Students who worked in US on J1 visa could be owed $800

Specialists at Taxback.com say about 20% of students have yet to reclaim their tax

Approximately 10,000 Irish people are expected to take part in the 2017 programme

Approximately 10,000 Irish people are expected to take part in the 2017 programme

 

Irish students who have travelled to the United States on the J1 working holiday visa over the past four years could be owed an average of $800 in a tax refund, according to specialists.

About 300,000 foreign visitors from 200 countries travelled to various destinations across the US on the J1 visa last year. Approximately 10,000 Irish people are expected to take part in the 2017 programme.

Taxback. com, a company that facilitates tax refunds for students, said anyone who has travelled to the US in the past four years is “almost certainly owed” a refund. The right to claim becomes null and void after four years.

Taxback.com’s Eileen Devereux said anecdotal evidence suggests about 20 per cent of students have yet to reclaim their tax.

“We process thousands of J1 tax refunds for Irish students every year and the feedback we invariably receive is that this windfall, while often unexpected, is very much needed,” she said.

“Many students struggle with the financial burden of loans, rent, tuition fees, and a three figure sum like this can often go a long way to easing some of this burden. It’s not a difficult process and can be wrapped up in a matter of weeks.’’

Furthermore, tax compliance is important for individuals who intend to apply for other US visas. Anyone who has worked in the US is obliged to file a tax return, and fines and penalties can otherwise be incurred, Ms Devereux said.

“A lot of temporary workers in the US, including J1 students, don’t actually realise they are legally obliged to file a US tax return,” she said.

“Those who subsequently apply for a US visa, like a green card, who have been in the US before, have to produce copies of their tax returns for the last five years, so it’s very important that they have complied in the past.”