Saving on Tax

SNC / Eng SQUt00
Sep 17, 2017 21 Comments

Hi,
So I am an international student on F-1 visa. I just started working undr OPT in Seattle.
I'd like to know how I can,save on taxes ??
Of course there is no state tax here, and I only havta pay federal taxes.
Do you have Any suggestions as to how I can in general cut down paying on taxes ?
Thanks

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TOP 21 Comments
  • Google patio
    Max out 401k and other retirement plans. First and foremost tax saving principle.
    Sep 17, 2017 5
    • HouseCanary rBqo26
      Someone on an F1 student visa won't have access to a 401k, most likely.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Veritas / Eng Blindco
      I'm on F1 opt and have access to 401k.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Google patio
      F1 has nothing to so with 401k
      Sep 17, 2017
    • HouseCanary rBqo26
      Not directly, but student jobs often don't offer retirement plans.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Google patio
      Well I am assuming he/she is doing FT jobs. Mostly people don't do part time on OPT.
      Sep 17, 2017
  • Twitter shdjskpqpn
    F1 students, for the first 5 years, don't have to pay FICA taxes. So no Medicare or SS. That's a cool 7% you can saved
    Sep 17, 2017 6
    • GE / Eng
      monopoly12

      GE Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      BIO
      Senior Software Engineer
      monopoly12more
      This is not true. An F1 student from a STEM background can have only 3 years of OPT, that's the only time they can save on taxes, once you go to H1 you have to pay those. So nothing like 5 year no taxes
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Twitter shdjskpqpn
      I said for the first five years of an F-1 visa. Doesn't matter how long your OPT is. From the day you get your visa + 5 years you don't have to pay FICA.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • GE / Eng
      monopoly12

      GE Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      BIO
      Senior Software Engineer
      monopoly12more
      Even that is not true. For F1 in a "STEM" degree only that 5 year thing applies. If someone is doing an MBA they will get only a year on OPT. So that makes it 3 years.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • GE / Eng
      monopoly12

      GE Eng

      PRE
      Oracle
      BIO
      Senior Software Engineer
      monopoly12more
      And OPT actually matters. Only if you work on OPT you make money and get tax waived. So again first 5 years no tax is not true. You can't survive on an F1 without working on OPT.
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Twitter shdjskpqpn
      Yeah I'm not saying how much money you can make. All I'm saying is that you won't have to pay FICA taxes for the first five years on F1, regardless of your Degree.
      If your degree is short, then the entire time you spent on F1 you won't have to
      Pay FICA taxes
      Sep 18, 2017
  • Fitbit Jzoziakwnr
    At your bracket there's not much you can do. As a foreign national don't put your money in a 401k you won't see it again until you retire. Look at an HSA/FSA account. Deduct learning expenses, your cell, internet. Buy a house, it's the best tax credits you can get. There aren't really a lot of ways to save money on federal tax if you don't have a lot of money to start with.
    Sep 17, 2017 4
    • Two Sigma / Eng
      Archon

      Two Sigma Eng

      PRE
      Google
      Archonmore
      You can deduct cell and internet when reporting taxes?
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Gen!x / Eng
      XPbr65

      Gen!x Eng

      BIO
      Mehy
      XPbr65more
      No. It's called tax fraud.

      Edit: you can deduct the portion tied to unreimbursed business use as long as you keep a log of these. Good luck.
      Sep 18, 2017
    • Fitbit Bingooo
      Reasonable deductions for certain occupations. Keep a log for one month. Obviously IT work means you're on call.
      Sep 18, 2017
    • Gen!x / Eng
      XPbr65

      Gen!x Eng

      BIO
      Mehy
      XPbr65more
      Yea, lookup the relevant IRS publication.

      AFAIK, you can't do this. There's an AGI limit you must also hit before unreimbursed expenses kick in.

      My edit above is because I do run a business. Different rules (I'm also super special)

      Op, IMHO avoid this. You'll save $10 now and incur a lot of headache later.
      Sep 18, 2017
  • HouseCanary rBqo26
    Since you're on a student visa, you probably don't make much money. You pay $0 on the first $4k, and 10% on the next ~$9.3k, so it's not much to begin with.
    Sep 17, 2017 2
    • Google patio
      Well that person is on OPT. That was he/she will earn a lot (based on other blind posts)
      Sep 17, 2017
    • Pure Storage / Eng r@nd03
      That is not true. New college grads, who were on F1 visa could work on OPT anywhere from ~1 to ~3 years. And by the end of OPT, a successful engineer at a good company (need not be FANG) may be taking in > 200k in total comp. I don't know what tax saving options are there for OPT folks though.
      Sep 17, 2017

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