What are the Top Ten Tax Myths among international students? Click to find out!
Typical forms that a student may receive for tax filing purposes are:
W-2(Wage and Tax Statement) summary the total amount of wages earned during the year and the amount of money withheld for any taxes (federal, state and local).
1042-S(Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) issued to document taxable scholarship income, and to document scholarship or wage income that is exempt from withholding because of a tax treaty.
1099-INT(Interest Income) this form is issued by your bank, and shows the interest you received on deposits in your bank account or CD. Bank interest is not taxable for nonresident aliens, so you do not need to consider this form in preparing your tax return if you are a non-resident alien for tax purposes.
1099-MISC(Miscellaneous Income) this form is used to show "independent contractor" income. Sometimes, students who work in off-campus jobs for CPT, OPT, or pre-Academic Training are given this form to document job income instead of the W-2. If the income shown on the 1099-MISC is very large, you may owe taxes when you file your return because taxes are not withheld from "independent contractor" income.
1098-T(Tuition Statement) this form is issued by educational institutions in the United States to show the educational expenses for each tax year. This form facilitates U.S. taxpayers (not nonresidents) making application for the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. For nonresidents who are not permitted to utilize this form ISS recommends that you simply attach it to the photocopies of the tax forms you file and keep it for your records.
Please note there may be other tax forms that you may receive. If you receive other forms you may make an appointment with ISS or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
GLACIER Tax Prep
How does GLACIER Tax Prep work?
GLACIER Tax Prep is a software program that will assist you in preparing your U.S. Income tax return. International Student Services will send access information and the password to the TAMU email account of all international students. GLACIER Tax Prep will generate forms (1040NR-EZ, 1040-NR, 8843) for all who are eligible to file as a Nonresident.
Will GLACIER Tax Prep determine if I am a Non-resident or Resident for tax purposes?
Yes! Based on the information that you provide, GLACIER Tax Prep will apply the substantial presence test. This is will determine if you are considered a Non-resident or Resident for tax purposes
I worked in California while on CPT. Can I use GLACIER Tax Prep to file my state return?
No! GLACIER Tax Prep can only be used to file federal Income tax. In order to file a state tax return you will need to download the applicable State Tax Forms. You can make an appointment with an ISS advisor, or contact the appropriate state tax office directly for assistance with filing your state income tax return.
How long is my information maintained in GLACIER Tax Prep?
You will be asked whether you would like GLACIER Tax Prep to save your information until June 16th or delete your information. If you select “save”, your information will be available to you for modification and/or reprint until June 16th. If you select “delete” you will be required to reenter all your data. After June 16th your data will no longer be stored and you no longer have access to your GLACIER Tax Prep account.
I am a F1 or J1 student and I had no US Income (wages or scholarships) during 2013, or my only US income was bank interest. Do I need to file any tax forms?
Yes! You need to file Form 8843. This is the only form you will need to complete if you had no US income (wages or scholarships) or only earned bank interest. F1 or J1 students with US income from other sources will need to file form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843. You will also need to have your immigration documents as questions that you will be asked will require you to refer to your immigration documentation.
I am a new student for the Spring 2014 semester but have arrived in the US in late December 2013. Do I need to file any tax forms?
Yes! If you and/or your dependents are in the US even 1 day in 2013 you must file Form 8843
What about my F-2 and J-2 dependents? Are they required to file a tax return?
Yes! All F2 and J2 dependents, must file Form 8843. Even if they did not have any US income during 2013 or if the only income they received was bank interest. If there was any other US income they will need to file 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ in addition to Form 8843
I am married, but my spouse lived outside of the US or in another state during all of 2013. Should I file married or single?
You can only file as Married filing Separate. Single is only for individuals that are not married by the end of the tax calendar year
I am leaving the country before I can file my taxes. What should I do?
Make sure that you foreign address has been update with the Payroll Office so that your W2 forms and/or 1042-S can be mailed to you. You can file your 2013 Federal Income tax return from abroad. Additionally to ensure that you receive the Glacier Tax Prep access code and other important tax information, you will need to sign up for the ISS Listserv , http://twitter.com/#!/TAMUISS and/or the ISS Facebook page. Be sure to keep copies of all documents being sent to the IRS for future reference
What documents do I need to file my tax return?
