All posts by Rory Lynskey

  • How to file a nonresident state tax return

    how to file a nonresident state tax return

    Tax season can be difficult for a lot of nonresidents who move to the US.

    With so many different aspects of taxes in the US, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed.

    Filing both state taxes and federal taxes are vitally important to ensure your nonresident state income tax withholding is correct.

    Nonresident state tax returns are one of the lesser-known areas of tax for many people, so in this blog post we’ll outline everything you need to know about them as well as how to file them.

    So, without further ado, let’s dive right in! Continue reading “How to file a nonresident state tax return” »

  • E-Signature on Tax Forms – Can I Sign My Tax Forms Online?

    e-signature on tax forms

    The topic of e-signatures on tax forms is a relatively new subject.

    That is because the IRS has traditionally required paper signatures on all of their tax forms.

    However, for some tax forms, the rules have changed somewhat over recent years.

    This is due to a number of reasons, mainly due to the fact that the IRS is constantly looking to modernize the way in which they operate.

    In this blog, we’ll delve into what the current rules on whether or not you as a nonresident alien on an F, J, M or Q visa can sign your tax forms online, and if it is beneficial for you.

     

    What is an electronic signature?

    An e-signature, also known as an electronic signature, is an efficient way to sign documents electronically with a digital ID.

    Where does this apply to tax forms? Well, many tax forms can be completed electronically, but rules have stated that they need a paper signature.

    However, the IRS has recognized that completing, printing, and sending tax forms is a significant burden as opposed to e-filing them, so they are beginning to change their rules.

    The current law that allows e-signatures on tax documents is in place until 31 October 2023.

    From the end of October 2023 onwards, it is likely that it will be extended.

     

    What are the benefits of an electronic signature?

    The main benefit of using an e-signature is that it saves time on tax return preparation for workers.

    As well as this, when you apply an electronic signature to your document, it will lock it from further editing. This provides a safeguard against potential document manipulation after the taxpayer has completed the form.

    They can also save you money, as every time you use an e-signature, it prevents you from having to print the document and ultimately spend more money on paper (and ink!).

     

    How to add an electronic signature to a form

    To add an e-signature to a tax form, you will need to try a software that offers this service. For example, DocuSign e-signature is officially recognized by the IRS.

    The IRS states that it can accept two types of electronic signatures on tax documents:

    • Digital signatures: If you have software that allows you to sign documents digitally, you may do this – it is more secure than an image signature.
    • Imaged signatures: This is done by hand signing a form, scanning it, and saving it as an image.

     

    What is a digital signature?

    There are subtle differences between electronic signatures and digital signatures, despite how similar they sound.

    Although both are used to add authenticity to documents, they perform different operations.

    Digital signatures use technology to encrypt a signature – ensuring the person is not lying about their identity.

    The difference is that e-signatures outline that a signatory is to be legally bound by the terms within a specific document.

     

    Does the IRS accept electronic signatures?

    Recently, the IRS has begun to lax its rules on tax document signatures.

    For nonresidents, that applies to many of the common tax forms used in tax season.

     

    Can I add e-signatures with Sprintax?

    Sprintax can add e-signatures on W-4, W-9, W8-BEN, and Form 8233, but not W-7. You can do this with Sprintax Forms.

    To e-file your tax documents with Sprintax, you will need to electronically sign your forms using the information requested on the screen when you are finalizing your return.

    Before signing your return, you must verify your identity with us. This will require you to provide information from your previous federal tax return (If you did not file a tax return for tax year 2020, please enter ‘0’ as your prior year adjusted gross income).

    Next, you’ll be asked to agree to a disclaimer and consent statements before agreeing the information you entered is correct.

    Finally, simply click ‘E-File My Return’ to electronically send your tax return to the IRS.

    Check out the handy video below that outlines how to electronically file your return with Sprintax Returns!

     

     

    How Sprintax will help you

    As a nonresident, Sprintax will offer assistance with all you need come tax season.

    At Sprintax, we:

    • Help more than 215,000 nonresidents (including more than 200 nationalities) with their taxes every year
    • Automatically generate completed tax documents including federal, state and FICA tax returns, form 8843, tax return amendments and more
    • Get you your maximum US tax refund. guaranteed – our average federal refund is $1,126
    • 24/7 Live Chat tax support

     

    E-file nonresident tax return with Sprintax

     

     

  • IRS tax scams – what they are and how to avoid them

    How to avoid IRS tax scams

    Most international students dread the thought of taxes when they are in the United States.

    After all, there is so much focus on without getting confused about things like tax forms and treaties.

    Many international students need help with their taxes – this can leave them vulnerable to people looking to exploit them.

    Tax and Internal Revenue Service scams have been on the rise over the past few years. Here at Sprintax, we strive to educate and assist international students in the US so that they don’t make mistakes when it comes to tax. Continue reading “IRS tax scams – what they are and how to avoid them” »

  • Explainer: What each Sprintax Product will do for you

    What do Sprintax products do

    It has been nearly one year since Sprintax underwent brand updates to ensure we were delivering the very best possible product for our customers.

    Our goal is to assist employers and nonresidents alike in the US with preparing their taxes, ensuring they are 100% tax compliant.

    Each brand offers a simple and easy-to-use product that couples peace of mind with tax compliance – often a rarity in the US!

    So, what is each Sprintax product, and what will it do for you?

    Find out below!

    Continue reading “Explainer: What each Sprintax Product will do for you” »

  • Hiring J-1 Employees – A Complete Guide to employers’ tax requirements

    Hiring a J1 visa employee

    Many employers in the US often find the tax obligations of their J-1 visa employees to be a challenging area to navigate.

    With so many forms and information needed with each employee, there is no surprise that some employers find the process of tax withholding for J-1 visa students tricky. This, coupled with the fact they will not be a resident for tax purposes, make it more challenging.

    The need to complete all of the forms correctly cannot be underestimated, as every nonresident needs to abide by US tax law.

    In this guide we will examine the key tax information that US employers need to know when employing J1 workers.

    Continue reading “Hiring J-1 Employees – A Complete Guide to employers’ tax requirements” »

  • Form W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E – what are they and what is the difference between them?

    W9BEN form

    The W-8 forms are notoriously tricky for nonresidents to complete.

    However, it’s important to have a good understanding of these documents – especially if you intend to earn income while in the US.

    So, with that in mind, we have gathered everything you need to know about form  W-8BEN into this handy guide.

    So what is the purpose of a W-8BEN? Let’s take a look…

    Continue reading “Form W-8BEN and W-8BEN-E – what are they and what is the difference between them?” »

  • What are my tax obligations as a nonresident self-employed worker in the US?

    self-employed and freelancers tax obligations

    (Last updated: 13 June 2022)

    It’s tricky being self-employed – after all, you need to keep a close eye on your income and all of your deductible expenses!

    It’s even more tricky being self-employed in a country where you are unfamiliar with the local tax rules.

    What’s more, when you are considered a nonresident for tax, special rules apply to you when compared with a resident.

    In this blog we will cover the key information that nonresident self-employed individuals in the US need to know about their tax filing obligations. Continue reading “What are my tax obligations as a nonresident self-employed worker in the US?” »