One of the most commonly asked questions is, ” Can I do stock trading in US, I just came to US on H1B visa ? Here are few of my thoughts and experiences.
Can you do stock Trading on H1B visa – Any rules ?
Yes, you can do stock trading in US by creating an account on your name from one of the online stock brokers like Scott trade, Ameritrade, TradeKing, etc. It is perfectly legal to do stock trading. I personally have an account and it is very easy to sign up too. You will be asked for Social Security Number (SSN) and other details when you signup for the account. You cannot trade on behalf of someone or for someone, it should be your personal account. You can always speak to these agencies to get more information on how trading works for internationals.
Paying taxes for Stocks trading on H1B visa
You should pay taxes for all your Stock earnings you make. No exceptions as it is a source of income and IRS taxes for all income. If you have made money or have done any transactions, it is a good idea to go to a tax consultant to get help with filing taxes. Personally, me and my friends, as we are on H1B visa we use tax consultants for filing taxes for stocks, as it can get complicated. Because, if you lose money, it is tax deductible and you can get some advantages. Do NOT mess with tax filing in US.
Day trading vs Delivery based trades on H1B visa ?
It is very common for most of the internationals to do delivery based trades, but some may have thoughts about day trading and having it as a full time job. The reality is, you cannot do it as a full time job because you are sponsored H1B visa and should work full time for your primary job or company full time. Day trading may be done on and off, but it should not be done so much that it takes away time away from your primary job. This is based on my knowledge and experience.
Do USCIS have any official references on stock trading ?
Well, actually No. USCIS only publishes anything related to status. You should not violate your main status, when you do these side activities. What it means is that, if you are full time student on F1 visa, you need to be enrolled full time and maintain legal status and not work off camps, etc. Similarly, if you are on H1B Visa, you are supposed to work full time for the companies that sponsor you H1B Visa, you cannot do stock trading on your own as full time job…If you are in doubt, you should always check with your attorney or your DSO, in case of F1 visa to get more clarity on specifics. My experience has been that you can do stock trading, as a side hobby or after office work, long as you declare everything and pay proper tax for the same.
What has been your experience ? Share your experiences
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