International students may receive a variety of tax forms while they are studying at Texas A&M University. Not every student will receive the same forms. Typical forms that a student may receive are:
W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement)
1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding)
1099-INT (Interest Income)
1098-E (Student Loan Interest Statement)
** Please remember that you will also need your immigration documents in order to process your taxes.**
How do I complete Form 8843?
If you are a F1/J1 student only complete Part I and Part III. If you are a F2/J2 dependent only complete Part I.
Do I need a SSN or ITIN to complete Form 8843?
The IRS recently announced that F and J visa that are only required to file the Form 8843 do not need and SSN or ITIN
I have received a form 1042-S. Do I include this income on my 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ?
It is recommended that you refer to the IRS and online help with GLACIER Tax Prep to determine your specific reporting requirements.
I have U.S. Income other than bank interest, which form should I use: 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR?
Most students find that they can use the 1040NR-EZ, which is shorter and easier to complete. You will need to complete the Form 8843 when filing both 1040NR-EZ and 1040NR
I am a non-resident for tax purposes and I have received a 1099-INT for bank interest. Is this considered earned income?
No! Simple bank interest and interest on CDs are not considered as earned income for nonresidents and therefore are not reportable. Retain the 1099-INT form for your records. Please note if you file as a resident for tax purposes, bank interest IS taxable income.
What is the deadline for filing 2013 tax forms?
If you are filing Form 1040NR-EZ or Form 1040NR, the deadline to file is April 15th 2014. If you had no US income, and are only filing Form 8843, you must file by June 15, 2014. These deadlines refer to the date the envelope must be postmarked by the post office.
I am unable to file by the deadline, what do I do?
If you need more time, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension of time until August 15. You will not be notified that the extension request is approved, it is automatic. If you owe any taxes, you must still mail your estimated tax payment by April 15 or you will be assessed penalties and interest as of April 15 on any payment owed. Be sure to sign and date the forms and keep copies for your records.
I forgot to file my taxes last year, what do I do?
Go to the IRS website to find the correct form for the tax year and instructions. Complete the form and mail to IRS. Make sure to write the tax filing year on the outside of the envelope when preparing it for mailing. You can also make an appointment with an ISS advisor to help answer any questions you may have regarding the appropriate tax forms.
How Do I File?
Tax forms for most international students are typically required to be mailed. Taxpayers can choose to get a paper check or direct deposit for their refunds, if they receive tax refunds. Taxpayers choose direct deposit for their refunds may get their refunds in a few. That compares to approximately six weeks for people who file a paper return and get a traditional paper check.
All international students should first use GLACIER Tax Prep when filing a Federal Income tax return. You can locate ISS Glacier Tax Prep workshops on the ISS web page under events.
Always make copies of the information you send to the IRS and save copies of tax returns and receipts for at least seven years. This information is not only important to the IRS but also to you as it may have an impact on your immigration status, under certain instances.
International students who are nonresidents for tax purposes CANNOT e-file as they have to file 1040NR returns. Please use GLACIER Tax Prep to determine your residency status - DO NOT ASSUME your residency status.
FAILURE TO FILE A TAX RETURN, OR FILING IT INCORRECTLY, MAY RESULT IN SEVERE PENALTIES, INCLUDING FINES AND INTEREST ON UNPAID TAXES. ALSO, NOTE THAT AN INDIVIDUAL’S TAX FILING HISTORY IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY.
Individuals who cannot file by the applicable deadline above can request a 6-month extension by filing Form 4868. Please note that while the extension is automatic you will still need to submit part or all of your estimated income tax by the April 15, 2014 deadline. Form 4868 must be postmarked by the original filing deadline that applies to you in order to be valid. Extensions are automatically granted if the proper form is postmarked by the deadline; you will not be notified. All IRS forms and publications are available in PDF format online at the IRS website
Where Do I File?
Individuals filing as nonresidents for tax purposes should mail completed federal tax return forms and attachments to:
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
Note: This is the complete mailing address. There is no post office box or street address.
Should I keep copies of U.S. federal tax returns and other tax forms?
