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  • I filed as a resident in 2018. I have since left the US. I received the CARES payment. What should I do?

    Filed as resident in 2018, but since then left the US and now received the CARES act stimulus check, what should I do?

    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the US government rolled out the emergency CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

    Essentially, it is a stimulus package which provides workers (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.

    The stimulus payment can only be claimed by US citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes (individuals who can pass the Substantial Presence Test) who have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), who have filed their 2018 tax return (in 2019), or their 2019 return (in 2020) and who will be considered a qualifying resident alien for the 2020 tax year.
    Continue reading “I filed as a resident in 2018. I have since left the US. I received the CARES payment. What should I do?” »

  • Key takeaways from our COVID-19 Tax Webinar!

    Sprintax COVID-19 tax webinar

    Updated 7 May 2020

    How coronavirus has affected nonresident tax compliance & how you can support your international students & scholars

    The US government introduced the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The act provides for a one-time stimulus payment of $1,200 to be paid to workers who are earning less than $75,000 per year.

    However, almost as soon as the CARES Act was introduced, a number of questions about the payment sprang up.

    What are the eligibility requirements for the payment, can nonresidents benefit from the CARES Act, and what should an international student do if they receive the payment in error – these are just a handful of the queries being asked every day by students and universities alike.

    In our webinar – How COVID-19 has affected nonresident tax compliance & how you can support your international students, scholars or J1 participants – we explore the common tax issues that COVID-19 has presented for international offices, payroll departments, visa sponsors and their nonresidents. We also answer some of the most common questions on the topic.

    Re-watch the webinar!

    US tax webinar for nonresident

    Missed the webinar? Don’t worry! You can watch it back right here.

    Here are the key takeaways from our COVID-19 Tax Webinar

    The CARES Act

    1. What is the Economic Impact Payment?

    In short, the CARES Act is a stimulus package which aims to support workers with a one-time payment.

    • Single individuals (earning less than $75,000 per year) will receive a payment of $1,200
    • Married couples (who file jointly and earn less than $150,000) will receive $2,400
    • Families will also get $500 per child

    2. Who is eligible for the Economic Impact Payment?

    An individual is eligible for this payment if they:

    1. Are a US Resident for tax purposes
    2. Have filed a resident tax return (Form 1040) in 2018 or 2019
    3. Will be considered a qualifying resident alien for the 2020 tax year
    4. Have an Adjusted Gross Income of between $75,000 and $99,000 (increasing for head of household and married filing jointly)
    5. Possess a valid social security number
    6. Not have been claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return

    Read more about the CARES Act payment and who is entitled to it here.

    3. What about nonresident aliens, are they entitled to the Economic Impact Payment?

    No, nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive this payment.

    4. What is the difference between a resident and nonresident for tax purposes?

    Firstly, it’s important to note that residency for tax purposes is completely independent of visa or immigration status.

    Generally speaking, most international students, scholars and J-1 participants who are on F, J, M or Q visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes.

    Here’s some important points to keep in mind:

    • F-1 and J-1 students are typically considered nonresident for their first 5 calendar years in the US
    • Individuals in the US under other categories of J visa are generally considered nonresidents for 2 out of the last 6 calendar years in the US
    • If they’ve been in the US for longer than the 5 or 2 year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine their tax residency

    Sprintax will guide students through the Substantial Presence Test and confirm if they were a resident or nonresident for that tax year.

    5. If an international student, scholar or J visa holder received the stimulus payment in error, what should they do?

    resident tax return smaller-min

    The first thing to note is that any international student or J-visa holder, who will not be considered a resident alien for the 2020 tax year, is not eligible for the payment and must return the payment to the IRS.

    International students and J-visa holders should also double check which tax return they prepared for 2018 and/or 2019. They will need to determine whether it was a Form 1040 (for residents) or a Form 1040NR (for nonresidents).

    If they filed a Form 1040 this means that they filed as a resident for that year.

    To double check that their tax return was filed correctly, the student can simply:

    • Login to Sprintax
    • Complete the free Substantial Presence Test. Our software will confirm whether the student was a resident or nonresident for that tax year

    If the individual has previously filed as a resident and the result of the Substantial Presence Test is that they should have filed as a nonresident, they must prepare and send an amended tax return (1040X) to the IRS.

    We recommend that the nonresident amends their incorrect return as soon as possible and this can be easily done online using Sprintax.

