All posts tagged international students

  • Massachusetts state tax module for 2016 tax preparation is live!

    We are happy to announce that the Massachusetts state tax module is live!

    MA modules for non-resident, part-year residents and full-year residents are now available for use.

    In addition to the MA module, we have 9 more state modules available. You can prepare and download your 2016 tax returns for New York, California, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana and Missouri.

    International students and scholars and non-resident professionals can prepare their tax returns by entering their existing account or creating a new one for new users of Sprintax.

    You may or may not be obliged to file a state tax return for 2016 – Sprintax will help you to identify your state tax filing obligations and prepare your state tax return if required.

    The tax deadline for most states is April 18, so don’t delay!

    Sprintax offers 24 hour support to students via our Live Chat facility to answer any questions you may have here.

    Have a question? Ask our virtual assistant Stacy here.

  • Sprintax Tax Workshop: Non-resident taxes explained (video playlist)

    Preparing your non-resident tax returns can seem like a daunting task! Sprintax has helped many international students and scholars through the process and is always striving to make their experience as stress-free as possible.

    Check out our Tax Workshop playlist – we explain the most important things you need to know about US taxes and using Sprintax:

    The tax deadline is April 18th, so don’t delay and create an account!

    If you still have questions, Sprintax offers 24 hour support to students via our Live Chat facility here.

    Have a question? Ask our virtual assistant Stacy here.

     

  • I am an international student, why don’t I get a full refund of taxes paid?

    Many international students on F-1, J-1, M-1 and Q engage in practical training and earn income through one of the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) approved programs or participate in on-campus and off-campus employment during or post-study.

    Do I need to pay tax?

    It is sometimes thought that foreign students who receive any type of income and funds from their OPT or from on-campus or off-campus activity, are not liable to US taxes however this is untrue. For many international students, the US tax system may seem complex and as a result they are not aware of their filing and taxation obligations.

    According to US tax law and regulations (Publication 519), “non-resident aliens usually are subject to US income tax only on US source income”, respectively, foreign students under F1, M1, J1 and Q visas are liable to pay both federal and state income taxes on their US sourced income, which may include wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, and so on.

    Non-resident aliens file Form 1040NR-EZ or 1040-NR “US Non-Resident Alien Income Tax Return” to assess and file federal income and taxes. Most non-resident aliens do not qualify for the standard deduction.

    Tax Time post-it and Red Alarm Clock. 3D Rendering

    Do I need to file a tax return?

    If your gross earned income from sources within the US does not exceed the personal exemption allowance ($4,100 in 2016), a federal income tax return is not due and any federal tax withheld will be refunded in full.

    Scholarships and Fellowship Grants are also taxable income when paid to non-resident aliens. IRS Notice 87-31 exempts scholarships and fellowships from tax in the US when paid to US citizens and residents, yet the US scholarship and fellowship grants paid directly to a foreign student are generally taxable and subject to reporting.

     

    Can I deduct expenses?

    The general rule is that you cannot deduct personal or living expenses, unless specifically allowed by the US tax code. Some foreign students are eligible for a direct write-off of that part of the scholarship or grant that was used to cover qualified educational expenses. The deduction applies to all non-resident aliens who are candidates for a degree or at least half-time students.

    The qualified educational expenses also include all out-of-pocket expenses paid for tuition, academic fees, books, supplies and equipment required by a college or university.

     

    property-tax-deduction-america-stay-9wVeRF-clipart

     

    What is a tax treaty?

    Another way for international students to decrease federal income tax is to avail of a tax treaty which will allow them to fully or partially exempt their US sourced income from federal and/or some state income taxes.

    The US tax treaty network covers more than 65 countries and almost all treaties have specific provisions that apply to students, trainees and apprentices.

    In conclusion, foreign students are liable to pay US income taxes on the income they earn in US, including wages, tips, scholarship and fellowship grants, dividends, and must use non-resident tax return forms 1040NR-EZ or 1040-NR to calculate the amount of federal income tax they must pay.

     

    Am I due a tax refund?

    If the amount of tax deducted from your payments during the tax year 2016 is more than the tax shown on your 1040NR-EZ or 1040-NR, then you will be due a refund, otherwise you will be required to pay your US tax liabilities.

