如果你讀完這一系列的文章,可能已經越讀越火大,這個不能報,那個有限制,那到底什麼才是可以合法抵稅的呢?答案就是1040NR Schedule A – Itemized Deduction。要特別說明的是,如果你是稅法上的美國居民(resident alien),在1040 Schedule A也有同樣的欄位可以列舉扣除額,不同的是resident alien還多了其他幾項non-resident alien不能報的扣除額。本篇介紹的是重複的部分,所以大家都可以參考。
裡面包括有:
State and Local Income Taxes
這是每一個人都可以申報抵稅的,如果你的Itemized deduction只有這一項,或許你可以用1040NR-EZ而不是1040NR。

Total Gifts to U.S. Charities
如果你有捐獻現金或禮物給慈善或宗教團體,你可能也可以將這一部份花費申報抵稅,我沒有捐獻所以沒研究。請自行參閱instructions for 1040NR

Casualty and Theft Losses
一樣沒研究,請自行參閱instructions for 1040NR

Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions
如果你有工作相關的花費,而沒有向雇主申請補助(reimbursement),你可以列出這一部份之花費申報抵稅。要注意的是,這一部份的花費必須超過你的adjusted gross income的2%才能扣抵,不夠多的話也沒用。

IRS對於Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions的定義為:
“Ordinary and necessary job expenses you paid for which you were not reimbursed”

An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of trade, business, or profession. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary.

關於Itemized Deduction的詳細規定列於Publication 529。裡面提到你”可能”可以申報底扣的Un-reimbursed Employee Expenses花費包括:
*Business bad debt of an employee.
*Business liability insurance premiums.
*Damages paid to a former employer for breach of an employment contract.
*Depreciation on a computer or cell phone your employer requires you to use in your work.
*Dues to a chamber of commerce if membership helps you do your job.
*Dues to professional societies.
*Educator expenses that are more than you can deduct as an adjustment to income.
*Home office or part of your home used regularly and exclusively in your work. (For details, including limits that apply, see Pub. 587.)
*Job search expenses in your present occupation.
*Laboratory breakage fees.
*Legal fees related to your job.
*Licenses and regulatory fees.
*Malpractice insurance premiums.
*Medical examinations required by an employer.
*Occupational taxes.
*Passport for a business trip.
*Repayment of an income aid payment received under an employer's plan.
*Research expenses of a college professor.
*Rural mail carriers' vehicle expenses.
*Subscriptions to professional journals and trade magazines related to your work.
*Tools and supplies used in your work.
*Travel, transportation, meals, entertainment, gifts, and local lodging related to your work.

*Union dues and expenses.
*Work clothes and uniforms if required and not suitable for everyday use.
*Work-related education. (For details, see Chapter 12, Pub. 970.)

格主碎碎念
讀到這些規定的時候有發現新大陸的感覺,跟scholarship and fellowships grants excluded比起來,Un-reimbursed Employee Expenses的規定似乎寬鬆一點。只要是你這個領域的人覺得是ordinary and necessary的花費就可以申報,而且不需要是必要(required)的。我到目前為止看過的文件中都沒有提到必須為full-time employee才能報,看起來有assistantship的留學生似乎也可以用。我之前都沒報過這種,希望有申報過Un-reimbursed Employee Expenses可以分享一下申報經驗。

我把和留學生比較相關的用粗體標示,相關的說明為:

Dues to Chambers of Commerce and Professional Societies
You may be able to deduct dues paid to professional organizations (such as bar associations and medical associations) and to chambers of commerce and similar organizations, if membership helps you carry out the duties of your job. Similar organizations include:
    *Boards of trade,
    *Business leagues,
    *Civic or public service organizations,
    *Real estate boards, and
    *Trade associations.
如果你因工作需要(非娛樂性質)而加入學會或商會,則這些學會或商費的會員費可以申報扣除額。

Job Search Expenses
You can deduct certain expenses you have in looking for a new job in your present occupation, even if you do not get a new job. You cannot deduct these expenses if:
*You are looking for a job in a new occupation,
*There was a substantial break between the ending of your last job and your looking for a new one, or
*You are looking for a job for the first time.
當你在職時,若你在尋找相同領域的下一份工作,則你找工作的花費也可以列舉為扣除額。

Tools Used in Your Work

Generally, you can deduct amounts you spend for tools used in your work if the tools wear out and are thrown away within 1 year from the date of purchase. You can depreciate the cost of tools that have a useful life substantially beyond the tax year. For more information about depreciation, see Publication 946.
還有分用一年內就壞的消耗品跟壽命較長的設備,若設備之使用壽命大於一年,可報貶值的部分。天呀~會不會太複雜了點…

Travel, Transportation, Meals, Entertainment, Gifts, and Local Lodging
如果你符合下列兩種情況,你可能需要額外填寫Form 2106
1. You claim any travel, transportation, meal, or entertainment expenses for your job.
2. Your employer paid you for any of your job expenses that you otherwise would report on line 9.

