All posts in Sprintax

  • Can the college I choose to enroll in effect my US tax bill?

    State tax refunds Sprintax

    Want to work while studying in the US? It’s important to be aware that tax rates differ greatly from State-to-State

    Every year, more and more students select the US as the destination in which they want to continue their education. And it’s easy to see why. The US boasts a world renowned university system and an outstanding program offering in virtually all fields.

    But with so many universities in such a vast country, how can students choose the college and course that is right for them?

    The truth is that there are many different factors that go into deciding where to study and which college to attend. While lifestyle, history and climate are always important elements for students, cost and financing college fees usually come out on top of their list of considerations.

    Expenses and college fees vary from State-to-State and can have a big impact when choosing where to study.

    Even though many US colleges and universities make financial aid and scholarships available, most international students must still rely on their own sources of funds in order to pay for their education – family funds, loans and savings etc.

    It’s no surprise then that so many international students are interested in securing employment in the US during their time in college in order to earn some much needed cash.

    These programs are known as ‘work & study’. If you are a full-time student in the US and want to be a member of a work & study program, you must either have an F-1 or M-1 visa – the two non-immigrant visa categories available for international students.

    Sprintax state tax refunds

    International students & tax

    Every international student is legally obliged to file a tax return for each year they were in the US. If you worked in the US during your time in college you must detail your earnings on your tax return.

    Many students are unaware that the State they choose to work in can affect their monthly tax withholding.

    In the US, taxes withheld on wages by employers include Federal income tax, State income tax, and certain other levies by a few States.

    While Federal tax withholding is required no matter which State you choose, not all States have an income tax on earned income. There are nine States that have no personal income tax:

    1. Alaska
    2. Florida
    3. Nevada
    4. New Hampshire
    5. South Dakota
    6. Tennessee
    7. Texas
    8. Washington
    9. Wyoming

    Note: Tennessee and New Hampshire only tax dividends and interest.

    This means that if you chose to study and work in one of the States mentioned above, you will have one less tax deduction to worry about!

    In other words, you can potentially receive a higher wage every pay period.

    State tax refunds

    California state tax refunds Sprintax

    If you do study and work in a State where there are State tax deductions, it’s important to note that it’s likely you’ll be entitled to a refund of a significant portion of your contributions.

    You can claim your refund when you file your end of year tax return.

    But does the State that you study in have any effect on the amount of money you’ll be refunded?

    The answer to that question is yes!

    At Sprintax we help hundreds of thousands of international students to file their tax returns and claim their State tax refund every year.

    We’ve crunched the numbers and can reveal, as detailed below, that, in 2017, students who studied and worked in California received a larger State tax refund ($1015) than anywhere else in the US!

    Top 10 average State tax refunds

    top 10 state tax refunds Sprintax

    Claiming your State tax refund

    The easiest way to file your US tax return and claim your State tax refund is to choose Sprintax.

    Sprintax is the only online Federal and State self-prep tax software for international students and non-residents in the US. It will help you prepare your US tax return in minutes and enable you to receive your maximum legal tax refund!

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

    To file your US tax return the easy way, get started here!

  • Form 8843. What is it? And how do I file it?

    File your US tax return the easy way with Sprintax

    There are three 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.

    This blog will focus on exactly what you need to do in order to file this form and remain complaint with the IRS.

    Sprintax US tax form 8843

    First things first. What is a Form 8843?

    The first thing you should know about Form 8843 is that it’s not a tax return. Instead, it’s a statement you file if you are a certain type of non-resident alien (including spouses/dependents of certain non-resident aliens).

    Who should file a Form 8843?

    All non-residents aliens who are in the US on F-1, J-1 or J-2 visas are required to file a Form 8843. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t earn any income, you must still file this form.

    How can I fill out this form?

    There are a number of sections in this form. However, not all of them will be relevant to you. It depends on your personal circumstances.

    Part 1

    file Form 8843 with Sprintax

    In part 1 of your Form 8843 you will need to include the following information:

    • Your personal details (as they appear on your passport)
    • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) – if you have one
    • Your visa type: (F-1, J-1, etc)
    • Your current non-immigrant status
    • The number of days you were present in the US in the last 3 years
    • The number of days you were present in the US in the relevant tax year (enter this in the substantial presence test box)

    File your Form 8843 the easy way!

    Part 2

    Form 8843 Sprintax

    In part 2, teachers and trainees are required to include details of what academic institution or programme you were involved in during the previous year.

    Parts 3, 4 & 5

    file US tax with Sprintax

    File US tax forms with Sprintax

    F-1 and J-1 visa holders should, in part 3:

    • Include details of your academic institution or programme
    • and answer the rest of the questions according to your personal circumstances

    The majority of students in the US on F or J non-immigrant status will not need to fill in parts 4 and 5.

    What is the deadline for filing a Form 8843?

    You must file your Form 8843, along with any tax return that is due, by the 15 April deadline.

    International students and scholars – file your tax return before the April 15th deadline

    Do I have to file any other tax documents?

    If you get a job in the US, you’ll need to fill out a W-4 Form so your employer knows what income should be withheld from your wages as taxes.

    Similarly if you received a grant, scholarship or stipend, some of this may be classified as income and have tax implications. At the end of the tax year, you will need to prove that you’ve paid the correct amount by filing your tax return.

    If you earned income in the US you must file a tax return – Form 1040NR/Form 1040 NR-EZ – as well as Form 8843.

    What’s the easiest way to file my tax documents?

    Sprintax will guide you through the tax filing process, firstly determining your tax residency status, and then identifying which forms you need to complete based on your own personal circumstances.

    Plus, if you have any questions, our Vita Qualified Live Chat team are on hand to help 24/7!

    File your US tax documents the easy way today!

  • Introducing Sprintax TDS…

     

    All of your questions answered

     

    Tax. Granted, not the most exciting topic in the world. But its importance can never be called into question.

    Over recent years the proper documentation and withholding of payments to non-resident students and scholars has become an increasingly important issue for US educational institutions.

    How much tax should an international student being paying? Are they entitled to any reliefs or deductions? Who can help them handle their US tax?

    Finally there is an easy to manage, easy to use solution which makes US tax easy for international students.

    Sprintax, the only online self-prep tax software for non-residents and J-1 visa holders in the US, is launching a Tax Determination System (TDS) – a hassle-free tool which will help non-residents to pay the correct amount of tax.

    Sprintax TDS ensures that students and scholars are taxed correctly on income earned in the US, so that the correct amount of tax is withheld from their earnings and reported to the IRS.

    Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

    Who can use Sprintax TDS?

    Sprintax TDS is available for use by foreign students, scholars, teachers, researchers, trainees and all other international visitors with F, M, J, Q, H and L visas.

    How does it work?

    All students and scholars have to do to get started is quickly complete our online questionnaire. TDS will take care of the rest!

    Based on the information a student provides, Sprintax TDS will calculate student and scholar tax withholding and determine whether they’re eligible for tax treaties or deductions. It will then prepare the necessary tax documents for students, such as 1042-S, 8233, W-8Ben, etc.

    How is this tool useful for US educational institutions?

     Sprintax TDS:

    • Calculates tax withholding for non-resident international students, scholars, and professionals
    • Determines residency for tax purposes
    • Calculates tax withholding rates
    • Generates tax forms such as 1042-S, W-4, and W-8Ben, etc.
    • Documents and securely stores student tax information
    • Tax treaties built-in
    • Simple school and student interfaces

    Is Sprintax TDS easy to use?

    Sprintax TDS highlights the tax status of your international students and scholars on a user-friendly administrator dashboard, and identifies how they should be taxed on income from your institution. TDS can also link to Sprintax Tax Preparation where students can prepare their tax returns upon completing their TDS account.

    Why should your international students try Sprintax TDS?

    Let’s face it. Tax is confusing.

    It’s hard enough coming to terms with the tax system in their own country. Then, when an international student moves to the US, they have to become familiar with a completely new tax system.

    Sprintax TDS makes managing tax easy for international students in the US.

    So why not give it a try?!

    Contact us today to schedule a FREE Demo

     

  • Using TurboTax to Claim Your J1 Tax Refund is Illegal

    Testimonial image for Sprintax

    It’s hard to imagine anything worse than the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) sniffing around after your J1 experience of a lifetime.

    But this is exactly what can happen if you file an inaccurate US tax return.

    If you worked in the US on a J1 visa, then chances are you are legally obliged to file your US tax return by the Apr 15 deadline.

    So for example, if you’re on a J1 in 2018, then you should file your tax return by April 15 2019. If you file your US taxes correctly, you won’t run into any trouble later on. This is important if you ever wish to return to the US on another visa or for a holiday.

    If you go the US on a J1 visa, you’ll be considered a non-resident for tax purposes and must file as a non-resident.

    TurboTax logoResidents in the US can prepare and file their US taxes with the country’s biggest online tax preparation service, TurboTax . TurboTax guides US residents on their taxes and guarantees them maximum refunds. TurboTax offers an excellent online service that helps millions of US residents prepare their taxes and claim refunds. It’s super easy to use, however TurboTax is a service for US residents only, so it’s not suitable for you if you’ve been to the US on a J1 visa. Sprintax is TurboTax’s preferred partner for non-residents on a J1 visa.

    However, TurboTax is a service for US residents only.

    And as a J1 student you’ll typically be considered non-resident for tax purposes.

    If you do use TurboTax to file your US taxes, then you’ll end up filing as a resident. As a non-resident J1 visa-holder, this means your tax return will be inaccurate and you could get into trouble later on!

    trouble meme

    As a J1 visa-holder, you should NOT file as a resident.

    TurboTax and any other resident tax preparation service for residents will assume you understand your residency status, so if you file with them, you may unwittingly file as a resident. And if you file inaccurately, the IRS could come knocking and you may be subject to fines and penalties.

    One such J1 participant, finance student Sofia García from Venezuela felt the strong-arm of the IRS when she filed as a resident through TurboTax:

     

    From May to September 2017, Sofia worked as a busser, clearing tables at The Surf Lodge in Montauk New York. A friend pointed her to TurboTax as the perfect solution for filing her taxes. Unfortunately, Sofia went ahead and filed using TurboTax despite being non-resident for tax purposes.

    A few months down the line and back in Venezuela, she got a letter from the IRS asking her to confirm her identity.

    Had Sofia prepared her tax return with non-resident tax partner of TurboTax, Sprintax, her US taxes would have been filed without incident. She also wouldn’t have to wait to claim her tax refund. For example the average state tax refund for New York State is currently 464.18.

    Sofia came to us for help so we proceeded with an amendment of her US tax return, which could now take the IRS 6 months or longer to process, meaning she’ll have to wait a lot longer for any long due refunds.

    She won’t be making that mistake again!

     

    So if I file an inaccurate tax return, will I get into trouble?

    Claiming a refund you are not entitled to is considered tax evasion, which is a crime.

    If you’re caught you may have to pay penalties and interest. You may also have trouble re-entering the US or applying for a green card.

    It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or another company does it for you, if a fraudulent tax return is filed on your behalf, it is you that will be held responsible.

    And the worst part is you may not even be aware any laws were broken.

    ‘’Not knowing’’ isn’t considered a valid excuse by the IRS.

    So one of the most important things is to ensure you file using the correct tax status and if you’re using a tax preparer, use a reputable one like Sprintax.

     

    You could be claiming reliefs, exemptions, and credits you’re not entitled to!

    If you file as a resident, then you may end up claiming certain reliefs, exemptions or credits you’re not entitled to. This could result in a bigger refund. However, as a non-resident you won’t be entitled to many of these and must repay them to the IRS if they demand it.

    This could leave you with a hefty tax bill.

    The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a good example of this. We’ve come across cases where some J1 students incorrectly claim this credit as a ‘’$1000 bonus’’.

    However, if someone says you can claim this as a non-resident J1 participant, this is false.

    The AOTC is only available under strict conditions.

    A J1 visa holder can’t avail of AOTC unless in their 6th year for students or 3rd year for all other categories in the US and considered a resident for tax purposes. You must also be studying the US.

    If you claim it incorrectly, you’ll end up owing money to the IRS and it could affect future visa applications.

     

    If I file an inaccurate tax return, what happens if there’s an audit?

    The IRS can audit your taxes any time within a 3 year time limit after you file your tax return. Most people find the prospect of an audit to be stressful.

    So the more help you get, the better.

    If you get selected for an audit and you run into issues. Sprintax.com can help you file an amendment of your US tax return.

     

    How do I avoid issues with the IRS?

    The easiest way to file your non-resident taxes and stay on the right side of the IRS is to file with Sprintax.

    As an authorised partner of TurboTax, Sprintax J1 tax preparation is specifically designed for non-residents filing US taxes. Sprintax is a self-prep service, meaning you can create an account here and prepare your federal and state tax return by answering a few simple questions online.

