All posts tagged non-resident alien

  • 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

    Phew! The tricky part is over.

    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…

    Your Federal tax refund 

    Generally the IRS advises that you will have to wait 4 to 6 weeks after you mail your return before you receive your money.

    If you would like to keep updated with the status of your Federal tax refund, you can do so by using the IRS’ online “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

    The system will ask you for the following:

    • Your Social Security Number, or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
    • Your filing status (Single or Married Filing Separate Return for non-residents)
    • The exact dollar refund amount shown on your tax return

    It’s a good idea to have a copy of your federal tax return on hand so you can easily enter the required information.

    You can also check the status of your refund over the phone by calling one of the following numbers:

    • The IRS Refund Hotline – 800-829-1954. This number, available 24/7, is specifically for calls regarding tax refunds.
    • The IRS TeleTax system – 800-829-4477. This provides general tax information as well as your current refund status. It is also available 24/7

    US tax refund

    Your State tax refund

    Firstly AlaskaFloridaNevadaSouth DakotaTexasWashington, and Wyoming don’t have income tax. If you received income such as wages, scholarship or any other earnings and/or income, you would not have been required to file a State tax return and you will therefore have no entitlement to a State tax refund.

    In addition, New Hampshire and Tennessee only tax interest and dividend income, not wages, scholarship, earnings, or other type of income.

    For all other States, you can check the status of your State tax refund by using the useful links listed below.

    Alabama (AL)

    The Alabama Department of Revenue advises that it usually takes 8-12 weeks for tax filers to receive a refund from the date a return is accepted.

    To check the status of your Alabama state tax refund, go to My Alabama Taxes and then click ‘Check on My Refund Status’.

    For more information, contact the Alabama Department of Revenue.

    Arizona (AZ)

    Arizona tax prep made easy

    The Arizona Department of Revenue advises that the processing of a paper filed tax return can take up to 12 weeks to process.  For a refund to be direct deposited or mailed, it may take up to an additional seven days from the date the tax return processing was completed.

    You can check the status of your Arizona state tax refund here.

    Or, for more information, contact the Arizona Department of Revenue.

    Arkansas (AR)

    It can take up to 6 weeks after the date your return was accepted to receive a refund from the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration.

    To check the status of your Arkansas State tax refund, simply follow this link (and click ‘Where’s My Refund?’)

    For more information, contact the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (see the ‘Individual Income Tax’ section).

    California (CA)

    The State of California Franchise Tax Board says that it can take approximately 4 weeks to receive a refund (for paper filed returns). Some tax returns need extra review for accuracy, completeness, and to protect taxpayers from fraud and identity theft and extra processing time may be necessary in these cases.

    To check the status of your California State tax refund, simply follow this link.

    For more information, contact the California Franchise Tax Board.

    Colorado (CO)

    Colarado State tax prep

    Follow this link to check the status of your Colorado state tax refund, and then click ‘Check the Status of Your Refund’.

    Or you can find more information about your refund here or by contacting the Colorado Department of Revenue.

    Connecticut (CT)

    According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, it can take 10 – 12 weeks to process a paper return.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Connecticut state tax refund (and then click ‘Check on the Status of Your Refund’).

    For more information, contact the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS).

    Delaware (DE)

    The Delaware Division of Revenue advises that has announced it can take approximately 6 weeks to receive a refund from the date a tax return is accepted.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Delaware state tax refund.

    Further information, can be found by contacting the Delaware Division of Revenue.

    District of Columbia (DC)

    The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue advises that it can take 2 to 3 weeks for processing and issuance of a refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your D.C. tax refund and click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button.

    For more information, contact the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue.

    Georgia (GA)

    Georgia tax refunds made easy

    The Georgia Income Tax Division has said that it can take 90 business days to process a return and issue a tax refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Georgia tax refund (click on the Where’s My Refund? button).

    For more information, contact the Georgia Department of Revenue.

