The following is a list of options for receiving help with your tax forms. Do not seek tax advice from personnel in International Studies or the Payroll Office as we are not qualified or permitted to offer this service. Please keep in mind that most tax preparers are not familiar with international tax issues so specialized assistance may be necessary.
Additional Questions and Answers:
Do I have to file my US Tax Returns?
One condition required by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for all educational and employment programs into the US, is that all participants must file their US tax returns. Failure to do so can result in being denied a future visa. For example, when applying for a US Green Card, checks are done on those who have previously worked in the US, to ensure their tax returns have been filed. As most people are entitled to a tax refund, it is good for you to file.
What is the deadline?
The US income tax return due date is April 15. Students with only passive income have until June 15th to file their federal income tax return. Furthermore, it is possible to obtain an extension to file your USA Income Tax Return, if you file an extension request before the above due dates and have paid all your income taxes. If state and local income tax returns are due, their due date maybe different than the federal due date.
Who can apply for a refund?
If you worked in the US, and had a social security number, you can apply for a refund. All nationalities can apply. You may also be eligible for a tax refund, if you had an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and had USA income tax withheld on passive income such as dividends, etc.
Can I do it myself?
Yes you can file your taxes by yourself. This can be tricky for international students so it is suggested that you get some assistance, either from a tax return company or tax accountant.
How much can I get back?
This depends on how much you earn, and also on your visa type, nationality and length of time spent in the US. This is all taken into account when calculating your tax refund.
What is a W2 form?
This is a statement from your employer of how much money you have earned, and how much Federal, State, Local, Social Security and Medicare taxes have been deducted on your behalf. Your employer should send this to you the year after your employment. For example, if you work during 2005, you will receive your W2 during 2006.
Additional reminder: Be sure to sign your tax forms before sending them in the mail and always keep a copy of your forms for your records.