    Finally, they should also return the stimulus payment to the IRS. It’s a good idea to include a cover note to explain why they are returning the payment. Return of the payment should be done separately to filing the amended return.

    More details on how to return your payment to the IRS can be found here.

    Finally, the individual should ensure to keep personal copies of everything they send to the IRS.

    If the individual has previously correctly filed as a resident, and they will also be considered a resident for 2020, they will be entitled to keep the payment.

    6. An international student, scholar or J visa holder files correctly as a resident in 2018 or 2019. They leave the US at the end of 2019 and return to their home country. In April 2020 they receive the stimulus payment. What should the student do in this scenario?

    In this scenario, the individual will not be considered a resident alien for the 2020 tax year and should return the payment to the IRS.

    7. Will the IRS eventually be sending out notices to collect the $1,200 payments which were made in error?

    Yes, the IRS has provided guidance for individuals who have received the check in error.

    You can read more here about what to do if you received the check in error.

    8. Is the stimulus check considered taxable income?

    Generally, this type of payment is not taxable.

    However, the IRS have not yet provided final confirmation on whether the stimulus check will be considered taxable.

    9. If someone needs to amend their Federal tax return, do they also need to amend State tax return?

    Yes, depending on their personal circumstances, the individual may also need to amend their State tax return too.

    10. Can Sprintax help with amended tax returns?

    Yes, Sprintax can help nonresident students, scholars, J visa holders and professionals with their amended tax returns.

    You can learn more about how Sprintax can assist with tax return amendments here.

    Want to learn more about the Cares Act payment?

    Sign up for our FREE webinar here!

    J-1 Covid-19 stimulus payment

    Tax filing FAQs

    11. Who needs to file Form 8843?

    Filing a Form 8843 is the minimum requirement for all nonresidents.

    Students and scholars as well as J visa holders need to file Form 8843 irrespective of whether they have received income or not.

    Read more about Form 8843 here.

    12. What are the filing requirements for nonresidents who receive housing or housing allowances?

    Generally, this is considered to be taxable and reportable.

    If the nonresident earns more than $0 in taxable US income, they need to file a Federal tax return if they are a nonresident for tax purposes. They may also have a State filing requirement.

    You can find more information here.

    13. What should a nonresident do if they are filing from overseas? Is e-filing available?

    E-Filing options are limited for nonresident students who are filing from outside the US. Most students will be required to physically mail their tax returns to the IRS.

    It’s important to factor in that delivery times will potentially be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is why it’s a good idea for a student to file their tax documents as soon as possible and use a registered delivery service when mailing the documents from overseas.

    You can find more advice on filing from overseas here.

  • I filed an incorrect tax return. Should I file an amended return to fix it and how?

    How to amend your US tax return - Sprintax

    “Don’t worry if you made a mistake on your tax return or forgot to claim a tax credit or deduction. You can fix it by filing an amended return.” – The IRS

    Made an error on nonresident alien income tax return? Don’t worry, fixing it is not as difficult as you might think!

    US tax can be tricky – especially if you’re a nonresident who is not familiar with the American tax system. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knows the tax code is complex, and that people make mistakes.

    A tax return can be considered ‘incorrect’ or ‘incomplete’ for a variety of different reasons. Simple things like forgetting to sign a form to big issues like misreporting income or incorrectly calculating a deduction can all affect the validity of a tax return. While making a mistake on your return is not necessarily a big deal, it is important that you rectify the situation by filing an amended tax return, where appropriate.

    If you realize that you made an error on a tax return you already filed or you have come across new information (for example you received an additional W-2 or 1042-S), simply file an amended tax return to make a correction.
    Continue reading “I filed an incorrect tax return. Should I file an amended return to fix it and how?” »

  • Nonresident aliens: Your guide to navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments

    Can I claim the CARES payment as a nonresident?

    Updated 7 May 2020

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has introduced the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

    In short, the CARES Act is a stimulus package which aims to support workers (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.

    Married couples (who file jointly and earn less than $150,000) will receive $2,400 and families will also get $500 per child.

    Taxpayers who have filed US tax returns in 2018 or 2019 have already begun to receive CARES payments.

    With that in mind, in this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the CARES payment, who is entitled to receive it, and what you should do if you receive the payment when you are not eligible. 

    Table of Contents:

    As always, if you have any questions about US tax, our Live Chat team are available to support you 24/7. Just get in touch!

    Who is entitled to receive the CARES payment?