    Hawaii (HI)

    Typically, it takes 9-10 weeks for the Hawaii Department of Taxation to process a tax refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Hawaii tax refund (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    For more information, contact the Hawaii Department of Taxation.

    Idaho (ID)

    The Idaho State Tax Commission advises that it can take 10-11 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    To check the status of your refund simply follow this link (and click the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    For more details you can contact the Idaho State Tax Commission.

    Illinois (IL)

    You can check the status of your Illinois tax refund here.

    For more information contact the Illinois Department of Revenue here.

    Indiana (IN)

    Indiana state tax refunds

    The Indiana Department of Revenue says that it can take approximately 10 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    You can check the status of your Indiana tax refund here, or alternatively, if you’d like further information, contact the Indiana Department of Revenue.

    Iowa (IA)

    According to the Iowa Income Tax Department of Revenue and Finance, it can take approximately 3 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    Check the status of your Iowa tax refund here.

    Or for more information, contact the Iowa Department of Revenue.

    Kansas (KS)

    The Kansas Department of Revenue has announced that the normal processing time for a paper tax return is 16 weeks.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Kansas tax refund.

    And more information, can be obtained by contacting the Kansas Division of Taxation for Individuals.

    Kentucky (KY)

    The Kentucky Revenue Cabinet advises that you will typically have to wait 8-12 weeks before you will receive your tax refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Kentucky tax refund and click on the ‘Check Refund Status online’ button.

    For more information, contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

    Louisiana (LA)

    Louisiana State tax refunds

    The Louisiana Department of Revenue says that processing time for paper returns is 12-16 weeks from the date the return was mailed.

    You can check the status of your Louisiana tax refund here.

    Or for more information, contact the Louisiana Department of Revenue or call 1-855-307-3893.

    Maine (ME)

    The Maine Revenue Services advises that tax refunds can take up to 14 days to be processed.

    Check the status of your Maine tax refund here .

    For more information, you can contact the Maine Revenue Services Department directly here.

    Maryland (MD)

    The Maryland Controller of the Treasury has outlined announced that the processing of paper returns takes approximately 30 days.

    If you would like an update on your tax refund, you can check the status here.

    Need more info? Simply contact the Comptroller of Maryland.

    Massachusetts (MA)

    You can check the status of your Massachusetts tax refund here (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    And you can find more information, by contacting the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

    Michigan (MI)

    Michigan state tax refunds

    The Michigan Department of the Treasury says it can take approximately 8 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Michigan tax refund and click on the ‘Check my tax and refund information’ option.

    For more information, contact the Michigan Department of Treasury.

    Minnesota (MN)

    If you filed a Minnesota State tax return, you will probably have to wait 6 weeks for your tax refund.

    You can check the status of your refund here. And you can find any further information you require by contacting the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

    Mississippi (MS)

    Check the status of your Mississippi tax refund here.

    Or contact the Mississippi Department of Revenue for more information.

    Missouri (MO)

    The Missouri Department of Revenue advises that it can take 8-10 weeks to process a tax return and issue a refund.

    Check the status of your Missouri tax refund here.

    For more information, contact the Missouri Department of Revenue.

    Montana (MT)

    Montana State tax refunds

    The Montana Department of Revenue has detailed that it can take approximately 8 weeks to process a return and issue a tax refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your tax refund (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    Or for more information, contact the Montana Department of Revenue.

    Nebraska (NE)

    The Nebraska Department of Revenue has announced it can take 15-21 days to process a return and issue a refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your Nebraska tax refund.

    More details can be found by contacting the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

    New Jersey (NJ)

    According to the New Jersey State Department, it can take 12 weeks or longer to process a return and issue a refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your New Jersey tax refund.

    Or for more information, contact the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

    New Mexico (NM)

    The New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department has said that it can take approximately 8-12 weeks to process a tax return and issue a refund.