如果你符合這個條件,你可以用Form 2106-EZ
If you used your own vehicle and item (2) above does not apply, you may be able to file Form 2106-EZ instead.

如何填寫Form 2106之詳細規定請看Instructions for Form 2106

請特別注意上述花費是”可能”可以申報,至於每一種花費都還有詳細的規定,請自行參考Publication 529
 
Work-Related Education
如果你的教育費用符合下列兩者之一,你可能可以報work-related education:
*It maintains or improves skills required in your present work.
*It is required by your employer or the law to keep your salary, status, or job, and the requirement serves a business purpose of your employer.

但是如果你的教育費用符合下列其中任一種情形,則不能報work-related education:
*Is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements to qualify you in your trade or business, or
*Is part of a program of study that will lead to qualifying you in a new trade or business.

如果你通過了上面兩種測試:
If your education qualifies, you can deduct expenses for tuition, books, supplies, laboratory fees, and similar items, and certain transportation costs.

格主碎碎念
聽起來拿assistantship的人應該可以將學費及書本費當成work-related education,是這樣的嗎?如果是就太美好了~  

[2008/03/14補充]
剛剛拿到學校給的CINTAX密碼,迫不及待地上網試試。很可惜的是,CINTAX並沒有出現可以填Job Expenses and Certain Miscellaneous Deductions的地方。不知道我是否還有其他未讀到的規定上有註明拿assistantship的留學生沒辦法報Job Expenses,如果有人知道相關規定,麻煩留言告訴我~

Other Miscellaneous Deductions

沒有細看,好像跟留學生沒什麼關係。

後記
我真的很懷疑除了我之外,還有誰會這麼無聊又認真地查閱這些資料(快~誰也查過,別害羞,快舉手~),大概只有以報稅為生的會計師吧?其實看完這些可能也多退不了十幾二十塊,但是認真魔人我的個性就是想要把事情弄清楚啊!我可能有某部分的偏執狂傾向吧…

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  • LVCHEN
  • 我沒有全查,不過每篇都有好好看過喔。
    筆記寫到這麼仔細,真是有妳的。
    那個書籍費用的確可以報稅,其實resident-alien 也是有節稅的方法,例如撫養或是修學分(hope credit or life time learning credit)所以賺得多不見得當redident-alien就比較差。
  • 原來你也是認真魔人啊!幸好找到同伴,都怕別人覺得我很無聊...

    關於Work-Related Education我其實還有一點疑惑,因為有規定"教育費用不能用以攻讀工作最低要求的學位",這跟assistantship規定要是graduate student有衝突嗎?

    其實resident alien說不一定可以省比較多稅,因為是resident alien才能扶養小孩跟眷屬,還有EIC補助,對於有妻小的留學生應該幫助不小。

    lifeinus 於 2008/03/01 04:57 回覆

  • 風的小孩
  • 你真的好厲害優 我以為你是會計師呢
  • 一點都不厲害啦~只是把IRS上的instructions貼上來而已。因為沒錢請會計師只好自己慢慢研究囉...

    lifeinus 於 2008/03/10 05:44 回覆

  • Ray
  • 我也找到一個和我一樣時間多來研究美國稅法的人啊!呵!

    maintain or improve job skills 的書的確是可以報稅!
  • 謝謝你的回覆!

    我去了你的blog逛逛,熊熊發現我之前就逛過你的blog。我前一陣子出小車禍上網搜尋資訊,你有幾篇在講汽車保險公司的,資訊很詳細,對我很有幫助,順便謝謝你囉!

    lifeinus 於 2009/02/07 05:00 回覆

  • even
  • 我也好好研究了這些規定,不過沒有試著報就是了,因為都沒有留下收據,所以還是用了1040NR-EZ. 其實我比較有疑問的都是state的扣稅,因為不知道如果federal沒報moving expenses or others,state 能不能報。由於我畢業後搬到新的state,所以要報兩個不同州的稅。我發現報兩個都是"non-resident",或報其中一個"resident"另一個"non-resident",還有兩個都"part-time resident",結果竟然有幾十塊的不同耶。不過感覺很容易出錯就是了..
  • 我印象中好像federal退稅如果沒有報itemized deduction,州稅好像也不能報,但不確定。州稅的resident或non-resident不是一般都有一定的計算方式嗎?可以自己選是哪一種身份嗎?我不太清楚耶!

    lifeinus 於 2009/04/14 22:24 回覆