms of the F-1 visa exclude you from having to pay Social Security tax or Self-Employment tax. You are, however, still subject to income tax.

You file a Form 1040NR and report your wages from the W-2, and you use a Schedule C to report the income that you earned a s a "freelance" worker. Technically, I don't think that you should have had the freelance job, as an F-1 allows you to work as an employee of a company, not be self-employed, even with the OPT qualification.

In spite of that, you still need to report your freelance earnings. We are on the honor system in the US, and people don't have to issue Forms 1099 if the amount is under $600. That does not mean that people don't have to report amounts that are received that are less than $600. It just means that we are on our honor to report them.

So if you know what you earned, you need to report it, whether or not you get a Form 1099. I would simply list it on the "Other Income" line, and make sure you DO NOT fill out a Schedule SE.

I hope that I have answered your question. If you have any more, please feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.

Thanks! Have a great week!

Roger

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you. I guess I was technically employed by a company but it was just for one specific gig. The payment came from University of Illinois so it was an institution. How does that work. So sorry, the field I am in is dance, and sometimes the arts are rather difficult to navigate in terms of what category a job falls under.

IT is not a difficult category. Dance would be considered entertainment.

If they sent you a 1099, then they are considering you self-employed.

I run into this all the time. Because people know that an F-1 visa is exempt from Social Security tax, they assume that they don't have to issue a W-2. I ran into this with a large law firm in downtown Chicago (I am in the far SW suburbs of Chicago). They paid a law student from Brazil who was here on an F-1 visa, and gave her a 1099. That is incorrect. They are supposed to issue a W-2, showing zero FICA wages.

As I said, in your case, report the wage income on Form 1040, line 7, and the other income from the 1099 that you did not get on Line 21, other income.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Many thanks! I will go ahead with this and definitely be in touch if I have any more questions. Thanks so much for all your help! :)
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Confirming I should still file the 1040NR not just the 1040 as written above?

You should file the 1040NR, as under the F-1 you are treated as a nonresident for up to 5 years.

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Please don't forget to rate me, as that is how the questions are closed.

taxmanrog
taxmanrog, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1,042
Experience: Licensed CPA, MA, MST with 31 years' experience. Teach Accounting and Tax courses at Masters level.
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