    To check the status of your New Mexico tax refund, follow this link (and click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    For more information, contact the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

    New York (NY)

    Easy New York State Tax Return

    The New York State Processing Center usually issues refunds 8-12 weeks after they receive a tax return.

    You can check the status of your New York tax refund here (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’) button.

    Or for more information, contact the Department of Taxation and Finance.

    North Carolina (NC)

    The North Carolina Department of Revenue has announced it can take approximately 12 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    Follow this link to check the status of your North Carolina tax refund (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    For more information, contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

    North Dakota (ND)

    The North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner says that it can take approximately 6 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    You can follow this link to check the status of your North Dakota tax refund (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    Or for more information, contact the North Dakota Office of the State Tax Commissioner.

    Ohio (OH)

    The Ohio Department of Taxation advises that it can take a minimum of 30 days to process a return and issue a tax refund.

    You can check the status of your Ohio tax refund here and find more information by contacting the Ohio Department of Taxation directly.

    Oklahoma (OK)

    Easy Oklahoma tax return

    Follow this link to check the status of your Oklahoma tax refund.

    And for more information, you can contact the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

    Oregon (OR)

    You can check the status of your Oregon tax refund here.

    And for more information, you can contact the Oregon Department of Revenue.

    Pennsylvania (PA)

    According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue it can take 3 to 4 weeks for a tax refund to be processed.

    Check the status of your Pennsylvania tax refund here (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    More information can be found at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

    Rhode Island (RI)

    The Rhode Island Division of Taxation says it can take 5 to 7 weeks to process a tax return and issue a refund.

    Simply follow this link to check the status of your Rhode Island tax refund.

    For more information, contact the Rhode Island Division of Taxation directly.

    South Carolina (SC)

    Follow this link to check the status of your South Carolina tax refund.

    For more information, contact South Carolina Department of Revenue.

    Utah (UT)

    Easy Utah tax returns

    The Utah State Tax Commission says that it can take 90 days to process a return and issue a refund.

    If you would like to check the status of your Utah tax refund, you can do so here (click on the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ button).

    For more information, contact the Utah State Tax Commission.

    Vermont (VT)

    The Vermont Department of Taxes advises that it can take approximately 8 weeks to process a return and issue a refund.

    You can check the status of your Vermont tax refund here (click ‘Individuals’ and then ‘Check the status of my return’).

    For more information, contact Vermont Department of Taxes directly. 

    Virginia (VA)

    The Virginia Department of Taxation says it can take up to 8 weeks to process a tax return and issue a refund.

    Simply follow this link to check the status of your Virginia tax refund.

    For more information, contact the Virginia Department of Taxation.

    West Virginia (WV)

    Follow this link to check the status of your West Virginia state refund.

    Wisconsin (WI)

    You can check your Wisconsin refund status here and find more information by contacting the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

    Haven’t filed your tax return yet?

    Easy US tax prep

    Better late than never!

    The April 15 deadline may have passed but you can still claim your tax refund.

    Sprintax is the easiest way to prepare your Federal and State tax returns.

    So what are you waiting for?

    File your tax return and claim your cash today!

    Get started here.

    Subscribe to the Sprintax Blog!

    US tax can be confusing. Especially for nonresidents!

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

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

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





  • My state residency differs to my federal residency. How is this possible?

    We’re here to clear your residency confusion!

    All Foreign Nationals living, working or studying in the US are responsible for their personal compliance with the United States Federal and State tax laws and regulations.

    But what are these laws and regulations?

    Well, for starters, every foreign national living in the US is required to submit an annual income tax return. But the type of tax return you will need to file depends largely on where you live and work.

    In the US, Federal income tax is collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Most States (42 States plus the District of Columbia to be exact!) also have additional State income tax which is collected separately by the various state authorities. People that live in one of these 42 States may be required to submit a State return in addition to the Federal return.

    To file correct tax returns, it is important for a foreign national to recognize how the IRS and the different State tax offices determine tax residency.