    In short, the CARES Act can be claimed by US citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes (individuals who can pass the Substantial Presence Test) who have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) and who have filed their 2018 tax return (in 2019), or their 2019 return (in 2020) and who will be considered a qualifying resident alien for the 2020 tax year.

    Are nonresident aliens entitled to avail of the CARES Act?

    No. Nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive this stimulus.

    You will also not be eligible for this payment if you are:

    • An individual who can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer
    • An estate or trust
    • Part of a married couple where one partner has an SSN and the other has an ITIN or no number (unless one spouse is a member of the armed forces)

    How can I determine whether I am a resident or nonresident alien for tax purposes in the US?

    Can I claim CARES without green card?

    In short, you are a resident alien for tax purposes if you pass either the Green Card or Substantial Presence Tests:

    The Green Card Test

    If you hold a Green Card you are authorized to live and work in the US on a permanent basis and are considered a resident alien for tax purposes.

    The Substantial Presence Test

    Alternatively, if you spend 31 days in the US during the current year and 183 days during the three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that, you will also be considered a resident alien.

    However, it’s important to note that there are exemptions for time spent in transit (less than 24 hours in the US), time during which the person could not leave because he or she required medical treatment, as well as for teachers and students (on F, J, M, or Q visas) who haven’t stayed in the US beyond a certain period of time.

    Complete the Substantial Presence Test for free with Sprintax.

    In Summary

    If you visited the US to live, study or work as a nonresident – for example as an international student or J-1 program participant – and you do not pass the Substantial Presence Test, you will not be entitled to benefit from the CARES Act.

    Are F-1 students eligible for stimulus checks?

    I’m an international student in the US. If I pass the Substantial Presence Test, will I be entitled to receive a stimulus check?

    Can nonresidents claim covid payment?

    The IRS has not published any information which excludes the ‘international’ community in the US from benefiting from the CARES Act.

    So, if you pass the Substantial Presence Test, and you have been in the US long enough to be considered a resident for tax purposes, it is likely that you will be entitled to receive a stimulus check.

    In 2018 I mistakenly filed my tax return as a resident. I should have filed as a nonresident alien. I have now received the CARES payment. What should I do?

    Firstly, don’t worry, you are not alone!

    If you filed as a resident by mistake, all you need to do is file an amended tax return for each year that you filed incorrectly and pay any tax liability that you owe.

    The IRS receives thousands of amended returns each year. The process of filing is relatively straightforward and is very easy to do online with Sprintax.

    If you believe that you have received the stimulus payment in error, it is probably best to return the payment to the IRS.

    Can I claim the Cares payment?

    How to return the CARES stimulus check you received in error

    It is important to return the stimulus payment if you believe that you received it in error.

    You should return the payment separately to your amended return. In other words, the IRS is advising that you do not add the CARES payment to the check or electronic transfer you submit to cover your tax liability.

    Instead you should follow the directions below.

    If you received the payment as a paper check and have not yet cashed it:

    1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
    2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
    3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
    4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.

    If you received the payment as a paper check and cashed it, or if you received the payment as a direct deposit:

    1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
    2. Write on the check/money order made payable to ‘U.S. Treasury’ and write ‘2020EIP’, and your taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number).
    3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the payment.

    Where to return the payment?

    If you live in:

    1. Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Vermont:

         You should mail to this address: Andover Refund Inquiry Unit, 310 Lowell St Mail, Stop 666A, Andover, MA 01810.

    2. Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky or Virginia:

         You should mail to this address: Atlanta Refund Inquiry Unit, 4800 Buford Hwy, Mail Stop 112, Chamblee, GA 30341.

    3. Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma or Texas:

         You should mail to this address: Austin Refund Inquiry Unit, 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35, Mail Stop 6542, Austin, TX 78741.

    4. New York:

        You should mail to this address: Brookhaven Refund Inquiry Unit, 5000 Corporate Ct. Mail Stop 547, Holtsville, NY 11742.

    5. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin or Wyoming:

         You should mail to this address: Fresno Refund Inquiry Unit, 5045 E Butler Avenue, Mail Stop B2007 Fresno, CA 93888.

    6. Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio or West Virginia:

         You should mail to this address: Kansas City Refund Inquiry Unit, 333 W Pershing Rd, Mail Stop 6800, N-2, Kansas City, MO 64108.

    7. Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota or Tennessee:

         You should mail to this address: Memphis Refund Inquiry Unit, 5333 Getwell Rd Mail, Stop 8422, Memphis, TN 38118.