    It is important to note that each individual state has its own tax system and tax regulations imposing different residency and filing requirements under which foreign students may have to a file state tax return and pay state income tax even when no federal return is due.

     Claiming-a-tax-refund-–-explained-step-by-step

    Preparing your tax return online

    Sprintax.com offers you non-resident tax form preparation online through a simple step-by-step process. The software analyzes personal, income and tax information and produces non­-resident tax forms such as 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, more than 10 state tax returns, including CA, NY, MI, IL, PA, MA, NC, NJ, VA, GA and many others, including the 8843 form and W-7 ITIN application where applicable.

    Through the user-friendly, step-by-step application, the software collects data that considers your allowed expenses, tax treaty benefits, deductions and exemptions helping you to prepare a compliant tax return and reduce your income tax liability as much as is legally possible.

    Sprintax offers 24 hour support to students via our Live Chat facility to answer any questions you may have here.

    Have a question? Ask our virtual assistant Stacy here.

     

  • NY, RI, NC, MI, OH state tax modules for 2016 tax preparation are out!

    Following the release of 4 state tax modules in January (California, Virginia, Indiana and Missouri), we are happy to announce that five more modules are available!

    You can now prepare and download your 2016 tax returns for New York, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Michigan and Ohio.

    International students and scholars and non-resident professionals can prepare their tax returns by entering their existing account or creating a new one for new users of Sprintax.

    You may or may not be obliged to file a state tax return for 2016 – Sprintax will help you to identify your state tax filing obligations and prepare your state tax return if required.

    The tax deadline for most states is April 18, so don’t delay!

    In addition to the 9 available states, we expect more state tax modules to be released, so please stay tuned:

    Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Oregon, Kansas, Massachusetts, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland

    Sprintax offers 24 hour support to students via our Live Chat facility to answer any questions you may have here.

    Have a question? Ask our virtual assistant Stacy here.

  • 2016 Tax Season A Fantastic Success!

    With the 2017 tax filing season open, it’s time to take a look back at the 2016 season and what we achieved.

    Successful season for Sprintax

    The 2016 tax season saw a huge increase in the number of students and scholars using Sprintax to prepare their Federal and State tax returns.

    With a similar increase in contracted colleges and universities for 2017, we are expecting this to be another record year.

    In 2016 the average Federal refund was over $900, and while everyone’s circumstances are different, the vast majority of those who prepared a Federal return received a refund – so it does pay to file your taxes!

    Communication with clients and partners

    At Sprintax we strive to provide our clients the highest quality service and their feedback is vital to achieve this. In 2016, we launched our Customer Satisfaction Survey for the 2nd year and were delighted with the positive results.

    In 2016, the Sprintax team attended the NAFSA conference in Denver, as well as the regional NAFSA conferences, where we had the pleasure of meeting many of our colleagues and partners.

    Our goals for the future

    We’re committed to making tax preparation as stress-free as possible. Our team are on hand to answer any questions you may have when preparing your returns. Simply ask a question here.

    The filing deadline is Tuesday April 18, but the sooner you file the sooner you get your refund, so don’t delay!

    Click here to sign up!

  • The 2016 Tax Year is Live!

    We’re excited to announce that the 2017 tax filing season is open and Sprintax is up and running!

    International students and scholars, and non-resident professionals – you can now use Sprintax to prepare your non-resident tax returns for the 2016 tax year. Sprintax can help you prepare your Federal, State, and FICA tax returns to ensure you stay fully compliant.

    Official start of 2017 filing season

    The 2017 filing season starts on January 23 2017. Sprintax gives you the opportunity to prepare your tax return before that date and have your 2016 tax return ready to mail on or after January 23, at the start of the 2017 Filing season.

    April 18 Filing Deadline 

    The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday, and this would usually move the filing deadline to the following Monday — April 17.

    However, Emancipation Day — a legal holiday in the District of Columbia — will be observed on that Monday, which pushes the nation’s filing deadline to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

    What does the April 18 deadline mean to me?

    Non-residents can apply for their tax refunds even after the April 18 deadline, but your return has to be filed no more than 3 years after the original deadline in order for the IRS to issue you a refund.

    You should not worry about penalties and fines if you have no tax liability as the IRS may not penalize you if you do not file a return on time.

    The deadline for filing your Form 8843 is the same as the deadline for filing your tax return (April 18).

