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I have the following income and taxes paid for 2011

AGI 10000
Fed 800
State   150
SS  80
Medicare    30
CA DIS/SDI 100
ASE-UAW: 25 (Academic Student Employee (ASE) http://www.uaw2865.org/)

Neither in the 1040NR or the 540NR do I notice the forms deducting the following taxes from taxable income:

SS  80
Medicare    30
CA DIS/SDI 100
ASE-UAW: 25

As a international student from India I get to deduct standard deduction and personal exemption from taxable income.

  1. If I even were to assume that the standard deduction and personal exemptions "include" these taxes already, this logic does hold as a NR is not expected to pay SS or Medicare.

    From all the lines on these two forms, I noticed only the following line items that could possibly account for these

    line 62 1040nr (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nr.pdf) Payments|2011 estimated tax payments and amount applied from 2010 return

    The instructions for 1040nr (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nr.pdf) state: Enter any estimated federal income tax payments you made for 2011
    

    line 19 1040nr-ez (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040nre.pdf) Payments|2011 estimated tax payments and amount applied from 2010 return

    The instructions for 1040nr-ez (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040nre.pdf) is more explicit and states: Enter any estimated federal income tax payments you made using Form 1040-ES (NR) for 2011
    

    I am hesitant to put social security and Medicare on these lines because the instructions specifically note these to be literally "estimated tax payments" that one makes using Form 1040-ES.

    However, if there no way I could deduct the social security and Medicare I paid in a correct manner?

  2. Furthermore, the other two taxes: CA DIS/SDI and ASE-UAW were deducted directly from my paychecks and "it does not seem fair" that I cannot deduct these from my AGI: am I missing something?

    As far as CA DIS/SDI is concerned, it seems I might be in luck: Can CA SDI be added to state and local income taxes on 1040 NR Schedule A?

    However, I would like to take the standard deduction whereas the OP is itemizing his and the accepted answer only takes that into account.

  3. Hence, would I be able to add the SDI to my CA State tax if I am to take the standard deduction?

    In other words, in my forms (fed + state) could I claim "State tax" as "State tax + CA DIS/SDI" in the appropriate line items?

  4. In conclusion, is there no way for me to assess and pay tax on income after deducting these taxes?

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CASDI is a deductible state tax, as I wrote before. You add it to the "State Taxes" in the itemized deductions schedule A.

Social Security and Medicare are Federal taxes, they're not deductible. Check if you're supposed to be paying them, though, the list of exemptions relevant for you is here. If you qualify for exemption, you can credit them as overpaid taxes. But since the exemption is also for the employer, check with them why they withheld it, maybe you're not exempt.

ASE-UAW is not a tax, its your union dues, they're deductible on 1040NR schedule A line 7 (professional organizations).

addition

I noticed that I missed some of your questions.

Re the standard deduction vs itemized - on 1040NR you cannot claim standard deduction, you only can deduct what you actually paid.

For California, if you file as resident, you can (and probably should) chose the standard deduction, you're not going to pay any California taxes (you'll get the $150 back, but you won't have CASDI refunded).

  • Thanks littleadv for the answers. In general, NR's cannot claim the standard deduction, yes, but there's a special treaty clause with India where students from India can claim the standard deduction, as I am going to. In light of this information, could I still ask for refund of the ASE-UAW and CASDI? Let me know if you would like more information – f1StudentInUS Mar 28 '12 at 16:35
  • @f1StudentInUS I believe you should read the treaty on this case, I'm not familiar with the Indian treaty. But I would guess that you cannot take two different kinds of deductions, you either itemize or get the standard, and chose whichever is more beneficial to you. – littleadv Mar 28 '12 at 17:24
  • Update: I ended up claiming the standard deduction in 1040NR-EZ. Had to forfeit the CA DIS/SDI and ASE-UAW 540NR (I cannot claim the standard deduction in CA State as I am not a CA resident yet) – f1StudentInUS Mar 31 '12 at 1:35
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    @f1StudentInUS note that NR for IRS and NR for FTB are different and unrelated things. Your residency for tax purposes in California has nothing to do with your federal status or immigration status. That said, if that's your first year in California, you might be able to chose how to file, all NR, part NR part resident, or resident. Check instructions for details. – littleadv Mar 31 '12 at 3:39
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    @f1StudentInUS residency for tuition purposes is irrelevant for taxes. In fact its the other way around, you get a resident tuition after you've paid resident taxes for at least a year (if you're not an F1/J/M status holder, that is). – littleadv Mar 31 '12 at 19:32

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