    Here is how it works:

    1. You create a Sprintax account here
    2. Answer some simple questions
    3. Upload any required docs, such as your W2 form
    4. We prepare your fully compliant federal/state tax return(s)
    5. You pay an online fee of $35.95 for Federal Return or $25.95 for a State Return
    6. We give you instructions on where to send your tax return
    7. You print and send (file it) with the IRS as per our instructions

    It’s also essential here that you answer each question honestly!

     

    What’s the benefit of filing my tax return?

    100% compliance is probably the most important benefit of filing an accurate tax return.

    And if you’re due a refund it’s a bonus!

    Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, it’s now more important than ever to file your US tax return.

    As of 1 January 2018 (and up to 2025) the personal exemption was reduced from $4,050 to $0 which means that the overall taxable income has increased for all non-residents.

    So if you work in the US from 2018, you must file a tax return, no matter how much you earn. And if you worked there in previous years, you should file to find out how much you could claim!

    The removal of the personal exemption also means that for most non-residents, federal tax refunds will be reduced.

    It’s important to note that these amendments don’t affect 2017 (and previous years). So if you worked in the US before 2018, you could be due a federal tax refund.

    The average US refund is currently $800.

    The changes do not impact your state refund, no matter what year you’re filing for.

    To claim your state tax refund you must file your federal tax return first, before you file your state.

    Bottom line?

    You’re legally required to file a tax return and there’s a chance you’ll be due a tax refund.

     

    What now?

    Well if you worked in the US in 2017 or previous years, then you should file your tax return as soon as possible. You may have missed the deadline but if you’re due a refund, you can still claim this money.

    If you work in the US in 2018, then the deadline for filing is April 15 2019.

    The easiest way to file is by using Sprintax.

    Our tax preparation service for non-residents will help you prepare your federal and state tax returns in minutes and guide you through the filing process.

    With Sprintax you get:

    • A 100% compliant US tax return
    • Check for residency status
    • Any applicable tax treaties to lower any tax liability or increase your refund
    • Avail of personal allowances, credits & tax deductions
    • 24 hour live chat help
    • Claim any tax refunds due

    Over 500,000 non-residents who worked in the US have already used Sprintax.

    Get peace of mind and create your account here now to start preparing your US tax return.

  • Revealed: over 125k filed their US tax return with Sprintax in 2018!

    Sprintax international students US tax returns

    Every international student who studied in the US in 2017 was required to file a tax return ahead of the April 2018 deadline.

    A lot of international students find US tax to be very daunting. So filing a compliant tax return on time is, for many, no easy feat.

    Just think of it.

    It’s hard enough to come to terms with the tax system in your own country. But then, when you move to the US to study, you have to handle the US tax system too!

    Thankfully a solution is on hand.

    The easiest way for any international student to file a US tax return is to choose Sprintax.

    Sprintax is the only online tax-preparation software for non-resident in the US.

    The software assists students in preparing fully compliant Federal and State tax returns and retrieve their maximum legal tax refund. And all of this can be done in just a matter of minutes!

    1,500 universities

    Sprintax is the ‘go-to’ tax filing software for numerous major universities in the US including NYU, Columbia, Arizona State University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Cornell. In fact, we have helped students from over 1,500 schools and institutions from all across the US to file their tax return.

    Sprintax is also the non-resident partner of choice for Turbo Tax*.
    *See more: https://intuit.me/2Mb2TyZ & https://intuit.me/2nBD2BK 

    What are the benefits of using Sprintax?

    • Online US tax prep solution for international students and scholars
    • Save time and stress
    • Prepare a compliant US tax return
    • Maximize your State tax refund
    • 24/7 Vita Qualified Live Chat facility
    • Over 500,000 returns prepared

    Tax Report 2018

    Today we are happy to introduce our ‘Tax Report 2018’.

    Key findings from the report:

    • 125,000 international students (from 1,500 universities) chose Sprintax in order to prepare their 2017 US tax return
    • We delivered $86m in tax refunds to our customers
    • 87% of our customers would recommend Sprintax to their friends

    See the full tax report below.

    Sprintax international student tax returns US

    Sprintax for international student US tax returns

    US tax returns for international students Sprintax

    Filing US tax returns for international students Sprintax

    File your US tax return with confidence! File with Sprintax!

     

  • When can I expect my tax refund?

    Sprintax US tax

    How long does it take the IRS to process an international student tax return?

     

    Have you ever wondered what happens to your tax return after you mail it to the IRS? Or how long it takes for the tax office to process your return?

    You’re not alone.

    Many international students file their tax returns as quickly as they can in order to receive their tax refund as soon as possible.

    Yet once you mail your return, it can often seem like there is a long wait before you receive your refund.

    So why is this?

    In this blog you’ll find details on exactly what happens when you mail your tax return to the IRS.

    Still haven’t filed your tax return? Just complete the registration form here to get started.

    What happens after I mail my return to the IRS?

    When you finalize your return and mail it to the tax office it will usually take several days to arrive at its destination.

    Keep in mind that it’s not unusual for something to go wrong with mail processing. For example, if you used insufficient postage your return can get sent back to you which will cause delays in receiving your refund.

    If you are mailing your tax return from outside the US, it will take even longer before it reaches the tax office. Tip: It’s always a good idea to mail your return using a certified mail service or an approved delivery service that will provide you with a tracking number of the letter and proof of your mailing date.

    US tax refund sprintax

    Once your return reaches the IRS it will have to pass through three stages before you receive the refund:

    1. Return Received/ Accepted – This status updates you that your return was successfully received by the IRS and is in line to be reviewed and processed. Usually it will take the IRS from 4 to 6 weeks to process a paper filed return. At this stage of the refund process, the IRS checks your return for math errors, verifies that your filing status matches your exemptions, checks how you’ve calculated your itemized deductions, and if you are legally entitled to any claimed dependents and credits.
    2. Refund Approved – This status means that your return was processed successfully and the refund amount shown on your tax return was approved by the IRS. At this stage your refund will be set for release either by electronic transfer or printed on a check and mailed to you via United States Postal Service, depending how you chose to receive your refund when filing your taxes.
    3. Refund Sent – This status indicates that your refund has been sent to you. It’s important to note that if you’ve requested to receive your refund deposited to your account, it could take approximately five days after they’ve sent it before it reaches you. This is because banks vary in how and when they credit funds. It could take several weeks before you receive a mailed refund check. In most cases, an approximate date to expect your refund to arrive will be indicated.

