Author Topic: Question for JETs who are American or who know about US ALTs-not discriminatory  (Read 3159 times)

Offline nixonlee

  • Teacher
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
  • Messaging error # 1204950.30430
    • View Profile
TAXES!  What do I do as a JET ALT from the US?  Who do I ask?  And who do I ask to make sure everything is happening as it's supposed to?  Thanks!

Offline Gman776

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 930
    • View Profile
    • The Dump Stat - My DnD Blog
It is actually really easy.  I worried a lot about my taxes last year, but I actually just called up the IRS and they helped me over the phone and we had it done in like 15 minutes (though I think I was on hold for a bit longer).  They have a toll free number you can use to call them too.  If you have a phone card, it makes things pretty easy as well just using the American number.

IF HOWEVER you are talking about taxes in Japan, I have absolutely no freaking idea.  I think my JTE came to me a weak or two ago and told me that the school tax guy was taking care of filling out all of my tax forms for me, but I could be totally wrong :P

Offline mattclough

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 856
    • View Profile
    • Matt Clough Illustration
I'm pretty positive we are untaxed here.  I don't know about what we do for taxes at home.  This is a good question.  I imagine we just have to figure out our income and calculate how it should it be taxed.

Offline nixonlee

  • Teacher
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
  • Messaging error # 1204950.30430
    • View Profile
I remember being told we are not taxed somewhere (I guess Japan, not US) and it is like that for the first two years of work in Japan.   

So if I am being taxed in America, I guess I need to do as Gman776 (sorry not sure who you are in the real world but guessing there's a "G" in your name and that your a man) says--Which still sounds like a taxing task (pun unintentionally intended). 

I guess I also need to contact whoever in Japan takes care of the taxes to make sure that everything is going to plan and I don't end up missing something.

Then lastly, I need to have a beer! 

My supervisor said it might be that we don't even pay the taxes until we return--but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to the IRS.  And that would suck if I am supposed to pay how many years worth of taxes I am here for all in one big blow.  How about those who stay for 5 years, do they pay 5 years worth of taxes at once? 

So, as we all figure out what we are doing and actually do it, we can write more details on this form (I guess) so that others can comfortably figure it out as well.  It seems the JET program does a good job making sure everything works out smoothly, but when it comes to taxes, they leave it up to us to figure it out, which is all nice I guess, but a bit confusing when there's multiple countries involved...

Offline shneen

  • Teacher
  • Ltn. Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 391
    • View Profile
Foreign earned income under a certain amount (~$80,000ish?) isn't taxed.... as long as you're out of the country for a certain amount of days out of the year.

You have to fill out an extra form (2555 or 2555ez) to calculate your foreign income exclusion.

There's a few extra steps JETs have to take (filing for the extension, etc) that I don't know much about since I didn't have to do any of that, but there's plenty of tax guides for US JETs/expats out there that should help.  There used to be a few threads floating around on the forum here as well.


EDIT:

Links I've found helpful:
http://www.sarcenet.org/taxes/
http://www.jetprogramme.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2804
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 07:01:42 PM by shneen »

Offline Yamanashi PA

  • PA
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,086
    • View Profile
This is all detailed in you General Information Handbook.  If you lost it you can download a PDF copy from the jetprogramme.org website.

Offline karta

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
I remember being told we are not taxed somewhere (I guess Japan, not US) and it is like that for the first two years of work in Japan.   

So if I am being taxed in America, I guess I need to do as Gman776 (sorry not sure who you are in the real world but guessing there's a "G" in your name and that your a man) says--Which still sounds like a taxing task (pun unintentionally intended). 

I guess I also need to contact whoever in Japan takes care of the taxes to make sure that everything is going to plan and I don't end up missing something.

Then lastly, I need to have a beer! 

My supervisor said it might be that we don't even pay the taxes until we return--but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to the IRS.  And that would suck if I am supposed to pay how many years worth of taxes I am here for all in one big blow.  How about those who stay for 5 years, do they pay 5 years worth of taxes at once? 

So, as we all figure out what we are doing and actually do it, we can write more details on this form (I guess) so that others can comfortably figure it out as well.  It seems the JET program does a good job making sure everything works out smoothly, but when it comes to taxes, they leave it up to us to figure it out, which is all nice I guess, but a bit confusing when there's multiple countries involved...