    8. District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania or Rhode Island:

         You should mail to this address: Philadelphia Refund Inquiry Unit, 2970 Market St, DP 3-L08-151, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

    9. A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory*, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien:

        You should mail to this address: Austin Refund Inquiry Unit, 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35, Mail Stop 6542 AUSC, Austin, TX 78741

     

    Finally, it’s a good idea to include a cover note with your amended tax return to confirm why you are returning the payment.

    You should also keep copies of everything that you send to the IRS – both physical and electronic. They may be required for any visa applications you submit in future.

    I filed as a resident in 2018 but I have since left the US. I received the CARES payment to my American bank account. Am I entitled to keep this money?

    Countless international students and scholars who had filed (either correctly or incorrectly) as residents for the 2018 tax year, and since left the US, have received the $1,200 payment.

    However, if you have left the US and you will not be considered a qualifying resident alien for the 2020 tax year, you are not eligible for this payment.

    In this scenario, you should return the payment to the IRS.

    How do I file an amended US tax return?

    How to file an amended US tax return

    You should file a Form 1040X in order to amend the federal income tax return that you filed previously.

    Form 1040X is two pages long and you are only required to include new or updated information.

    You will also find a space where you can write an explanation as to why you are amending your return.

    Here’s everything you need to know about amending a tax return

    Who can help me file an amended US tax return?

    You can easily amend your 2018 or 2019 US tax return using Sprintax!

    You can check our step by step guide to using Sprintax to amend your tax return.

    Amend Your Nonresident Tax Return with Sprintax

     

     

     

     

    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!





  • COVID-19, the CARES payment and the tax deadline – all of your non-resident tax questions answered!

    COVID-19 tax questions

    As a non-resident in the US, you probably have a lot of questions about tax.

    That’s why, at Sprintax, we offer a 24/7 Live Chat service. Our team are available any time day or night to support you and answer all of your tax questions.

    In this blog, we’ve compiled some of the most common tax questions that our team have received recently.

    Recent questions about non-resident taxes

    Q. I have a US tax liability for the 2019 tax year. I can’t afford to pay it by 15 April. What should I do?

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has extended the federal tax filing deadline from 15 April to 15 July 2020. The federal tax payment deadline has also been extended to 15 July. Meanwhile, most states have also extended their filing and payment deadlines to 15 July. There are some exceptions:

    State                                   Extended deadline

    Hawaii                                   20 July

    Idaho                                     15 June

    Iowa                                       31 July

    Virginia                                  1 June

    If you need to defer your tax payment beyond the 15 July deadline, you can file a federal extension until 15 October 2020.

    It’s important to note that the IRS applies late payment and filing penalties if you don’t file by the deadline. The penalties and interest are based on each different case and how many days have passed the due date.

    Frequently asked questions about nonresident taxes during COVID-19 pandemic

    Q. I have heard the tax filing deadline has been extended. When is the last day that I can file my return?

    This depends on your personal circumstances and the state in which you lived and worked or studied.As we mentioned above, the federal tax filing deadline has been extended to 15 July. And most state filing deadlines have also been extended to 15 July. However, if you have a state filing requirement in Idaho (deadline- 15 June), Iowa (31 July) or Virginia (1 June) you will have to file your documents before the deadline.

    Meanwhile, if you lived in Hawaii, you have until 20 July to file your state return.

    Remember, it’s very important to comply with your tax filing obligations.

    By not filing your documents, you can jeopardize your future visa or green card applications.

    You can also be hit with fines and penalties.

    Find out more about the tax deadline extension here.

    Q. I received a $100 dollar bonus when I opened my US bank account. Do I have to pay tax on this money?

    Many banks in the US offer incentives to encourage you to open a bank account.The incentives are often very enticing too and typically you will be offered $100 – $500 as a new account bonus when you shop around.

    In short, if you receive a bank bonus you have a tax filing requirement.

    If the bonus is over $600, the bank is required to report it on a 1099-Misc as an ‘award’.

    If it is less than $600, you will be required to report it as ‘other income’ on your tax return.

    Finally, ‘cash back’ bonuses or any bonuses that require the customer to spend money as a condition in order to receive it are non-taxable and non-reportable.

    Q. In 2019 I attended a university in Florida as a non-resident student. I also worked on campus as a Resident Assistant. One of the perks of the role was that I received on-campus accommodation rent-free. Do I have a tax filing requirement?

