All posts tagged Tax preparation

  • 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!

  • End of 2014 Tax Year Is a Fact

    Time to get serious about taxes

    With 31st December already behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming filing season.  We know, we know… It’s hard enough to readjust to school after the holidays, without having to worry about taxes. And that’s why Sprintax is here to help!  Below, we’ve listed some useful tips to save you time and energy when it comes to taxes.

    Stay updated

    The tax season for Non- residents like yourselves doesn’t officially start until the IRS has released the tax forms for the new financial year. This usually takes place in the second half of January. In order to keep you informed, we created an option for you on the Sprintax website, which allows you to sign up for an instant update, the minute the IRS announces the new 2014 tax year is open. We will let you know, so you can focus on other important things. So sign up today

    Be one of the first to file

    As soon as we send out the word about the new tax filing season being open, we strongly advise you to visit the Sprintax website and get your tax return done as early as possible. The sooner you get this off of your To-Do-List, the better. April 15th seems far away now; however the deadline will be knocking on our doors in no time. The good news is, this way your documents will be processed fast and you will avoid any delays. The even better news is, if you’re due a tax refund, you’ll be getting it right on time for Spring break! Awesome, right?

    Be prepared

    Once you sit down in front of your computer to start completing your tax returns, here’s what you need to have handy:

    • Passport – Sprintax will need to gather some details about you and your Visa, which will be reported on the first page of your tax return
    • Entry/Exit dates in the US – reporting the history of your entry and exit dates is very important, as it has a lot to do with your residency status for tax purposes in the US.
    •  Payment documents – if you have received any income during 2014, you should have received a summary payment document. For example – W-2 from an employer if you worked; 1042-S from you university if you received a scholarship, etc. Check out our FAQ page for more information on payment documents.
    • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). (If you don’t have any of those assigned to you, Sprintax will help you out. Check out how by contacting the team.)
    • Form DS-2019 (for J-Visa holders) or Form I-20 (for F-Visa holders)
    • If you are using Sprintax for your State Tax Return(s) preparation only you will need a copy of your already prepared Federal Tax return.

    Most importantly, don’t forget the Sprintax team is available 24/7 to help you, guide you and answer any questions you may have about US taxes.

    We hope you find these tips useful, in the meantime, if you think of any questions or you need additional information, visit the Sprintax FAQ section or contact the team via the Live chat or by email.