    File your US tax returns with Sprintax

    Federal residency

    The IRS tax code provides two separate tax reporting requirements – one for US citizens and resident aliens and another one for non-resident aliens.

    Before a non-citizen of the US prepares and submits a tax return to the IRS, they must determine their correct residency status.

    But how can you do this?

    Well, the IRS has two tests for determining residency status: the ‘green card’ test and the ‘substantial presence’ test (SPT).

    Substantial presence test

    The substantial presence test (SPT) identifies foreign individuals who spend substantial periods of time within the United States as resident aliens.

    You will be considered a ‘resident for tax purposes‘ if you meet the SPT for the previous calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States for 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:
      • All the days 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.

    Students on F-1 and J-1 status are typically considered non-resident aliens for Federal tax purposes for the first 5 years in student status.

    On their 6th year they can begin counting days of presence for the SPT. If they pass the test – their status changes from non-resident to resident for tax purposes.

    Scholars, interns and trainees, teachers, researchers and research-scholars on J-1 status are considered non-resident aliens for Federal tax purposes for their first 2 years in the US.

    However, on their 3rd year, they can also begin counting days for the SPT. And if they pass the test – their status changes from non-resident to residents for tax purposes.

     Other non-immigrant statuses are also dependent on the substantial presence test.

    Green card

    A green card is simply an informal term for a United States Permanent Resident Card. But how can you get one? In reality, the green card test is actually pretty straight forward.

    A non-resident alien can become a US resident for tax purposes at any time if they have been given the privilege, according to immigration laws, of residing permanently as an immigrant. This status usually exists when the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services issue an Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551), or green card, to an individual.

    Should you qualify for a green card, you will automatically become a US tax resident, starting from the year you first qualified.

    State residency

    It’s important to note that, State and Federal residency are not the same thing.

    Each State follows an entirely different set of rules and regulations when determining state residency status.

    So even if you are a non-resident for federal tax purposes you may be a resident for state tax purposes.

    Because the rules and regulations vary by state, determining state residency is more complicated than it seems.

    Each state has a complex and differing definition of what constitutes a resident. Most states will look at a list of residency ‘factors’ that have been long established like domicile (permanent residency), or the day counting rule. Owning a home, family location, and financial interests are other factors which help some of the states determine residency.

    In other words – a person may be considered a resident of the state in which he or she currently lives because of the state residency factors, but still be considered a non-resident for federal tax purposes because they didn’t pass the SPT or the green card test.

    Sprintax can help you determine your residency status

    To make things even more complicated, some States have a third residency status (in addition to ‘resident’ and ‘non-resident’) which is called ‘part-year resident’.

    And, for people who live or study in one state and work in another, things can quickly become tricky as they might need to file more than one State tax return and they will need to determine their State residency for both States!

    Preparing your tax return

    Sill confused? Don’t worry! Sprintax will figure out both your Federal and State residency statuses so that you don’t have to. We will also prepare your Federal and State tax returns, regardless of your State residency status!

    Sounds great! Get me started!

    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!





  • Sprintax at NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo

    Our Sprintax team is thrilled to be attending the 2017 NAFSA conference!

    This year the annual conference & expo is taking place in Los Angeles, California and is attended by international education professionals from more than 150 countries.

    NAFSA’s annual conference provides unique opportunity for those interested in international education to develop their knowledge, skills, and ideas and engage effectively with colleagues from around the globe. Furthermore, visitors can gain valuable insights on all areas of international education, student services, and research from a global perspective.

    We are delighted to meet many of our partners and discuss new strategies on working together in the future, as well as exchange experience and information with experts and innovators in the sphere of education.

    The whole Sprintax team are looking forward to working together to help even more international students and scholars with their US tax affairs.

    Our booth is 1849, so please stop by and say hello if you are in the area! 

     

    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 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!

  • Clearing up the confusion of whether you are Resident or Non-Resident

    Clearing up the confusion of whether you are Resident or Non-Resident