    The position of Resident Assistant (RA) is common in campuses across the US.RAs are student leaders who are trained to create welcoming residential environments for fellow students on campus.

    To compensate them for their work, many RAs receive a monthly stipend and complimentary accommodation on campus.

    If your accommodation is paid for by your university to compensate you for your RA role you will have a tax filing requirement.

    If your accommodation is paid for as a part of a grant or scholarship and no personal services are expected to be performed, the income should be reported on a 1042-S form (‘standard income code 16’).

    However, if the payment is provided and there is a requirement to deliver services as a part of the contract (as is likely if you are working as an RA), this income should be reported either on a W-2 form or on a 1042-S (it will be considered income code 18’ or ‘income code 20’ if you are a student on an F or J visa).

    How coronavirus affects your US tax requirements

    Below you will find some of the questions we have received following the outbreak of COVID-19.

    Q. I’m an Indian student attending a New York University as a non-resident scholar. I also teach a class at the university. Due to COVID-19 I am currently teaching my class online from my home in India. Do I have a US tax filing requirement for the teaching income I earn while in India?

    Typically, if you earn US sourced income you will have a US tax filing requirement. Your income will be defined as ‘US sourced’ if:

    • the property that produces the income is located in the US
    • the services for which the income is paid were performed in the US
    • or the income is a dividend equivalent

    If you are not a resident of the US and you are earning income from teaching a class for a US university while you are outside the US (such as your home in India) this income will be treated as foreign income and is not reportable and not taxable in the US.

    Similarly, if you are doing research or writing your thesis while outside the US, the grant you receive to cover your expenses while you work, will be treated as foreign income and is not reportable or taxable in the US.

    It’s important to note that each individual situation is different and you may need a consultation to determine if your income is considered foreign or from US source. Talk with our Live Chat team today!

    International student from India in the US

    Q. I am a Chinese student attending an Ohio university as a non-resident student. Before the coronavirus outbreak, I had been working on campus and earning an income. Fortunately, I am able to continue this employment while working from home in China. Do I have to pay US tax on the income I earn while working from home in China?

    As we mentioned above, your income will be defined as ‘US sourced’ if the property that produces the income is located in the US.When carrying out your work from your home in China, if you are using a software or platform which is installed on a server in the US, the property that produces the income is likely to be considered to be located in the US. Therefore, the income that you earn will be taxable in the US.

    In other words, you will have the same tax filing and payment obligations as you would if you had earned the income while working on campus.

    What’s more, if the payment is provided for a work that you do would normally be performed in the US (for example, after the COVID-19 crisis is over), the income earned is taxable in the US.

     

    Q. I am receiving a scholarship to attend a college in California as a non-resident student. Due to COVID-19 I can no longer attend classes in person. Instead I am attending the classes online from my home country of Brazil! Do I have to pay US tax on my scholarship?

    Scholarships, fellowship grants, targeted grants, and achievement awards received by non-resident aliens for activities performed outside the US are not considered US source income.However, your school must determine if the activity for which they pay the grant is performed outside the US.

    Some important points to consider:

    • If the stipend is granted for tuition it will be treated as foreign income and it is non-reportable and non-taxable
    • If you received travel and living expenses which were intended for you to spend in the US, this income will be considered taxable scholarship in the US
    • Finally, if the stipend you received was paid to cover expenses while you are studying outside the US, the income may be considered foreign income and is non-taxable and non-reportable in the US

    It’s important to note that each individual situation is different and you may need a consultation to determine if your income is considered foreign or from US source. Talk with our Live Chat team today!

    Nonresident alien tax savings

    Q. I am a non-resident alien in the US, can I avail of the CARES Act?

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was introduced by the US government in order to support workers who have lost their job due to the pandemic.Under the Act, many single individuals who earn less than $75,000 can expect to receive a one-time payment of $1,200. Meanwhile married couples who file jointly and earn less than $150,000 will receive a check worth $2,400. Families will also receive $500 per child.

    Payments begin to phase out at $75,000 for single individuals ($150,000 for joint taxpayers) and phase out entirely at $99,000 ($198,000 for joint taxpayers).

    It’s important to note that these are considered one time payments and are not taxable income for recipients because the rebate is a credit against tax liability and is refundable for taxpayers with no tax liability to offset.

    In order to claim CARES, each taxpayer must also have a social security number.

    Q. Are non-resident aliens entitled to avail of the CARES Act?

    In short, no, non-resident aliens are not eligible to receive this payment. It is available for American taxpayers and resident aliens only.