    Claim your refund with Sprintax here!

    How can I check the status on my refund?

    The IRS recommends using its online ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool (or the mobile app IRS2Go). The tool is updated once daily, usually overnight, so you don’t need to check it more often.

    You can use ‘Where’s My Refund’ to start checking on the status of your return within four weeks after you’ve mailed your paper return. The tool has a tracker that displays progress through the three stages of processing:

    • Return Received
    • Refund Approved
    • Refund Sent

    You will get personalized refund information based on the processing stage of your tax return – it follows your tax return from receipt to completion. The tool will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.

    US tax refund Sprintax

    What information will I need to check my refund status?

    When checking the status of your refund you’ll need to have the following elements:

    • Your SSN/ITIN as shown on your Federal tax return. If you recently applied for an ITIN, you will need to wait for your ITIN notice in order to check your refund status online
    • Your filing status (as indicated at the top of your 1040NR/EZ, Filing status section)
    • The exact dollar amount of the refund as shown on your federal return

    Still haven’t filed? Prepare your return with Sprintax today!

    Note: If you’re requesting a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S by filing a Form 1040NR, the IRS will need additional time to process the return. You should allow up to six months from the original due date of the 1040NR return, or the date you actually filed the 1040NR, (whichever is later) to receive any refund due.

    Is there another way to check the status of my refund?

    Yes. You can also call the IRS TeleTax System at (800) 829-4477 or the IRS Refund Hotline at (800) 829-1954.

    The IRS typically accepts calls Monday through Friday from 7am to 7pm (local time).

    Tip: If you decide to call the IRS, be prepared to be on hold for a while. In fact, the IRS says wait times average 15 minutes during filing season (January to April), with Mondays and Tuesdays being the busiest days. After filing season (May to December), waits can be even longer, averaging 27 minutes.

    Claim your refund with Sprintax here!

    What about the status of my State refund?

    Each State tax office follows a similar processing procedure. You can check the status of your State tax refund using the online refund status tools on each State’s website.

    More detail on how you can check the status of your State refund can be found here.

    Sprintax US tax refund

    I’ve left the US and am having difficulties receiving my refund, what can I do?

    If you have left the US, for example after completing your college course or J-1 program, you may encounter some obstacles when trying to get your hands on your tax refund.

    The main reason for this is that cashing an American cheque outside the US can often be tricky.

    Sprintax can handle the cheque cashing process for you and transfer your money to your bank account anywhere in the world.

    What’s more, should the IRS request additional information before processing your tax return, Sprintax can handle all of the additional communication with the IRS on your behalf.

    Claim your US tax refund the easy way! Get started with Sprintax here.

     

  • 5 things every J-1 participant needs to know about US tax

    Tax for J-1 students
    • What President Trump’s ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ means for J-1 visa holders
    • Understanding J-1 tax obligations and entitlements
    • Sprintax – the easy way to file a J-1 tax return!

     

    When President Donald Trump introduced his ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ in November 2017, many J-1 visa holders and international students in the US were left feeling extremely confused.

    ‘How does this bill affect me?’ ‘Do I have to file a tax return?’ ‘Can I still get a tax refund?’

    A lot of questions were left unanswered.

    Today we are here to answer these questions! If you’re going on a J-1 trip to the US simply follow this guide and you’ll be able to keep the IRS (the American tax authority) happy while receiving any US tax back you are due.

    So without further ado, here’s 5 things every J-1 participant needs to know about US tax

    Short on time? Check out our video summary instead!

    (1) Yes, you have to file a tax return!

    First things first. Every J-1 visa holder in the US must file a tax return at the end of the tax year. It’s the law!

    Prior to President Trump’s bill there were a limited number of circumstances in which a J-1 holidaymaker would not be required to file a tax return.

    This is no longer the case however, and one of the conditions of the J-1 visa is that the visa holder files a tax return.

    Filing a return          

    There are a number of ways to file a tax return.

    For starters, you could file your return directly with the IRS.

    But, for many J-1 students, filing a tax return is an extremely confusing, complicated and frankly boring task!

    The fastest, easiest and best way to prepare your US tax return is to choose Sprintax. More on this below!

    Not filing a return

    Not filing a j-1 tax return

    If you don’t file a tax return after your J-1 program, you may be subject to penalties and interest.

    The late filing penalty is 5% of the additional taxes owed amount for every month your return is late, (up to a maximum of 25%). If you file more than 60 days after the due date, the minimum penalty is $205 or 100% of your unpaid tax, whichever is less.

    Failure to comply with your tax obligations may also result in you being denied a US visa in the future.

    What is a tax residency status?

    It’s vital to determine your residency status in order to file a compliant tax return.

    The majority of J-1 visa holders are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes by the IRS.

    When you prepare your tax return with Sprintax, our software will determine your residency status based on the information that you provide.

    Prepare your tax return with Sprintax

    (2) What do Trump’s changes mean for J-1 students

    J-1 program and tax

    The ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ has wide ranging effects for all US taxpayers – but particularly for those venturing to the States to study, for an internship or to work and travel.

    As most of these changes were activated in January 2018, it’s vital that all non-residents understand their US tax obligations and entitlements.

    The primary change for non-residents relates to what’s known as the ‘personal exemption‘.

    Prior to the bill’s introduction, every non-resident who was working in the US was entitled to a personal exemption of $4,050. In other words, if you were working in the US on a J-1 visa in 2017 you could earn up to $4,050 without paying tax. The personal exemption was also the main means that non-residents could use to get their Federal tax refund.

    However, as of 1 January 2018 (and up to 2025) the personal exemption was reduced from $4,050 to $0. The removal of the personal exemption means that overall taxable income has increased for all non-residents.

    It’s important to note that these amendments do not affect the 2017 (and previous) tax return filing season. So, if you were working in the US on a J-1 visa in 2017, you can still avail of the personal exemption.

    Prepare your tax return with Sprintax

    (3) You could still be entitled to a tax refund

    J-1 refund

    The removal of the personal exemption means that, for most non-residents, Federal tax refunds will be reduced. From the 2018 tax year onwards, the only reason a non-resident will be entitled to a Federal tax refund is if too much tax is deducted from their income.

    However, even if you’re not entitled to a Federal tax refund, it’s pretty likely you’ll be entitled to a State tax refund.

    Our average State tax refund is $175.

    But remember; to receive your State tax refund you’ll have to file your State tax return. Before you can file your State tax return, you’ll first have to file your Federal tax return!

