中国留学生和访问学者在美国享受税务减免的政策

2019年01月10日 美国德州阳光地产


美国的教育可是世界上最为领先的。在美国拥有非常多的知名学校。所以国内很多家长都是愿意让孩子去美国留学的。在美国有很多中国的留学生,今天我们就为大家来说说中国留学生和访问学者在美国享受税务减免的政策。

 

第一、教师、教授和高校研究人员3年内豁免联邦税

1、官方文件

An individual who is, or immediately before visiting a Contracting State was, a resident of the other Contracting State and is temporarily present in the first-mentioned Contracting State for the primary purpose of teaching, giving lectures or conducting research at a university, college, school or other accredited educational institution or scientific research institution in the first mentioned Contracting State shall be exempt from tax in the first mentioned Contracting State for a period not exceeding three years in the aggregate in respect of remuneration for such teaching, lectures or research.

中国居民来美国的高校和科研机构从事教学、演讲、做研究,3年内的这部分收入无需缴纳联邦收入税。该文件的中文版本参见这里(当然实际报税甚至若需要和 IRS 辩论还得引用英文版本)。

访问学者一般是 J-1 身份,也有少数的 H-1B,如上面这位读者。关于在美国有工资收入的博士和博士后如何报税,参见这篇文章。

2、“Three years in the aggregate” 如何计算

既然是“aggregate”,所以无需是连续的3年,若中途离开美国、回到中国、之后再次回来美国,仍然可以接着计算。参见 IRS 在这份文件里举的例子:Thus, for example, a resident of China who visits the United States to conduct research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) for two years, 1986 and 1987, returns to China for a year, and then comes back for another year of research at NIH in 1989 would be exempt from tax on his NIH remuneration for each of the three years. However, if he stayed at NIH in 1990 or returned at a later time the exemption would no longer be available。

「年」的计算是从抵达美国之日起计算365天。最接近官方解释的是IRS 2014 年的一份备忘录,里面引用了 US-UK Tax Treaty 的先例,并举了一个例子,是这样计算的:

It is the purpose of [the exemption under Article 18 of the 1945 U.K. treaty] that such exemption shall cease at the end of 2 years from the date of [the individual’s] initial arrival in the United States. Thus, if [the individual] reaches the United States on July 1, 1945, he is exempt with respect to his remuneration earned in the United States up to June 30, 1947.

在这个例子里,美、英有类似的免税条款,但是只适用于2年(而不是3年),假设此人1945年7月1日抵达美国开始教学,他的免税期到1947年6月30日为止。中美条约虽然我没找到如此翔实的例子,但该备忘录既然参循先例,中美条约应该也是按照这种计算方式。

3、留学完成之后立刻留下来教书也可以算

上面提到的 2014 年备忘录,是关于中美 Treaty Article 19 是否适用于在美国留学之后留下来教学的人员,其意见认为,只要满足以下4个条件即可使用 Article 19:

the individual is a resident of China for the year at issue or was a resident of China immediately before visiting the United States as a student or trainee;

the individual is “temporarily present” (notwithstanding the fact that the individual was present in the United States in prior years solely for educational or training purposes) in the United

States for the year at issue for the primary purpose of teaching, giving lectures, or conducting research;

the individual's teaching, lecturing, or research activities take place at a university, college, school, or other accredited educational institution or scientific research institution in the United States; and

the individual has not claimed benefits under Article 19 for more than three years in the aggregate.

只要满足上述条件(只是临时职位、之前没用过或没用完 Article 19),即使是留学毕业之后立刻留在美国教书,仍然可以使用 Article 19 免税。若以前已经用完了 Article 19 的36个月免税条款,今后就不能再用了;比如说:你 2000/07/01-2003/06/30 用 Article 19 享受了3年的免税期,回中国工作了几年,2006年再次来美国从事科研教学工作,就不能再享受3年的免税了。

 

第二、留学生和培训生有5,000美元免税额度

A student, business apprentice or trainee who is, or was immediately before visiting a Contracting State, a resident of the other Contracting State and who is present in the first- mentioned Contracting State solely for the purpose of his education, training or obtaining special technical experience shall be exempt from tax in that Contracting State with respect to:

1.payments received from abroad for the purpose of his maintenance, education, study, research or training;

2.grants or awards from a government, scientific, educational or other tax-exempt organization; and

3.income from personal services performed in that Contracting State in an amount not in excess of 5,000 United States dollars or its equivalent in Chinese yuan for any taxable year.

The benefits provided under this Article shall extend only for such period of time as is reasonably necessary to complete the education or training.

中国居民来美国学习或接受培训,学费、奖学金等收入无需交税;其他个人收入享有5,000美元的免税额度。这里的 taxable year 是指 calendar year,而不是365天。留学生一般是 F-1 或 M-1 签证。

 

第三、转换身份有可能无法享受豁免

本站一位作者亲身经验:以F-2身份入境美国,后来转成F-1读书,结果学校认为她不符合 Article 20 的要求,因为在转换身份前她已经在美国居住,不是中国居民,不符合「was a resident of China immediately before visiting」,用学校提供的软件报税时这一项 treaty 就是过不去。

这种理解我不是很能接受,因为从字面意思上来说「was a resident of China immediately before visiting the U.S.」就是说「来美国之前是中国居民」,并不是「你在得到本次 Legal Status 之前是中国居民」。

读者如果有类似的转换身份经历,并且报税的时候也遇到过 treaty 的问题,欢迎补充 -- 证实或证伪均可。

 

以上文章内容从三个方面为大家介绍了一下中国留学生和访问学者在美国享受税务减免的政策。如果你身边有人去美国留学的话,对于这些减免政策也一定要提前来了解一下。

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