    You are considered to be a resident alien for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test.

    The Green Card test

    You are a resident alien if you have US permanent or conditional residence (a green card). This means that you are a citizen of another country but are authorized to live and work in the US on a permanent basis.

    The Substantial Presence Test

    Even if you do not have a green card, if you spend 31 days in the United States during the current year and 183 days during the three-year period that includes the current year and the two years immediately before that, you are considered a resident alien.

    This can include many people who are in the United States on temporary non immigrant visa types.

    However, there are exemptions for time spent in transit (less than 24 hours in the US), time during which the person could not leave because he or she required medical treatment, as well as for teachers and students (on F, J, M, or Q visas) who haven’t stayed in the US beyond a certain period of time.

    If you do not meet either of these tests, then you are likely a non-resident alien and you will not be eligible for this payment.

    In summary, if you are a resident alien, have a social security number, and earn less than $75,000 as a single individual (or less than $150,000 married filing jointly) you can expect to avail of CARES.

    For more information, check out our full guide to CARES Act Stimulus Payments and how it affects nonresidents.

    Got questions about US tax?

    Get in touch with our Live Chat team anytime 24/7. They will be happy to assist you!

     

    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!





  • Tax deadline extension for 2020 – everything you need to know!

    Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the IRS have announced a 90 day extension to the deadline to file and pay your federal taxes.
    Continue reading “Tax deadline extension for 2020 – everything you need to know!” »

  • The ultimate US tax guide for J-1 participants

    Tens of thousands of people flock to the US on J-1 visas each year.

    Every J-1 participant has a tax filing requirement, it’s the law!

    Many J-1 visa holders are confused by the often tricky US tax jargon. However, it’s not as bad as it seems, and knowing even a little about your filing requirements can go a long way!

    With this in mind, we’ve created a blog post that will answer some common queries from J-1 participants in the US!

    Table of Contents:

    Continue reading “The ultimate US tax guide for J-1 participants” »

  • US tax season survival handbook for international students on F-1 visas

    US tax season guide for international students on F-1 visa

    While tax filing might not be the most exciting aspect of international student life in the US, the importance of completing these forms correctly cannot be underestimated.

    In fact, the way you handle your international student tax affairs will have a major impact on future Green Card and visa applications.

    With this in mind, we’ve created this handy tax guide for international students and scholars in the US on an F-1 visa.

    We’ve covered everything you need to know about tax returns, refunds, and how to stay in the taxman’s good books! So, let’s get started!

    To easily navigate this guide, we’ve listed the main covered topics in the table of contents below.

    Table of Contents

    Continue reading “US tax season survival handbook for international students on F-1 visas” »

  • Your essential guide to the new W-4 form

    The importance of correctly filling out US tax forms can often be disregarded as the process can be, let’s face it, quite boring!

    However, the importance of these forms cannot be underestimated, as it is absolutely crucial for any nonresident to abide by the strict tax laws in The States.

    In fact, the way that you handle your US tax affairs can play a big part in whether your future visa or Green Card applications succeed or not.

    In this blog we’ll lay out some of the key information you need to know before filling out the W-4 form.
    Continue reading “Your essential guide to the new W-4 form” »

  • Form 8843 – what is it and how do I file it?

    Form 8843_Guide_Sprintax

    There are 3 things that every US international student and J-1 visa holder needs to know about American tax:

      1. Every US international student and J-1 visa holder has a tax filing requirement
      2. It doesn’t matter if you have earned income. You must still file your documents before the deadline
      3. The IRS takes this stuff seriously! In other words, if you don’t comply with your tax obligations, you may encounter complications when applying for US visas in the future

    Regardless of whether you have earned income during your time in the US, you will still need to file what’s known as a Form 8843 “Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition”.

    This blog post will focus on exactly what you need to do in order to file this form and remain compliant with the IRS.
    Continue reading “Form 8843 – what is it and how do I file it?” »

  • 5 Important US tax documents every international student should know

    Tax solutions for nonresidents in the US

    Let’s face it – tax is super boring!

    And when you move to the US as an international student or scholar, the local tax system will likely be the furthest thing from your mind.

    However, boring or not, compliance with the American tax authorities – the IRS – is crucial for any international student. In fact it’s one of the conditions of your visa! And how you handle your US tax affairs can play a big part in the outcome of your future visa or Green Card applications.

