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[[Hello, all. I have a quick question. I recently received a slip of "Form
(Miscellaneous Income), in which I earned $4,976.25 as "non-employee
compensation" doing some translation work in 1998 while I was a student. My
question is, do I have to file for Federal tax for 1998? I'm a non-resident alien
(Japanese citizen) and did not hold any other job in '98.]]

If you have income generated from within the US, generated from US sources, it is very possible that you'll have to file.

[[ I went over several IRS documents, but I
just confused myself even more with all the legal mambo jumbos. One document
says "the exemption amount for most taxpayers are $6,500," but
another document says "the exemption for non-resident aliens are $2,700."

Does anyone (maybe international people working in the U.S.) have an answer
for me? Should I contact IRS, H&R block, or a local tax accountant?]]

If you have already read IRS Publications 519 and 901 and are still confused, you certainly may have to get a tax pro involved. But make sure to get somebody who has at least some backround in taxation issues involving visa students and/or resident/non-resident aliens.

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