    If you owe additional tax for the year, you must file your tax return and pay those taxes by April 18 to avoid late filing and payment interest and penalties.

    How Sprintax works

    To get started, simply create an account here. Sprintax will give you a step-by-step guide to the whole process – all you need to do is answer a few simple questions.

    Once you’re done, Sprintax will generate your tax return/s and you can simply send it to the tax office – it’s as easy as that!

    Once complete, we’ll store your details for any future tax returns. You can also prepare tax returns for previous years using the same account.

    Sprintax offers 24 hour support to students via our Live Chat facility to answer any questions you may have here.

    Don’t miss out on your tax refund and stay compliant by using Sprintax!

    Have a question? Ask our virtual assistant Stacy here.

  • 2015 is Best Sprintax Season to Date

    The 2015 US tax season is long over and it is time to take stock of the season and look at the big picture – through our eyes and through the eyes of our customers and partners.

    The Season in Numbers

    We are delighted to announce that the 2015 tax season was our best season to date. We guided twice the number of international students and scholars through the complicated tax filing process compared to last year.

    36,348 non-residents trusted Sprintax with their Federal tax returns and 30,450 filed their state tax returns using our software.

    Being the only non-resident tax prep tool covering both Federal and State tax returns, we helped our customers claim $30, 5000,000 in Federal tax refunds and more than $8,000,000 in State tax refunds.

    Our Goals

    We achieved the goals we set last year; to deliver excellent customer experience by reaching the highest standards and create an outstanding customer journey.

    With our help, thousands of international students and scholars from 193 countries filed their US taxes hassle-free with our step-by-step software and 24/7 Live Tax Help.

    Our team was fully dedicated to improving the Sprintax software and making it user-friendly. We prepared an extensive FAQ section which proved to be incredibly useful to our customers and a new video demo where you can find out how Sprintax works.

    Our Partnerships

    Over 475 US schools have partnered with us to help their students and scholars with their tax affairs.

    We’re excited to say that in the 2015 tax season we not only strengthened the relationships with our partners but also established many new partnerships with hundreds of US schools and institutions from all across the US.

    We truly believe that those partnerships will thrive in the future and are looking forward to many new ones.

    A Big Thank you

    To all members of the Sprintax team for their dedication and hard work. We owe our huge success to all of those who put their hearts into Sprintax.

    The excellent results we achieved in the 2015 season only motivate us to work even harder and implement new innovations to improve our services.

    A new strategy is on the horizon so stay tuned for big Sprintax news in the 2016 tax season.

  • Tax Tip: Tax treaties and how they can help you save money at tax time

    The 2014 US tax season is OPEN, and you as an international student are also obliged to file a tax return.

    For most people, except for those who prefer U.S. taxation laws as a Sunday read, tax matters are so overwhelming and hard to understand that even the thought of tax return filing can deepen the usual tax time blues.

    It might be hard to believe it but tax return preparation can actually be stress-free and even easy. Below we have unveiled the power of tax treaties for non-resident international students and how they help you save some money at the tough tax times.

    The power of Tax treaties

    Many international students in U.S. can benefit from tax treaties between the United States and their home countries. If you have never heard of this, do not worry we are here to tell you!

    Tax treaties are specific agreements between USA and other countries. Currently the U.S. tax treaty network covers approximately 66 countries all over the world. Generally, under these tax treaties residents of foreign countries, including foreign students and scholars are taxed at a reduced tax rate and can benefit from exemptions on many different types and items of income. That is a great opportunity to save some money so make sure that you claim the treaty benefits you are eligible for.

    If you are wondering whether there is a tax treaty signed between your home country and the United States, why don’t you take a look at the map below to find out?

    new1Of course, there are a lot of requirements you should meet to be eligible to claim treaty exemptions. In general, they can be summarized in the following:

    • You should meet the treaty eligibility requirements. They vary among countries and specific items of income. For more info, check this:  IRS Publication 901 (pdf)
    •  You should have Social Security number or ITIN number
    •  You should complete the correct tax treaty exemption forms properly.

    If all this sounds too confusing for you – no worries, we can help you. If you use Sprintax software, you do not need to unravel the complicated provisions of the tax treaty – we do that for you! We will provide you with all the necessary (and correct!) tax treaty exemption forms that you have to fill in. Quick and easy.