    But, by doing some research into US tax when you first arrive, you can save you a lot of hassle down the line.
    Continue reading “5 Important US tax documents every international student should know” »

  • The International Students Guide to US College Application Letters

    How to write the perfect US college application essay

    If you want to study in the US as an international student, you should probably start thinking about your college application letter.
    Continue reading “The International Students Guide to US College Application Letters” »

  • Filing 1042-S – How to Prepare for Tax Season

    tax filing regulations of international students

    Preparing a 1042-S isn’t an easy task, and to make matters worse, filing incorrectly can lead to penalties, fines and unnecessary stress.

    But not to worry, today we will address some of the most common questions associated with filing a 1042-S: What is a 1042-S? How do I know what income to report? What deadlines should I be aware of when filing a 1042-S? Should I be aware of any changes in filing regulations since last year?
    Continue reading “Filing 1042-S – How to Prepare for Tax Season” »

  • Hiring nonresident employees at your school? Here’s how to ensure you are tax compliant

    Withholding tax on nonresidents working in US universities

    The number of international students in the US spiraled over 1 million in 2018.

    And with many of these students also working part-time at their chosen schools, the proper documentation and withholding on payments to nonresidents has become an increasingly important topic for educational institutions in recent years.
    Continue reading “Hiring nonresident employees at your school? Here’s how to ensure you are tax compliant” »

  • The Ultimate International Student Freshman Survival Guide

    International Student Survival Guide

    Congratulations! You have been accepted into college or university in the US.  That makes you one in around 1 million international students studying in the USA.

    Moving to the US to study is a big decision. It takes courage to move to a new place where the language and culture can be very different to what you’re used to in your home country.

    American’s refer to their first year of college as their freshman year, and your freshman year in the US is going to be a lot of fun – as long as you’re prepared.

    There are plenty of challenges that you may face, especially in your first few weeks in the US… but not to worry, Sprintax are here to help make sure you start your first week of college prepared for just about anything.
    Continue reading “The Ultimate International Student Freshman Survival Guide” »

  • Revealed: the 14 US tax questions every nonresident student asks us!

    How to file a nonresident tax return with Sprintax

    Are you a nonresident student in America? Do you find US tax to be confusing?

    Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Even for the most financially savvy US citizen, American tax can be pretty tricky.

    At Sprintax, we offer a 24/7 live chat service. Our chat team are on hand to guide our customers and answer all of their tax questions throughout the prep-process.

    Following the close of the 2018 tax season, we thought it would be a good idea to run the numbers on the most common questions our team have received throughout the year and answer them here in this handy blog!
    Continue reading “Revealed: the 14 US tax questions every nonresident student asks us!” »

  • Which nationality claimed the largest US tax refund with Sprintax in 2019? The results are in!

    Nonresident Tax returns Sprintax

    At Sprintax we specialize in US tax prep and securing tax refunds for international students and J-1 program participants.

    But just how many tax returns do we prepare each year? And how much money can our customers claim in tax refunds?

    With tax season 2018 firmly behind us, we thought this would be a good time to crunch some numbers and find out!

    Here’s what we found…
    Continue reading “Which nationality claimed the largest US tax refund with Sprintax in 2019? The results are in!” »

  • Utilizar TurboTax para reclamar tu reembolso de impuestos J1 es ilegal

    Testimonial image for Sprintax

    Es difícil imaginar algo peor que el IRS (Internal Revenue Service, Servicio de Ingresos Internos) después de la experiencia J1 de tu vida.

    Sin embargo, esto es exactamente lo que puede suceder si presentas una declaración de impuestos incorrecta de Estados Unidos.
    Continue reading “Utilizar TurboTax para reclamar tu reembolso de impuestos J1 es ilegal” »

  • Missed the US tax return deadline? Here’s what to do

    Filing your tax return late Sprintax

    Every nonresident alien in the US is obliged to file a tax return before the 15 April tax deadline (due to COVID-19 outbreak, the IRS tax filing deadline has been extended to 15 July in 2020).

    But what happens if you file your taxes late?

    Don’t panic! Nearly 30% of taxpayers are unable to organize their documents before the deadline. But you can still fix this!

    Here are a few important things you should consider if you missed the tax deadline.

    Continue reading “Missed the US tax return deadline? Here’s what to do” »

  • Where’s My Tax Refund?

