The month of April is known in the United States as the month of the taxes, since it is when the declaration of the income is made. If you are living in this country, in this article we tell you everything you need to know when making your tax return.

Documents needed to make the declaration

First of all, if you work in the country, you need the W2 document, which shows all the income you received the previous year, as well as the taxes withheld from you. That is, annual gross salary and annual net salary. If you do another type of activity (for example, if you are a student or au-pair), you will not receive the W2 document. Instead, you will receive other types of documents specific to your situation. On the Internal Revenue Service website you can find the specific documents you would need. You may also receive the W2 along with other documents (for example, if you are a student but also work).

In addition to these documents related to your activity, you need a document issued by your health insurance as proof that you have coverage. You will also need your social security card. This document associates your name with a number and is not renewed annually, but is permanent. In cases where your legal situation in the country does not allow you to have your own social security card, you will have to apply for an ITIN, which is a temporary number that fulfils the functions of social security.

There are a number of other documents that are more optional and that you may not need. For example, the 1099 form is used when you have received interest from banks or shares, among others. In addition, the United States has a tax treaty with Spain whereby Spanish citizens who receive income in that country can avoid paying certain taxes. If you choose to use this treaty, you will receive document 1042-S.

How to complete your income tax return

Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you will need to complete the declaration and enter all the information that appears on your documents. The main form you must fill in is known as the 1040 form, although there are different forms of this form depending on your residential status. They are usually distinguished by letters that appear at the end (for example, form 1040-EZ). You will have to confirm the specific form through the Internal Revenue Service website mentioned above.

You can fill out the form yourself, use specific software or go to a tax advisor. The second is the most recommendable, as it is cheap and you avoid making a mistake (and therefore receive a fine). After that, you will have to send everything to the central office in Texas and to your state tax office.