J-1 participants are not considered employees of Camp America, they are considered employees of the camp as a J-1 host employer. Therefore, the camp is responsible for complying with all applicable employment laws. This includes ensuring compliance with all federal, state, and local tax obligations. Camps should process J-1 visa holders through payroll in the same manner that they do for American staff members.
The U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Reform Act”) has made some changes to U.S. tax laws that will affect nonresident aliens of the United States. In particular, the Tax Reform Act has eliminated personal exemptions (which had been $4,050 per individual). As such, J-1 participants will now be taxed on their first dollar of U.S. wage income unless an applicable U.S. Income Tax Treaty provides otherwise. The clear majority, if not all of Camp America participants, do not fall under a tax treaty. However, it should be noted that a J-1 visa holder’s wages will not be subject to FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare taxes). To learn more about these changes affecting camps, please view the ACA website.
In general, employers should withhold income tax from their employees’ (both U.S. income tax residents and J-1 visa holders) wages at graduated withholding rates. For this purpose, employees must submit IRS Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) to their employers. As such, all J-1 participants should submit Form W-4 to their camp’s HR manager so that the proper amount of taxes will be withheld from their wages.
Camp America does not render tax advice and each J-1 participant remains personally responsible to properly fulfill their tax obligations under all Federal, State and Local rules
Yes, you can enter a “dummy number” until they receive their card from Social Security.
Paper Filers: If the worker applied for a card but didn't receive the number in time for filing, enter "Applied For" in Box a.
Electronic Filers: If the worker applied for a card but didn't receive the number in time for filing, enter all zeros in the field for the Social Security number.
If a staff member received their Social Security number after you filed your wage report, you can file Form W-2c (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement).
Visit the Social Security Administration website for more information on this.
J-1 participants are considered Nonresident Alien Employees for tax purposes. For help filling out W-4 forms for your participants, please refer to the IRS’ Special Instructions for Form W-4.