    Bottom line? You’re legally required to file a tax return. There’s a great chance you’ll be due a State tax refund. So file your return and claim your cash!

    Claim your refund with Sprintax here!

    (4) How much tax will you pay?

    From the 2018 tax year onwards, all non-residents must pay 10% in income tax up to $9,525. And if you earn more than this amount on your J-1 program, you must pay 12% in income tax on the amount between $9,525 and $38,700.

    Case studies

    1

    J-1 in Boston

    Fred travels to Boston on a J-1 visa to work in a restaurant for the summer. During his time in the US he earns $4,000.

    If Fred was working in Boston in 2017 he would not have to pay tax on his earnings as his income does not exceed the personal exception amount of $4,050.

    However, if Fred works in Boston in 2018, he will not be able to avail of the personal exception and must pay $400 (10%) in income tax.

    2

    Fiona moves to Miami on a J-1 visa and secures work in an office for the summer. During her time in the US she earns $9,000 (the average income for around 50% of all summer work and travel participants).

    Had Fiona earned this income in 2017, her tax bill would have been $495 ($9,000 – $4,050 = $4,950. 10% of $4,950 = $495).

    However, if she earns this income in 2018 her total tax bill will be $900.

    J-1 in Miami

    The full tax rate and bracket list is as follows:

    Bracket                                             Tax rate

    $0 – $9,525                                                       10% of taxable income.

    $9,526 – $38,700                                          + 12% of the balance over $9,526

    $38,701 – $82,501                                        + 22% of the balance over $38,701

    $82,501 – $157,500                                      + 24% of the balance over $82,501

    $157,501 – $200,000                                   + 32% of the balance over $157,501

    Claim your refund with Sprintax here!

    (5) Sprintax is the easiest way to prepare your tax return

    Sprintax is the only online self-prep tax software for those on a J-1 programme and non-residents in the US. It will help you prepare your US tax return in minutes!

    When you create a Sprintax account, our system will assist you in preparing fully compliant Federal and State tax returns.

    Our software will also enable you to receive your maximum legal tax refund.

    tax refund for international students

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

    What does self-prep mean?

    Sprintax is a self-preparation tax software that allows J-1 holidaymakers to easily prepare a fully compliant tax return.

    When you create your account you’ll be asked to enter some relevant information into the software. You can then download your fully completed and complaint 1040NR (non-resident tax return).

    When you file with Sprintax you file with confidence!

    • Compliant US tax return
    • Save time and stress!
    • Determine your residency status
    • Avail of relevant international tax treaties
    • Avail of personal allowances, credits & tax deductions
    • 24/7 Vita Qualified Live Chat facility
    • Maximize your State tax refund

    Over 500k people have used Sprintax to prepare their tax return and get their tax refund.

    How much will it cost?

    The Sprintax tax prep fees are:

    $35.95 – Federal

    $25.95 – State

    But don’t forget, most J-1 visa holders are entitled to a State tax refund!

    How can I get started?

    Easy!

    Set up a Sprintax account today!

    In summary:

    • The majority of all J-1 visa holders are considered non-residents for tax purposes in the US
    • Every non-resident in the US is legally obliged to file a tax return
    • Failure to do so may result in fines, penalties and future refusal of entry to the US
    • As of 1 January 2018, non-residents are no longer entitled to claim the personal exemption of $4,050
    • However, J-1 visa holders can still apply for their State tax refund by filing a tax return
    • Sprintax makes filing your US tax return easy!
    • When you prepare your tax return with Sprintax you’ll receive your maximum legal refund

     

    Filing your US tax return with Sprintax is super cheap and easy. Get started now!

     

     

     

  • Dreaming of a work and travel trip to the US? Here’s how to turn your dream into a reality!!

    Kick start your J-1 trip

    College semester coming to an end? Striving to find something new? You may be considering venturing on a J-1 US work and travel experience of a lifetime. And you’re not alone.

    In fact 300,000 foreign visitors travel to the US each year to work and experience ‘the American dream’.

    The work and travel program enables university and college students from around the world to spend an amazing summer working and travelling in the US. Participants can gather new knowledge, gain work experience and make new friends.

    But there’s one downside. For many people, the J-1 visa application process is extremely daunting. Where do you begin? And what if you can’t find a job in the US?

    Fortunately there are a number of organisations out there that can manage your J-1 visa application for you. Some of them will even guarantee to find you work!

    Let’s take a look at some of the best options below.

    J-1 work and travel applications

    students in the US

    Viking Cultural Exchange

    Viking have been organizing US Work and Travel programs for 13 years. Their package includes a job offer, issuance of the DS-2019 form, issuance of a round trip airplane ticket to the USA and back to home country, as well as preparation of all required documents for your program. Plus you’ll get free medical insurance to cover your travel period in the US. And all of this is delivered at an ‘affordable price’. 

    Cultural Homestay International

    Cultural Homestay International (CHI) offer overseas university students a unique opportunity to intimately experience life and culture in the US.

    For almost 40 years, more than 300,000 students and young adults have visited the US to participate in CHI’s educational and cultural programs, including:

    • Academic Year High School exchange
    • Short-term Group Homestay
    • Au Pair child-care
    • Internship training
    • Work & Travel
    • Camp Counsellor experience 

    Global Current

    Global Current has been a leader in international exchange and professional training for over 50 years. They provide 48 hour processing and ‘unrivaled personal attention’ to each and every J-1 applicant.

    Cultural Exchange Network

    Cultural Exchange Network (CENET) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and international exchange.

    CENET administers the below programs for students looking for a US work and travel experience:

    • the International Trainee
    • International Intern
    • S.-Mexico Intern
    • Summer Work Travel Programs

    CICD Global Opportunities

    Since 1997, CICD has provided more than a thousand students with opportunities to successfully work and travel the US. CICD offers excellent personal service, program monitoring and support.

    InterExchange

    The InterExchange team of experts have helped over 225,000 explorers travel the world for the past 50 years. They administer five J-1 visa exchange visitor Programs:

    • Au Pair
    • Camp Counsellor
    • Intern
    • Summer Work Travel
    • Trainee

    Working Adventures Worldwide

    If you’re looking for an unforgettable US experience, Working Adventures Worldwide will help you with all the planning and preparation so that you can get more fun and less stress out of your overseas experience!

    Their parent company BUNAC (headquartered in Britain) has been in the youth travel industry for over 40 years, specializing in work and volunteer abroad programs.

