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I went to the US for a 6-month research internship (from August 2013 to February 2014), on a J1 Visa, without permission to work (I think the term is non-working J1 Visa). I lived in Atlanta, GA. I did not have a job nor had any income (besides a scholarship paid abroad and a small lease refund after I left my apartment).

I have been told I had to fill a tax form for both years (since I spent New Year's in the meantime), even if I hadn't any taxable income nor expect any refund.

The thing is, I filled my form late (on December 2014) for the first year, and haven't filled for the second one. (I'm sorry: I'm a disorderly person, and now that I'm back home, my daily duties simply made me postpone that). Now I have a double question for which I have found little, contradicting answers:

What are the consequences (in the US, of course) of not filling my (so-to-say empty) tax form? How may I still fix that?

Thanks in advance,

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There are filing requirements and you can check if you're required to file.

Note that in 2014 the numbers were a bit lower. Since you're a non-resident, you only need to consider US-sourced income (i.e.: income paid to you from a US entity or you earned while in the US). Refund is not an income, it's your money being returned to you.

From what you described, it doesn't look like you need to file tax returns for either of the years.

  • but even if he does not have to file a tax return, he may have to file Form 8843 each year since he's an exempt individual – user102008 May 10 '16 at 18:14
  • I've done some (additional) research, and found publication 519. It doesn't say there is a minimum limit in order to file. But the question remains: what if I didn't?, can I still do? – Rafael May 10 '16 at 20:52
  • @user102008 he doesn't have to file form 8843, if he doesn't have to file the return itself. Based on what he described (6 months across two years), he never passed the substantial presence test regardless the exemption, so he doesn't need the form 8843 to be considered NRA. – littleadv May 11 '16 at 6:06
  • @Rafael you can still file it even if it is empty, sure – littleadv May 11 '16 at 6:07

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