I moved to the US last summer, August 2016, however I didn't get my L1 Visa until the end of the year, and I just got the SSN, so I will start getting paid in my US bank account this month for the first time.

My question is, do I need to worry this year about filing taxes at all, or is it something that I will only have to start doing next year?

I'm new to the taxes system here, so not quite sure about what I'm expected to do!.

  • When you say "this month," do you mean January 2017? – Brythan Jan 23 '17 at 0:46
  • Yeah, January 2017 will be the first month I'll get paid in the US – adonis28850 Jan 23 '17 at 2:16

If you did not receive any pay in 2016, you are not currently on the hook for any taxes. You do not have to prepare a tax return for 2016 at all.

Your employer should have you fill out a W-4 form. This controls how much they withhold and send to the government for taxes. So your paycheck stub will say that you made such and such an amount before taxes, list the taxes and other costs (e.g. healthcare) withheld, and tell you how much you net (the actual amount on your paycheck).

It looks like an L-1 visa requires an employer, so I won't go into the possibility that you are an independent contractor. Just verify that they are taking taxes out of your paycheck properly. There should be a federal income tax. I think (but am not sure) that an L-1 also requires you to pay Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax. If all those taxes appear on your pay stub, you shouldn't have to do anything more with federal taxes until next year when you get your W-2 form.

The W-2 form will say how much money you made for 2017 (or whatever year) and how much the employer withheld. They send copies both to you and to relevant government agencies.

You may be residing in a state that has an income tax as well. Again, if money is being withheld, you shouldn't have to worry about it until 2017 when you get your W-2 form.

You may be residing in a municipality (city, town, borough, etc.), school district, or county that has an income tax. If so, your employer probably will not withhold that (although sometimes they do). In that case, you are responsible for making estimated payments. The first estimated payment is usually due in April of 2017 for the months of January through March. They should tell you the other deadlines when you ask for the forms. You normally file the final return several months after making your fourth quarterly payment. The final return should not require a payment or refund if you estimated correctly.

  • That's very helpful, cheers! – adonis28850 Jan 24 '17 at 1:01

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