    Summer Camp jobs

    J-1 summer camp in the US

    USA Summer Camp

    Every year, children across America head to Summer Camp for a summer in the outdoors, experiencing new things and building up their skills. Camps employ international staff to help run the camp, working as Camp Counsellors and Camp Leaders. This is a great opportunity to earn money over the summer while doing something that you love!

    Working Adventures Worldwide

    The best part of this company’s (based in New Zealand) program offering is that they will guarantee you a camp counselor job or your money back!

    Jobs can be found in all kinds of camp counselor roles including water sports, outdoor activities, land sports, horse riding, life guarding, performing arts, arts & crafts.

    They offer:

    • Low fees (you can save up to $200)
    • High salaries
    • A personal service

    Camp America (NZ)

    Based in New Zealand, Camp America have been tried and tested by thousands of Kiwis. With Camp America you’re guaranteed a placement or a refund!

    Camp America (OZ)

    This company will be for you if you’re hoping to travel to the US from Australia to work in summer camp.

    CampStaffUSA

    Attracting candidates from all around the world, CampStaffUSA is a one of a kind staffing site that focuses on summer camp employment.  The company was founded by camp directors looking for an all-in-one solution for hiring quality summer camp staff.

    Camp Leaders

    Camp Leaders are the only specialist summer camp company based in Ireland. They provide summer camp placements at over 500 summer camps throughout America. They offer high wages and a truly unforgettable J-1 summer experience.

    American Camp Association

    If you choose the American Camp Association for your US camp placement you’ll have an opportunity to pick from 3,656 Camps and 12,184 Programs. The American Camp Association is a community of camp professionals who, for over 100 years, have joined together to share knowledge and experience and to ensure the quality of camp programs.

    Internships

    J-1 intern in the US

    USEH International

    USEH provide high quality paid international internship/training to young professionals from all around the world, specializing in Tourism and Hotel management, business administration, finance, sales & marketing and IT.

    Intrax

    Intrax Global Internships offers J-1 visa sponsorship for Interns and Trainees in the following occupational categories:

    • Arts and Culture
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Information Media and Communications
    • Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
    • Public Administration and Law
    • The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations

    Since 1980, more than 350,000 individuals (from over 100 countries) have participated in Intrax programs.

    International Interns USA

    For over 10 years, IIUSA has helped international students and graduates to find internships in the US. They will help you to find a great internship, get a J-1 visa and find a company for your OPT training.

    Cultural Vistas

    Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a non-profit exchange organization which promotes global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. Annually, more than 4,500 individuals and over 900 US businesses, companies, and NGOs turn to Cultural Vistas as their trusted solution for J-1 Visa sponsorship for internship and training programs.

    Career Internship Abroad

    Founded in 2008, Career Internship Abroad (CIA) is a world-class educational consultancy firm that creates global internship opportunities for students, fresh graduates, and young professionals.

    CIA has been recognized by different international regulatory agencies and is affiliated with different educational organizations to ensure that all the participants are protected and secured.

    Council of International Programs USA

    CIPUSA offer an array of exchange programs ranging from two weeks to 18 months in duration and spanning a variety of professional fields. Their J-1 Training Visa program is open to both applicants who already have a training program lined up in the US and to those who are still looking for opportunities.

    Medical roles

    Medical jobs J-1 USA

    J1 WAIVER JOBS

    This company provides J-1 Visa Waiver Jobs For Physicians, with an emphasis on roles in Montana. With this waiver, you will not be required to return to your home country after the completion of your J-1 exchange visitor program. This is a very desirable factor for many medical doctors that come to the US on a J-1 visa.

    3RNet

    This non-profit organization helps to connect health professionals searching for jobs in rural or ‘underserved areas’ with health care facilities. 3RNet offer roles in every state!

    Hospitality positions

    J-1 working in a hotel

    Hospitality Placements USA

    This company specializes in the placement of qualified international hospitality graduates and young professionals into major brand hotels and resorts in the US. They match qualified interns and trainees into paid training positions to receive on the job training, build career experience and improve professional skills.

    Placement International

    Placement International has over 10 years of experience in offering positions for highly educated students and young professionals to do paid internships and management training programs in the most luxurious hotels and restaurants in the US. Looking to work in a top hotel brands while on your J-1 program? Step this way!

    Agricultural work

    Working on a farm on a J-1 trip

    Communicating For Agriculture Exchange Programs

    Looking to experience farm life stateside?

    CAEP brings young adults together from all over the world to share and learn ideas, beliefs, and agricultural practices through international paid agriculture exchange programs.

    And finally

    Tokio Marine HCC

    When you’re in the US on a J-1 visa you’ll no doubt be hoping to earn some money to supplement your trip. However as the saying goes – ‘your health is your wealth’! In the US, you’ll have access to quality medical care for any unexpected illnesses or injuries you may encounter during your trip. But this care can be extremely costly without insurance coverage. Tokio Marine HCC can provide coverage in the event of an accident or emergency as you travel within the US. You’ll be back on your feet in no time!

     

  • I filed an incorrect tax return. What should I do now?

    Amending your tax return

    “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

    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 effect the validity of a tax return. 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.

    It’s very important to note that you should not attempt to correct the situation by filing another original Form 1040NR return. That will confuse things further and may cause additional headaches for you. Instead file a Form 1040X, even if you filed your original return only a few days ago.

    Need a hand filing your amended tax return? Contact Sprintax today!

    Here are some key things you need to know in order to correctly amend your tax return:

    When to Amend a Tax Return That You Filed

    The first thing you should know is that not all errors require an amended tax return. You should amend your tax return if you need to:

    • Correct your filing status – for example, if your filed as single but actually got married on the last day of the tax year, you will need to amend your return by filing his taxes under the appropriate status – married filing jointly or married filing separately (note: non-residents can file only as married filing separately).

    Filing US tax return as a married couple

    • Correct your income and tax figures because you did not include all your payment documents when preparing your return. If you receive additional tax documents for the tax year, for example, a Form W-2 arrives in the mail after the tax deadline, you would need to file an amended tax return to report the additional income and tax.
    • You should also amend your return to claim all of the allowable tax deductions or tax credits that you did not claim when you filed your original return. In previous years there were a number of deductions that international students could use to reduce their overall tax liability. However, in November 2017, President Donald Trump introduced a GOP tax reform bill which brought widespread tax-related changes for most taxpayers.
    • Correct the number of dependents you claimed. An amended return will be needed if a taxpayer wants to claim additional dependents, or has claimed ineligible dependents and needs to adjust the exemptions amount. The general IRS rule states that a non-resident alien, whether single or married, may claim only one personal exemption, as long as they are not claimed as a dependent on any other US tax return (in which case their personal exemption was already used). There are some exceptions to the general rule which allow specific groups of taxpayers to claim dependent exemptions for their family members:
    • Residents of Canada or Mexico
    • Residents of the Republic of Korea
    • Residents of India

    Check out if you qualify to claim an additional exemption for your dependent here.