    Register here to get started!

  • Top 5 Tax Myths International Students believe in – DEBUNKED!

    George Orwell once said: “Myths that are believed in tend to become true”.

    Well, there might be a grain of truth in what he said but not when it comes to taxes and the U.S. taxation laws.

    As an international student you are not supposed to know the US tax procedures concerning tax return filing by heart but at least you should be aware of the Top 5 tax myths that most international students tend to believe in. So do not walk around believing in “old wives’ tax tales and check the most common tax myths DEBUNKED here!

    Myth 1: Students are not obliged to file US tax return
    Busted: Regardless of the fact that you probably do not classify as an U.S. citizen or you have received no income throughout the previous year, you are required by the U.S. taxation law to file a tax return. Remember this!

    Myth 2: You can file your taxes any time during the year
    Busted: You should complete and submit your tax documents to the IRS by 15th of April for any income earned in the previous year. That means that tax returns for 2014 must be postmarked by 15th of April 2015.

    Myth 3: Not filing your tax return will not have any consequence for you
    Busted: Even if you haven’t earned any income and therefore you do not owe any money to IRS, not filing your taxes can still influence your future plans. You are obliged to file your tax return by the U.S. law and not complying with the law may affect your future visa applications. So why risk your visa status or even your permanent residency? Be sure to FILE your taxes!

    What’s more, if you have received any income during the tax year you could be entitled to get some of the taxes you paid back. If you do not file your tax return, you lose the opportunity to apply for your tax refund and get some extra money. Not to mention the penalties that IRS can impose on you.

    Myth 4: Non-resident students can avail of same tax credits and deductions as the residents
    Busted:Unlike resident aliens who avail of the same tax benefits which are available to the U.S. citizens, non-resident aliens cannot claim the same tax credits and deductions; such as filing a tax return online or education credits, for instance.

    But you can still be eligible to take advantage of ‘tax treaties’ signed between the United States and your home country, so make sure you check this. Sprintax has all credits and tax treaties relevant to non-resident international students already built in making Sprintax the easy option for tax filing for non-residents.

    Myth 5: You can file electronically
    Busted: Unlike the U.S. residents, the non-residents for tax purposes cannot file their tax return electronically. And by “electronically” we mean that you cannot submit your documents to IRS electronically. You can however rely on the help of an online tax preparation tool as Sprintax to help you with the complicated tax documents (and you better do!) but once done, you should print and post them to IRS.

    You have more burning questions for taxes? No worries, contact our great team- they got all the answers!

  • The New 2014 Tax Year Is Open

    Tax just got real

    Ready…Tax…Sprint!

    IRS announced that the new 2014 tax filing season is open! We are very excited to share with you, that Sprintax is already up and running as we speak! Our team worked very hard, determined to get Sprintax ready and available for you from day one of the new tax filing season.

    • Are you resident or non-resident for tax purposes?
    • Do any international tax treaties apply in your case?
    • Do you have to file a State tax return?
    • Sounds confusing?

    If you’re not an accounting major (or even if you are!), it’s only natural US taxes seem tricky to you. Well it’s not for us!

    Sprintax is designed for international students and scholars in the US, to help you prepare your Federal, State and FICA tax returns and guarantees you stay fully-compliant with the IRS. What’s more, Sprintax looks through 350 Income tax deductions, international tax treaty benefits, personal allowances and different tax credits; to make sure you get the maximum legal income tax refund.

    All you need to do is answer a few easy-to-understand questions. Sprintax will guide you through the step-by-step process, and if you need any assistance, there is a 24/7 live chat help available. After the process is completed, Sprintax will instantly generate your documents and voila! All that’s left for you to do is sign the forms and post them to the tax office. It could not be any easier!

    Sprintax will safely store your records in your account for future reference. If you need to prepare tax returns for previous years, that’s ok too – Sprintax will do it for you using the same account. The great thing is, as a past user Sprintax will already have your personal details, and the process will be even faster! Check out the Video Demo to get an idea of how Sprintax works.

    Are you still reading this post? Get started with your taxes! The sooner you file your tax return, the better! If you are due a tax refund, you might just receive it in time for Spring break!

    And don’t forget to let us know if you enjoyed your Sprintax experience by completing a short survey.