Archive for March, 2019

  • Is Sprintax Safe?

    US tax deadline Sprintax

    Spotting tax scams a mile off – How to securely file your tax return and retrieve your refund

     

    Every non-resident student and J-1 participant is legally obliged to file a tax return before the 15 April deadline.

    And for thousands of non-residents each year, the prospect of filing a tax return is incredibly daunting.

    Let’s face it. US tax can be pretty complicated, even for Americans!

    So it makes sense that so many non-residents seek help with completing their tax return.

    There are countless tax agents and accountants who offer tailored US tax services for international students and J-1 participants.

    But the fact is that not every tax agent acts in the best interests of their non-resident clients.

    With tax season 2019 well and truly in full flow, now seems like a pretty good opportunity to take a look at some of the pitfalls facing non-residents who want to enlist the services of a tax agent.

    Is Sprintax safe for US tax returns?

    Spotting Scammers

    Unfortunately, choosing a non-resident tax agent is not as straight-forward as it may seem for non-residents.

    For example, there are many dubious tax companies out there who boast about how much they save their customers on their tax bill or claim that they can retrieve inflated tax refunds.

    However, it’s important to ask yourself – are they really the best people to handle your tax affairs? After all, if you choose the wrong tax company, and incorrect information is submitted on your tax return, you will be seen as fraudulent by the IRS and you may have to pay fines and penalties.

     

    Inflated tax refunds

    Whoever said; ‘if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true’ was really on to something!

    The well-known idiom particularly rings true when it comes to US non-resident tax!

    One of the main reasons certain tax companies advertise inflated refund figures is because they are claiming expenses and reliefs that their non-resident clients are not entitled to claim.

    As a result, their clients file fraudulent tax returns and run a high risk of incurring penalties and interest payments.

    Take the ‘personal exemption’ for example.

    In previous years, every non-resident (such as international students and J-1 participants) who was working in the US was entitled to earn up to $4,050 without paying tax, through the personal exemption.

    However, following the introduction of the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’, the personal exemption was reduced from $4,050 to $0 in January 2018.

    Non-residents are no longer entitled to claim a personal exemption. If a tax agent is telling you that you can claim this deduction, they are not acting in compliance with the IRS.

    It doesn’t matter if you filed the return yourself, or a dishonest company filed the tax return on your behalf, it is you that will be held responsible should a fraudulent tax return be filed in your name.

    Who can I trust with my non-resident tax return?

    Tax agents for US residents

    Some US tax agents specialize only in returns for residents. If, as a J-1 participant or international student, you use one of these companies, you will prepare an incorrect tax return.

    Non-residents should file either Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.

     

    There is a way that you can get help with your tax return, ensure that you stay compliant with the IRS and claim your maximum legal tax refund.

    How?

    Trust Spritnax

    Choose Sprintax!

    Sprintax is the only online Federal and State self-prep tax software for non-residents in the US.

    When you create a Sprintax account, our software will guide you through the entire tax filing process from beginning to end and ensure that your tax return is prepared in full compliance with the IRS.

    We’ll first determine your tax residency status before identifying which forms you need to complete based on your own personal circumstances. You’ll be able to avail of any tax deductions or benefits you’re entitled to and claim your maximum legal tax refund.

    You’ll be asked a few easy questions and based on the information you provide, you will then be able to download your fully completed and compliant 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ (non-resident tax return).

    Sprintax is a fully transparent service.

    You can prepare your Federal tax return from $37.95 and your State tax return from $29.95. There are no hidden fees.

    And if you need a hand during the tax prep process, our tax team are available 24/7 to offer uncomplicated guidance in plain English.

     

    Security of your data

    Not only do we guarantee to keep you compliant with the IRS, we’re also dedicated to protecting your personal and financial information.

    You can have peace of mind that the quality management of our personal income tax filing and refund services is certified by the internationally recognized ISO 9001 quality mark!

    We conduct security tests on our site every day and use the most advanced security technology available. All security protection measures are overseen by a team who are dedicated to protecting your privacy.

     

    But don’t just take our word for it…

    We prepare more than 100,000 US tax returns every year. So it’s safe to say we know a little bit about US tax!

    Sprintax is the ‘go-to’ tax preparation software for numerous major universities in the US including, Columbia, Arizona State University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Cornell. And we’re also the non-resident partner of choice for Turbo Tax.

    Through the years we have received countless positive responses from our customers.