    If you realize that you need to make one or more of the corrections listed above use Form 1040X to amend the federal income tax return that you previously filed.

    Need a hand filing your amended tax return? Contact Sprintax today!

    When Not to Amend a Tax Return That You Filed

    In some cases, you don’t need to amend your tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors when processing your original return. If you didn’t include a required form or schedule, you’ll receive a request for the missing item needed to finish processing your tax return. When you receive a notice about errors, there will usually be other ways to correct errors besides an amended tax return.

    Usually, these misunderstanding can be quickly rectified by providing the correct information to the IRS. The notice that you receive will explain clearly what the issue is and how to respond.

    filing a US tax return

    How to Amend a Tax Return That You Filed

    To amend your tax return you will need:

    • A form 1040X
    • Your original tax return
    • New documents

    The 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.

    It’s very important to ensure you are using the latest version of the 1040X.

    Once you complete the form, you’ll have to mail it to the IRS along with all required supporting document. Amended returns are only filed on paper. The normal processing time for a Form 1040X, is between 8 and 12 weeks from the time the IRS receives your tax return.

    If you are amending for more than one tax year, you will need file Form 1040X for each tax year separately.

    Many people find the prospect of dealing with the IRS and amending their tax return to be quite daunting. If that sounds like you, contact Sprintax today!

    What Happens After You Amend Your Tax Return

    US tax refund

    If you are filing an amended tax return to claim an additional refund, you’ll have to wait until you have received your original tax refund before filing a Form 1040X. Amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process. You may cash your original refund check while waiting for the additional refund. Also you generally MUST file the amended return within three years from the date you filed your original return, or within two years after the date you paid the tax (whichever is later) in order to get the extra refund.

    If you owe additional taxes with Form 1040X, file it and pay the tax as soon as possible to minimize interest and penalties. If your amended return shows you owe more tax than you reported on (and paid with) your original return, you’ll owe additional interest and probably penalties too. Even though you might be amending a return from one or two years ago, the due date for your original return and for payment has already passed. The IRS may not penalize you for a small mistake, but it sure will collect some interest on the proper amount you didn’t pay on time in the first place. The sooner you correct the error, the less interest you’ll pay.

    Don’t hesitate to contact the Sprintax team if you need help with amending your return!

  • Everything you wanted to know about US tax (but were afraid to ask!)

    Us international students tax questions

    You might be surprised to learn that, at present, there are around one million international students studying in the United States. What won’t surprise you however, is that each of these one million students have tax obligations in the United States.

    What are these obligations? This is where things get a bit tricky!

    If you’re an international student in the US you might not be too familiar with the local tax system. And it’s highly likely that you’ll have some questions about your tax obligations and what you’re entitled to. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to US tax for international students.

    So let’s get into it.

    Q – Who or what is the IRS?

    IRS for international students

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the US government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and the enforcement of tax laws. The agency dates all the way back to 1862 when it was introduced by the then President Abraham Lincoln. Its primary purpose includes the collection of individual income taxes and employment taxes. The IRS also handles corporate, gift, excise and estate taxes.

    Q – What can you tell me about the American tax system?

    Both Americans and foreign nationals residing in the US must pay taxes to both the State and Federal government. Usually, when an individual earns an income, a portion of it is automatically deducted and transferred directly to the government. Every January employers send summaries to their employees of how much income they were paid as well as how much of their income was sent to the IRS.

    Q – What income will I need to pay tax on in the US?

    US tax for international students

    As an international student in the US you will have to pay tax on the follow types of income:

    • Wages
    • Salaries
    • Tips
    • Interest
    • Dividends
    • Some scholarships/fellowship grants

    Q – How do I know if I made ‘US source income’?

    US source income is defined as wages from a job in the United States, received scholarship money from an American organization, or made interest on money in an American bank account etc.

    Q – What is an Income Tax Return?

    US tax returns for international students

    An income tax return is the form that individuals and business submit to the IRS in order to file their taxes.  ‘Form 1040 NR’ and ‘1040NR-EZ’ are all examples of income tax forms.

    The purpose of filing your tax return is so that you can report all sources of your income to the government – including the tax you have already paid and what you still owe. It’s also an opportunity to claim any deductions or exemptions that you may qualify for.

    At the end of the process, you calculate the total tax you should have paid. If you paid more than what you owe during the year, you will be reimbursed. On the other hand, if you didn’t pay enough, you have to pay the difference.

    Q – Am I required to file a tax return?

    Yes. Every international student inside the United States must file their tax return each year.

    Q – What is tax residency status?

    US residents have differing tax obligations depending on their relationship with the country. Each taxpayer must determine their own residency status before they file their tax return. The most common tax residency statuses are ‘resident’ and ‘non-resident aliens’.

    Q – How can I work out my residency status?

    Most international students who are studying in the US on F, J, M or Q visas are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes.

    International students on F1 visas are automatically considered non-resident aliens for their first 5 calendar years in the US, and scholars (and their dependents) on J visas are automatically considered non-residents for their first 2 calendar years in the US.

    If you’ve been in the US for longer than the 5 or 2 calendar years, you will be considered a ‘resident alien’ for tax purposes if you pass either the ‘green card test’ or the ‘substantial presence test’ for the calendar year (January 1-December 31).

    Green Card Application Form. for international students

    Q – What is a substantial presence test?

    You will be considered a US resident for tax purposes if you pass the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the US on at least:

    • 31 days during the current year and
    • 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
      – Every day you were present in the current year
      and
      – 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year
      and
      – 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year

    Case study

    Sam was present in the US for 120 days in each year from 2015-2017. To determine if he passes the substantial presence test for 2017 he can count his full presence in 2017, 40 days in 2016 (1/3 of 120 days), and 20 days in 2015 (1/6 of 120). Since the total for the 3-year period is 180 days, Sam will not be considered a resident under the substantial presence test for 2017.