Yes! Always keeps copies of tax returns and all other pertinent forms as proof that taxes have been filed. The IRS can audit individual returns for up to three years following the deadline. ISS also recommends that you keep your tax forms forever. Many students who have gone on to do change of status to H1-B visa types or apply for legal permanent residency in the U.S. have been required to provide copies of their U.S. tax returns.
Social Security / ITIN
Do I or my dependents need a Tax ID Number (ITIN) or a SSN to file?
If you are filing a 1040NR-EZ and you do not already have a SSN you will need to obtain an ITIN. Only get an ITIN for those individuals that are allowable as dependents.
If you are filing a 1040NR you are required to obtain ITIN for all your dependents.
GLACIER Tax Prep has determined that the only forms I need to file will be a Form 8843. Do I need and ITIN?
The IRS has recently announced that F and J visa holders who have no US source income, and file only the Form 8843, do not need an SSN or an ITIN to file.
Both 1040NR-EZ and 1040NR asks for SSN or ITINs. Is this the same as my UIN?
No! Your UIN is assigned by Texas A&M University and is attached to your individual student record. A Social Security Number (SSN) is issued by the Social Security Administration to all eligible F-1, J-1 student and J-2 dependents. Any student or dependents who will not work and do not have a SSN number must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions
I am married and have a child who was born in the U.S. Can I claim a personal exemption for my wife and child?
As a rule, No! Only students from Mexico, Canada, Korea, and India can claim exemptions for their dependents. For specific requirements refer to IRS Publication 901 US Tax Treaties
GLACIER Tax Prep has determined that I am a nonresident for tax purposes. Can I claim the HOPE or Tuition Tax Credit?
No! Non-residents cannot claim the HOPE of Tuition Tax Credit.
I am a student from India and I have been told that I can claim the standard deduction. Is this true?
Yes! ONLY students from India are allowed to claim the standard deduction on non-resident tax forms. More information regarding this benefit can be found in IRS Publication 901 under US Tax Treaties. By electing to claim the standard deduction, you CANNOT claim any itemized deductions.
I am on Practical Training and Social Security/Medicare taxes are being withheld from by my employer. As an international student am I exempt from paying Social Security /Medicare taxes?
F1 Students, who qualify as nonresident aliens for tax purposes, are exempt from Social Security/Medicare taxes. This is the case even if you are currently on OPT or CPT
How do I claim a refund for Social Security/Medicare taxes that have been incorrectly withheld by my employer?
First approach your employer and request this withholding to. Also ask if the employer is willing to reimburse the amount already withheld. If your employer is unwilling to provide a reimbursement, you may need to file Form 843 Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, directly with the IRS.
GLACIER Tax Prep has determined that I am a resident for tax purposes. Am I still exempt from having Social Security/Medicare taxes withheld by my employer?
No! Once you are considered a resident for tax purposes, you are subject to social Security/Medicare taxes.
I have been contacted by the IRS requesting addition information. What should I do?
Contact ISS to schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor. The advisor will sit down with you to discuss the information that has been requested and offer any additional information that may be needed. Please be sure to bring the document received from the IRS to your appointment for their review.
I already mailed my return, but I discovered a mistake. What should I do?
In certain circumstances, if a mistake is found in a tax return that has already been filed, you will need to file an “amended” return. If you filed your return for 2013 and are due a refund, wait until the refund has been received before filing an amended return. Please make an appointment with an ISS advisor to find out more about filing an amended return.
Does Texas have a state income tax?
No! Texas does not have a state income tax. Be aware, however that if you lived in another state for part or all of 2013, and that state does have a state income tax, you will need to file that state’s forms
Are ISS advisors certified public accountants?
No! ISS advisors are not certified public accountants, or tax professionals. They are VITA certified through the IRS as volunteers, but they will not complete tax forms for you. ISS advisors may offer information and assistance with resources for tax purposes.
If you have questions you may e-mail ISS at email@example.com, or you may set up an appointment with an ISS advisor by calling 979-845-1824. You may also utilize the following additional resources:
Payroll Services: http://payroll.tamu.edu/ (Information on Form W-2, Form 1042-S, and Form 1098-T)
IRS web page: www.irs.gov
International Tax Help Line: 215-516-2000
State Tax Forms:http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.php