    In fact, we have an 8.3 (/10) Trustscore on Trustpilot.com and you can see some of our reviews and testimonials here:

    Trustpilot.com

    Sprintax.com

    We value all customer feedback, as it provides an important way for us to review the quality of our service. So why not drop us a line and tell us how we’re doing!

    Can I file my tax return with Sprintax

    Prepare with Sprintax. File with confidence!

    With Sprintax you can:

    • Save time and stress!
    • Prepare a fully compliant US tax return
    • Determine your residency status
    • Maximize your State tax refund
    • Avail of our 24/7 Vita Qualified Live Chat facility
    • Enjoy a user friendly system

     

    Prepare your tax return the easy way here

     

    Subscribe to the Sprintax Blog!

    US tax can be confusing. Especially for nonresidents!

    That’s why, if you’re an International Student or J-1 participant in the US, or you work in a University International Student Office, you should subscribe to the Sprintax blog.

    You’ll find tons of useful content for nonresidents. We cover tax, student life, acclimatizing to the US and much more.

    So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and never miss a thing!





  • On a Sports Scholarship in the US? Here’s What You Need to Know!

    international student sports scholarship tax

    Many athletes dream of having an opportunity to move to the US on a sports scholarship and study in one of their world famous universities. If you are good enough to have been offered a scholarship, here’s what you need to know about taxes!

    Studying in the US is expensive and while most universities offer scholarships and many accept applications from international students. Over 600 US universities offer $20,000 worth of scholarships to international students. If you’d like to read more about scholarships for international students in the US check out this short post from the Sprintax blog.

    If you are an international student, in the US on a sports or athletic scholarship you are most likely considered a nonresident and you’re legally obliged to file a federal tax return even if you have received even $1cent.

    You may also be obliged to file a state tax return, depending on your personal circumstances.

    That’s right! And you could get in a lot of trouble if you don’t file. This can affect your ability to return to the US or complete your studies. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve a sports scholarship. Why ruin it by failing to file your taxes?

    If you’re on a sports scholarship in the US, here are some tax tips from Sprintax:

     

    When should I start preparing my US tax return?

    It’s never a good idea to leave important things like tax filing until the last minute. Filing on time also means you can receive your tax refund sooner!

    Yes, the deadline for filing is the 15th of April but you should prepare your documents in advance so that everything runs smoothly.

     

    What forms must I file for my US tax return?

    To file a fully compliant tax return, you must make sure you are submitting the correct forms.

    Even if you have earned nothing during your time spent in the US, you must file a Form 8843 with the IRS.

    If you did receive money while in the US during the tax year, you will have to file a Federal Tax Return in addition to your Form 8843.

    Depending on your personal situation, you may also have to file a State Tax Return. Sprintax is the only online tax preparation software that covers both Federal and State tax prep for nonresidents in the US – so don’t worry, we can help you find out what forms you must file.

     

    How do I know what my residency status is?

    This is very important.

    It is not possible to file a fully compliant tax return without knowing your residency status.

    The two most common tax residency statuses are; nonresident and resident.

    If you are an international student in the US on an F, J, M or Q visa – you are most likely considered a nonresident alien for tax purposes.

    If you’re unsure of your residency status, Sprintax will help you figure that out too.

    international student sports scholarship

    What will I need to file my US tax return as an international student?

    • Passport
    • Visa/immigration status information – this includes Form DS-2019 (for J visa holders) or a Form I-20 (for F visa holders)
    • Income forms – W2 Form, 1042-S and/or 1099
    • Social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
    • If you filed a tax return with the IRS last year, you will need a copy of that tax return.

    If you don’t have an ITIN, Sprintax can help you apply for one.

    Not sure if you need it? Watch this short video and find out!

    Make sure you have all the right documents. The sooner you start preparing, the better – that way you can contact employers if you haven’t received your payment documents for example.

    Filing taxes is challenging but Sprintax offer a service that makes preparing your tax return easy! If you’re on a sports scholarship and you’d like help with getting your tax return ready for filing season, contact us today.

    Subscribe to the Sprintax Blog!

    US tax can be confusing. Especially for nonresidents!

    That’s why, if you’re an International Student or J-1 participant in the US, or you work in a University International Student Office, you should subscribe to the Sprintax blog.

    You’ll find tons of useful content for nonresidents. We cover tax, student life, acclimatizing to the US and much more.

    So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and never miss a thing!