US Tax Refunds
Female cafe owner signing papers calculating business expenses

US Tax Refunds


Taxes paid in the US:

When working in the USA, you have income tax deducted from your payments. Depending on the state in which the work was performed, these advances range from 10-to 20% of income. After returning to Poland, you can apply for a tax refund. You must submit a tax return for all employers to the United States Tax Office (IRS).

The American tax authorities will withhold the following types of tax.

  • Federal tax – Usually, this is 10% of your income. This rate increases depending on the amount of income earned. By applying various types of tax deductions, it is possible to obtain a full refund even with earnings of USD 10,000 (amount for 2018).
  • State tax – 1-10% of income. This tax is not deducted from the states of Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming. State tax advances are recoverable depending on your total income and state tax laws.
  • Local taxes – 1-2% of income. Unfortunately, these advances are not refundable.

Employers also withhold advance payments for health insurance ( Social Security tax (FICA) and Medicare tax ) in the form of taxation. Only students working based on a J-1 visa, whose visa promise was issued by a US government institution – e.g., a university, are eligible for their return. Unfortunately, this reimbursement is not payable to participants of the Work and Travel programs.

Everyone who has worked for Work and Travel USA is required to file a federal tax return in the USA, regardless of whether they have paid taxes. Sanctions for foreigners for failure to comply with this obligation include the problem of obtaining another visa to the USA and the problem of getting the so-called “green card.”

When can you apply for a US tax refund, and how long does the refund process take?

You can apply for a Work and Travel USA tax refund after the end of the tax year. By the end of January, all employers must send employees W2 documents, which are the basis for applying for a refund. In January too, the IRS publishes its current tax forms and tables.

The settlement can be made within three years from the end of work. However, the date of April 15 of the following year is essential here. If you get tax arrears from the federal settlement (also as a result of a possible correction of the payment by the tax office), then if the documents reach the office after April 15 – you may have an additional penalty for the so-called “late filling” (up to 210 USD).

Usually, the US tax refund process takes 4-6 months.

Your tax declaration may go to the so-called identity verification. Then you will receive an appropriate letter from the office, and the return procedure may be extended by another 2-3 months. At Tax Consulting, we will help you go through this verification and, unlike the offers of other companies – it is not subject to additional fees.

Documents needed to settle tax with the USA:

  • W2 document from each employer
  • In the absence of W2 – the last payslip with the exact name and address of the employer
  • Photocopy of the Social Security Card
  • Photocopy of the visa (from passport)

Leave a Reply