It's worth noting that if you worked before you came to Japan, OF COURSE you are obligated to pay taxes on that income.
I found it kinda hard to try and do those taxes on my own cause of the income in the US, my student loan interest payments and all the foreign earned income exclusion stuff.  So, I took my taxes to someone when I visited home in the summer.  Since I only worked 6 months of that year before Japan, I got basically 90% of my taxes back in a nice check, i didnt pay anything extra out.  So, I didn't mind shelling out the money to get my taxes done.

The only forms I filed previously was the stuff you do when and before you come to japan.  You get an auto extension until June but I didnt file mine until August and they said nothing.  The late filing thing really only matters if you owe the government.  If they owe you a tax refund or you break even, you are not penalized.
The years after that, its just a matter of filing your Japanese income which is startingly easy because the 1040 form is mostly 0s and then your Foreign earned income.  Even if you pay student loans, because of your FEI, you won't be getting a return and you won't be owing the government any money.

Offline nixonlee

  • Teacher
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
  • Messaging error # 1204950.30430
    • View Profile
I remember being told we are not taxed somewhere (I guess Japan, not US) and it is like that for the first two years of work in Japan.   

So if I am being taxed in America, I guess I need to do as Gman776 (sorry not sure who you are in the real world but guessing there's a "G" in your name and that your a man) says--Which still sounds like a taxing task (pun unintentionally intended). 

I guess I also need to contact whoever in Japan takes care of the taxes to make sure that everything is going to plan and I don't end up missing something.

Then lastly, I need to have a beer! 

My supervisor said it might be that we don't even pay the taxes until we return--but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to the IRS.  And that would suck if I am supposed to pay how many years worth of taxes I am here for all in one big blow.  How about those who stay for 5 years, do they pay 5 years worth of taxes at once? 

So, as we all figure out what we are doing and actually do it, we can write more details on this form (I guess) so that others can comfortably figure it out as well.  It seems the JET program does a good job making sure everything works out smoothly, but when it comes to taxes, they leave it up to us to figure it out, which is all nice I guess, but a bit confusing when there's multiple countries involved...

It's worth noting that if you worked before you came to Japan, OF COURSE you are obligated to pay taxes on that income.
I found it kinda hard to try and do those taxes on my own cause of the income in the US, my student loan interest payments and all the foreign earned income exclusion stuff.  So, I took my taxes to someone when I visited home in the summer.  Since I only worked 6 months of that year before Japan, I got basically 90% of my taxes back in a nice check, i didnt pay anything extra out.  So, I didn't mind shelling out the money to get my taxes done.

The only forms I filed previously was the stuff you do when and before you come to japan.  You get an auto extension until June but I didnt file mine until August and they said nothing.  The late filing thing really only matters if you owe the government.  If they owe you a tax refund or you break even, you are not penalized.
The years after that, its just a matter of filing your Japanese income which is startingly easy because the 1040 form is mostly 0s and then your Foreign earned income.  Even if you pay student loans, because of your FEI, you won't be getting a return and you won't be owing the government any money.

Super thank you!

You brought up the things I completely overlooked...  however, I will never fully understand any of this tax stuff between two nations and stuff like that.  I just want to escape it all!!!  Who can I pay to take care of it all and without me going home and also take care of the japan part... I blame most of the worlds problems on math... without it, thered be no money and a lot less need to think.

BTW, thanks again in all seriousness!

Offline karta

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
I remember being told we are not taxed somewhere (I guess Japan, not US) and it is like that for the first two years of work in Japan.   

So if I am being taxed in America, I guess I need to do as Gman776 (sorry not sure who you are in the real world but guessing there's a "G" in your name and that your a man) says--Which still sounds like a taxing task (pun unintentionally intended). 

I guess I also need to contact whoever in Japan takes care of the taxes to make sure that everything is going to plan and I don't end up missing something.

Then lastly, I need to have a beer! 

My supervisor said it might be that we don't even pay the taxes until we return--but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to the IRS.  And that would suck if I am supposed to pay how many years worth of taxes I am here for all in one big blow.  How about those who stay for 5 years, do they pay 5 years worth of taxes at once? 

So, as we all figure out what we are doing and actually do it, we can write more details on this form (I guess) so that others can comfortably figure it out as well.  It seems the JET program does a good job making sure everything works out smoothly, but when it comes to taxes, they leave it up to us to figure it out, which is all nice I guess, but a bit confusing when there's multiple countries involved...