    Days of Presence in the United States

    You are treated as present in the US on any day you are physically present in the country, at any time during the day. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you can’t count the following as days of presence in the US:

    • Days you commute to work in the US from a residence in Canada or Mexico, if you regularly commute from Canada or Mexico
    • Days you are in the US for less than 24 hours, when you are in transit between two places outside the United States
    • Days you are in the US as a crew member of a foreign vessel
    • Days you are unable to leave the US because of a medical condition that develops while you are in the US
    • Days you are an ‘exempt individual’ (more details below)

    Exempt Individual

    The term ‘exempt individual’ refers to anyone in the following categories:

    • An individual temporarily present in the US as a foreign government-related individual under an A or G visa (other than individuals holding A-3 or G-5 class visas)
    • A teacher or trainee temporarily present in the US under a J or Q visa, who substantially complies with the requirements of the visa
    • A student temporarily present in the US under an F, J, M, or Q visa, who substantially complies with the requirements of the visa
    • A professional athlete temporarily in the US to compete in a charitable sports event

    Q – What tax forms do I need to file?

    Form 8843 for international students

    Every international student, will need to file a Form 8843 (which essentially proves that you’re a non-resident) and if you have received income in the last calendar year then you will most likely need to file a Form 1040NR-EZ also.

    The 1040NR-EZ is used to declare your US source income and determine how much tax you owe on that income. It’s a simplified version of the 1040-NR and most international students can use it.

    Q – What information will I need in order to complete my tax return?

    This is an official government W-2 Form.

    The first thing you will need is your US taxpayer identification number (TIN). A US TIN for an individual is either a US Social Security Number (SSN) or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Only foreign nationals who are authorized to work in the United States under the US immigration law are eligible to apply for a SSN. Foreign nationals not eligible to apply for a SSN may submit a Form W-7 ITIN application to the IRS.

    Confused? Learn more here about ITIN.

    To prepare your tax return you will also need your income documents like W-2’s, 1042-S’s, and/or 1099’s, which will be mailed to you by the university and your employer.

    W-2 – This document, provided by your employer, includes details of the wages you earned and the taxes withheld from your wages. You should receive this document by January 31.

    1099 – This document is a report from your bank on the interest you have earned on your accounts. You should receive this by January 31.

    1042-S – This details wages paid to you if you already claimed a tax treaty benefit, and scholarship income that was used for expenses other than tuition and fees (such as room, board, or travel). You will receive this by March 15.

    Don’t forget – if you don’t have taxable US sourced income you won’t receive income documents and you won’t need to apply for a US TIN. In this case you’ll just need to submit Form 8843 to the IRS.

    Q – How do I submit a tax return?

    You can choose to fill out all of the paperwork and submit your tax return directly to the IRS yourself. Depending on the tax rules of the state in which you lived and /or worked you may also need to file a state return to your state tax office.

    Alternatively, many international students find the thought of submitting a tax return to be quite daunting. If you’d like a hand with the preparation of your return, you can enlist the help of a tax agent like Sprintax. Preparing your tax return is easy with Sprintax and we guarantee to keep you compliant with the US tax authorities.

    Q – How can Sprintax help me?

    Sprintax will take the stress out of filing your tax return by offering you step-by-step assistance throughout the entire process.

    Sprintax can also help you to determine if you are considered a ‘resident’ or ‘non-resident’ for tax purposes and guarantees to maximise your tax refund.

    • Online US tax prep solution for international students and scholars
    • US tax compliance guaranteed
    • Built-in knowledge of over 350 different types of tax deductions
    • 65 international tax treaty agreements and exemptions covered
    • Maximum legal tax refund for federal, state & medicare

    Just complete the registration form here to get started.

    Q – What is the deadline for filing a tax return?

    The filing deadline for US federal income tax returns for individuals is April 15. However, in the event that this date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the first succeeding day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday will be the deadline.

    Q – What should I do if I am unable to file my tax form by the deadline?

    Form 4868 for international students

    Need more time to complete your return? Simply file a 4868 to request an automatic deadline extension to August 15.

    It’s important to note that you will not be notified if your extension request is approved – the process is automatic.  If you owe any taxes, you must still mail the estimated tax payment by the April 15 deadline or you will have to pay penalties and interest on any payment owed.

    Q – Does it cost anything to file my tax return?

    If you decide to file your tax return yourself, the process is free.

    The Sprintax fee structure is as follows:

    Form 8843 – $15.95

    Form 1040-NR – $35.95

    ITIN Application – $15.95

    State Tax Forms – $25.95

    Q – Am I entitled to any tax exemptions?

    In previous years there were a number of exemptions and deductions that international students could use to reduce their overall tax liability.

    However, in November 2017, President Donald Trump introduced a GOP tax reform bill which brought widespread tax-related changes for most taxpayers.

    Check out our detailed article about the GOP Tax Reform and its effects on the taxation of foreign students and other non-resident aliens here.

    tax returns for international students

    Q – Will I be entitled to a tax refund?

    You may be entitled to a tax refund if you paid more than what you owed during the year.

    Once you’re tax return has been completely filled in you will be able to determine if the US government owes you a refund.

    Sprintax can help you to you to retrieve your maximum tax refund.

    Q – How can I claim my tax refund?

    You can claim your tax refund when you file your tax return.

    Alternatively, if you choose to file with Sprintax, you’ll be guaranteed to receive your maximum legal tax refund.

    tax refund for international students

    Q – Do I have to pay taxes on income I received from my home country?

    No. The US will not tax your income from non-American sources.

    Q – There is a tax treaty between the US and my country. Should I file a tax form?

    Yes. You will still be required to file a tax return for each year you spent studying in the US.

    Q – I’m an F-1/J-1 student with no US income or scholarships for 2017. Do I need to file anything?

    Yes. You are required to complete a Form 8843 with the IRS regardless of whether you received income.

    Q – I arrived in the US in December and I didn’t work. Do I still have to file Form 8843?

    Yes. Every non-resident alien who spends any portion of the year in the US on an F or J visa must complete a Form 8843 and send it to the IRS.

    Q – What happens if I don’t file a tax return?

    Payment of an income tax liability is required by law and complying with US tax law is one of the conditions of your visa. If you owe taxes and don’t file, the IRS can impose penalties and interest and there can also be consequences for future immigration.

    For instance, if you apply for permanent residency (a green card) it’s likely that you will be asked to provide evidence of your tax filing for previous years in the US.

    Filing a tax return is also the only way you can retrieve your tax refund. It would be a shame to leave money you’re entitled to behind!

    File your return with Sprintax today!