    USA flag and American dollars. American flag blowing in the wind and 100 dollars banknotes in the background. USA flag and American dollars. American flag blowing in the wind and 100 dollars banknotes in the background

    Filed your tax return and wondering where your refund is? Here’s how you can keep up to speed with your refund

    With your tax return safely filed, you’re probably wondering ‘how long will it be before I receive my tax refund?’

    Fortunately you can now get information about your tax refund online.

    Here’s what you need to know…
    Continue reading “Where’s My Tax Refund?” »

  • Is Sprintax Safe?

    How to securely file your tax return and retrieve your refund 

    Continue reading “Is Sprintax Safe?” »

  • 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.

    Prepare your US tax return online with Sprintax. 
    Continue reading “On a Sports Scholarship in the US? Here’s What You Need to Know!” »

  • PSA: It’s tax season! 5 things every international student can do to be prepared

    Tax_season_tips

    It’s never too early to start thinking about tax season. This is especially true when you consider that the April 15 tax filing deadline (due to Covid-19 outbreak, the tax filing deadline has been extended to 15 July in 2020) is only a matter of weeks away!

    There’s no doubt that, whether you have filed a tax return before, or this is your first year with a filing requirement, tax season can be a real headache.

    In this blog we’ll look at 5 things every international student can do to ensure their tax season runs as smoothly as possible.
    Continue reading “PSA: It’s tax season! 5 things every international student can do to be prepared” »

  • Forget fees! Here’s how you can secure a US college scholarship

    Sprintax services for international scholars!

    Here’s two things most prospective international students know about studying in the US.

    1. When you study in the United States you can secure a first class qualification that is recognised around the globe.
    2. The US is one of the most expensive countries in the world in which to study

    So how can you reconcile these two factors?
    Continue reading “Forget fees! Here’s how you can secure a US college scholarship” »

  • US tax season survival guide – everything you need to know

    US international student tax return

    15 US tax questions answered for international students

    Tax season is fast approaching and every international student in the US must file a tax return by the April 15 deadline(due to Covid-19 outbreak, the tax filing deadline has been extended to 15 July in 2020).

    But which tax return should you file? Are you entitled to any tax credits or deductions? And what happens if you make a mistake on your tax return?

    Here’s everything you need to know to survive tax season!
    Continue reading “US tax season survival guide – everything you need to know” »

  • Her J-1 katılımcısının ABD vergileri hakkında bilmesi gereken 5 şey

    student j1 tax refund US
    • Başkan Trump’ın ‘Vergi Kesintileri ve İş Kanunu’ J-1 vize sahipleri için ne anlama gelmekte.
    • J-1 yükümlülük ve haklarını anlamak.
    • Sprintax – J-1 vergi iadesine başvuru yapmak için en kolay yol.

    Continue reading “Her J-1 katılımcısının ABD vergileri hakkında bilmesi gereken 5 şey” »

  • W-2 Tax Form – All you need to know

    W-2 form

    The tax filing deadline is on the horizon and quickly approaching! And most employees are now on the lookout for their W-2 tax form (Wage and Tax Statement). But why is this little form so important?

    Here’s everything you need to know.
    Continue reading “W-2 Tax Form – All you need to know” »

  • It’s time to talk about Community College

    Community College Sprintax

    You want to study in the US. But what’s your next step?

    Many students in your position will research available courses in the many prestigious American Universities. But getting into these Universities can be tricky. And the tuition fees can be astronomical. So what can you do?

    There is one option you should consider before you make the final decision on where you’re going to study – Community College. Roughly one in five of all international undergraduate students in the US study at a Community College. That adds up to almost 100,000 students.

    International students find that there are numerous benefits to enrolling at a Community College such as reduced fees, smaller class sizes and one-on-one assistance. Additionally, studying at a Community College doesn’t mean limited options (as some might lead you to believe). On the contrary – students can study diverse topics and find virtually limitless opportunities to learn and further their education at four-year Universities if desired.

    Continue reading “It’s time to talk about Community College” »

  • The international students’ guide to US cell phones and plans

    How international students can stay connected in the US

    Moving to the US to study is undoubtedly exciting. But it can also be extremely daunting for many students.

    However, with phones, laptops and tablets, the world has never been more connected than it is today.

    So just because you leave your home country doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with your friends and family.

    When you move to the US you’ll have to get used to a new set of cell phone plan offerings.

    And with so many options, picking the right plan can get confusing.

    So with this in mind we’ve created a useful guide to staying connected when you move to the US.
    Continue reading “The international students’ guide to US cell phones and plans” »