It's worth noting that if you worked before you came to Japan, OF COURSE you are obligated to pay taxes on that income.
I found it kinda hard to try and do those taxes on my own cause of the income in the US, my student loan interest payments and all the foreign earned income exclusion stuff.  So, I took my taxes to someone when I visited home in the summer.  Since I only worked 6 months of that year before Japan, I got basically 90% of my taxes back in a nice check, i didnt pay anything extra out.  So, I didn't mind shelling out the money to get my taxes done.

The only forms I filed previously was the stuff you do when and before you come to japan.  You get an auto extension until June but I didnt file mine until August and they said nothing.  The late filing thing really only matters if you owe the government.  If they owe you a tax refund or you break even, you are not penalized.
The years after that, its just a matter of filing your Japanese income which is startingly easy because the 1040 form is mostly 0s and then your Foreign earned income.  Even if you pay student loans, because of your FEI, you won't be getting a return and you won't be owing the government any money.

Super thank you!

You brought up the things I completely overlooked...  however, I will never fully understand any of this tax stuff between two nations and stuff like that.  I just want to escape it all!!!  Who can I pay to take care of it all and without me going home and also take care of the japan part... I blame most of the worlds problems on math... without it, thered be no money and a lot less need to think.

BTW, thanks again in all seriousness!

I suck with those things but if you follow the directions really carefully on a 1040, you can probably do it on your own.  Basically, you need to input your W2 data from home which you absolutely need a copy of. Follow the directions for everything there and then you need to fill out the Foreign Earned Income form and also input that number onto the 1040.  If you paid student loans, theres a separate area for that and youll need to send the student loan tax document, too. Online tax thingees can handle the foreign stuff, too.  But, just keep in mind that you'll need to file the 1040 and the form for the FEI, too.  Send them together with the Japanese tax document, your W2 from home and the student tax documents.  Remember to keep a copy of everything.
Just read all the instructions on the 1040 really carefully. 

Offline nixonlee

  • Teacher
  • Captain Kangaroo
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
  • Messaging error # 1204950.30430
    • View Profile
I remember being told we are not taxed somewhere (I guess Japan, not US) and it is like that for the first two years of work in Japan.   

So if I am being taxed in America, I guess I need to do as Gman776 (sorry not sure who you are in the real world but guessing there's a "G" in your name and that your a man) says--Which still sounds like a taxing task (pun unintentionally intended). 

I guess I also need to contact whoever in Japan takes care of the taxes to make sure that everything is going to plan and I don't end up missing something.

Then lastly, I need to have a beer! 

My supervisor said it might be that we don't even pay the taxes until we return--but I don't want to assume anything when it comes to the IRS.  And that would suck if I am supposed to pay how many years worth of taxes I am here for all in one big blow.  How about those who stay for 5 years, do they pay 5 years worth of taxes at once? 

So, as we all figure out what we are doing and actually do it, we can write more details on this form (I guess) so that others can comfortably figure it out as well.  It seems the JET program does a good job making sure everything works out smoothly, but when it comes to taxes, they leave it up to us to figure it out, which is all nice I guess, but a bit confusing when there's multiple countries involved...

It's worth noting that if you worked before you came to Japan, OF COURSE you are obligated to pay taxes on that income.
I found it kinda hard to try and do those taxes on my own cause of the income in the US, my student loan interest payments and all the foreign earned income exclusion stuff.  So, I took my taxes to someone when I visited home in the summer.  Since I only worked 6 months of that year before Japan, I got basically 90% of my taxes back in a nice check, i didnt pay anything extra out.  So, I didn't mind shelling out the money to get my taxes done.

The only forms I filed previously was the stuff you do when and before you come to japan.  You get an auto extension until June but I didnt file mine until August and they said nothing.  The late filing thing really only matters if you owe the government.  If they owe you a tax refund or you break even, you are not penalized.
The years after that, its just a matter of filing your Japanese income which is startingly easy because the 1040 form is mostly 0s and then your Foreign earned income.  Even if you pay student loans, because of your FEI, you won't be getting a return and you won't be owing the government any money.

Super thank you!

You brought up the things I completely overlooked...  however, I will never fully understand any of this tax stuff between two nations and stuff like that.  I just want to escape it all!!!  Who can I pay to take care of it all and without me going home and also take care of the japan part... I blame most of the worlds problems on math... without it, thered be no money and a lot less need to think.

BTW, thanks again in all seriousness!

I suck with those things but if you follow the directions really carefully on a 1040, you can probably do it on your own.  Basically, you need to input your W2 data from home which you absolutely need a copy of. Follow the directions for everything there and then you need to fill out the Foreign Earned Income form and also input that number onto the 1040.  If you paid student loans, theres a separate area for that and youll need to send the student loan tax document, too. Online tax thingees can handle the foreign stuff, too.  But, just keep in mind that you'll need to file the 1040 and the form for the FEI, too.  Send them together with the Japanese tax document, your W2 from home and the student tax documents.  Remember to keep a copy of everything.
Just read all the instructions on the 1040 really carefully. 

Really appreciated!  I'll do my best. 

Offline junou

  • Teacher
  • Ltn. Wolf
  • *****
  • Posts: 401
    • View Profile
one quick thing, if you are a first year JET, please make sure to file after you have been outside the US for more than 330 days to qualify for the FEI. If you were group B or later you may have to file an additional extension form to meet the requirement.

Offline karta

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
So there has been a lot of confusion, most ALTs are under the impression that they have to file by April 15th like the rest of the US.
DON'T FILE YOUR TAXES YET IF YOU ARE A JET.
You must live in a foreign country 330 days as Janet said if you want to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.  So, unless you just really like to pay money, don't file now.
Anyone living in a foreign country gets an automatic deadline extension until June 15th.  If you still don't meet the 330 days requirement, you can file an additonal extension.
However, if you are expecting a tax return from your old job, this extension isn't needed.  The Japanese salary is completely exempt so if you are expecting a tax return on the 6-7 months or less you worked in the US, then you don't have to do anything. 

Most JETs will be either owed a return from their previous job or don't owe any money because they didnt work.

There are no late penalties for filing late if the government owes you money. 


Offline Terranasaurus Rex

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,198
  • Cad é sin do'n té sin
    • View Profile
If on the off chance that you DO owe money however, you still have to have paid by the April deadline. You can do this by filing form 4868- the automatic extention form, and 'estimating' what you owe and paying that ahead of time.

Anyone living in a foreign country gets an automatic deadline extension until June 15th.  If you still don't meet the 330 days requirement, you can file an additonal extension.

This year, every 1st year JET MUST file this form (4868 Extention). I was in A group and I just calculated it. From the earliest arrivals until June 15th it is only 327 days. As I understand it though, you can file this form by the June 15th date if you don't owe money.
Students of mine involved in traffic accidents:

Since April 2013: 1
In 2012/13: 8

Offline Josiah

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,055
    • View Profile
If on the off chance that you DO owe money however, you still have to have paid by the April deadline. You can do this by filing form 4868- the automatic extention form, and 'estimating' what you owe and paying that ahead of time.

Anyone living in a foreign country gets an automatic deadline extension until June 15th.  If you still don't meet the 330 days requirement, you can file an additonal extension.

This year, every 1st year JET MUST file this form (4868 Extention). I was in A group and I just calculated it. From the earliest arrivals until June 15th it is only 327 days. As I understand it though, you can file this form by the June 15th date if you don't owe money.

I could be wrong, but I think most commonwealth countries are exempt from that? I'm pretty sure the government calculates our taxes and stuff on our behalf.

Offline Terranasaurus Rex

  • Teacher
  • Sasquatch
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,198
  • Cad é sin do'n té sin
    • View Profile
I meant every 1st year JET that this entire thread actually applies to.
Students of mine involved in traffic accidents:

Since April 2013: 1
In 2012/13: 8

Offline karta

  • Teacher
  • Gen. Gorilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 959
    • View Profile
If on the off chance that you DO owe money however, you still have to have paid by the April deadline. You can do this by filing form 4868- the automatic extention form, and 'estimating' what you owe and paying that ahead of time.

Anyone living in a foreign country gets an automatic deadline extension until June 15th.  If you still don't meet the 330 days requirement, you can file an additonal extension.

This year, every 1st year JET MUST file this form (4868 Extention). I was in A group and I just calculated it. From the earliest arrivals until June 15th it is only 327 days. As I understand it though, you can file this form by the June 15th date if you don't owe money.

Just know that filing ANY extension in most peoples cases is just a formality. If you don't owe the government money, there is no penalty for filing late.
Filing an extension if you don't owe the governement any money is just being a good citizen by telling the IRS how long they can use your return interest free. 
http://www.ehow.com/info_7752719_do-getting-money-back-irs.html

That being said, if you don't file for years and years then you probably wont get your return back, but waiting the few extra months does nothing bad to you.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 03:47:19 PM by karta »