Tax Information & Instructions

All international students and scholars are required to report U.S. income and physical presence each year to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Spring 2016 is the time to report this information for tax year 2015 (January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015).

Caution:
  • Do not use commonly advertised tax prep products such as TurboTax, H&R Block, Tax Act, or any others – unless you are a “Resident for Tax Purposes.” (see below)
  • Using those will cause errors, delays and possibly additional tax penalties since they were not designed for Non-Resident (NR) tax forms. 
  • Instead, use the free code that ISSS provides for Sprintax. (see below) 
Avoid Tax Fraud & Scams
  • US Tax season is also “scam season.” Unfortunately, International students, are usual targets since they are most at risk to not recognize tax scams.
  • Watch this short (1:30m) video produced by the IRS to learn more.
Deadline: 
  • File all tax forms by midnight, Monday, April 18th 2016 to avoid additional tax penalties.
Am I a Resident for Tax Purposes?

A resident for tax purposes may use regular domestic tax prep software. A resident for tax purposes is an individual who is:

  • A U.S. Citizen or foreign national with a "Green Card".
  • An F & J student who has been in the U.S during any part of 5 calendar years or more.
  • J Research Scholars are generally residents for tax purposes after 2 years in the U.S.
  • H-1, TN, and O-1 visa holders are considered residents for tax purposes if they meet the "substantial presence" test.

Tip: Sprintax will determine if you are a Resident for tax purposes. If yes, seek the advice of a professional tax advisor since you are not eligible to use Sprintax. 

What is Sprintax?

tax Sprintax

  • Sprintax is special tax prep software designed specifically for international students and other non-residents.
  • Sprintax offers 24/7 live tax assistance by phone and chat.
  • Sprintax information is multi-lingual.
  • Sprintax can also complete State of Georgia Income Tax Forms for an additional fee.
  • Sprintax allows you to save your tax return to continue later.
Instructions

1. Gather Your Documents:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), if applicable. If you had no income in the US, these numbers are not necessary.
  • ITIN: How to request?
    1. Print and  fill out this form Tax Letter Request Form
    2. Print and fill out the W-7 form https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw7.pdf
    3. Drop off the completed forms to our office's front desk with copies of your  I20, I-94, VISA, and Biographical page of passport.
    4. Processing time is 5 business days.
  • Dates of all U.S. arrivals and departures in the past.
  • W-2 forms: wage statements from your employer. Contact your HR department if you haven’t received it by January 31st 2016.
  • 1042-S and/or 1099 (if applicable): This comes from GSU's tax compliance office by the end of February if your country has a tax treaty with the U.S.
  • If you worked for GSU and haven't received these forms by the end of February, contact: Ivan Ivanov, GSU Tax Accountant, Sparks Hall, Suite 400A / iivanov1@gsu.edu. Please do not contact Ivan before the end of February.

2. Log-in to iStart

  • If you are unfamiliar with iStart, please click >> here.
  • Click the "US Tax Form Helper" e-form under the Taxes tab.
  • Read and answer the questions carefully. Then, submit the form.
  • You will receive the free access code within 48 hours via GSU email to use Sprintax if needed.

3. Log-in to Sprintax

  • You will receive a unique link and free access to use Sprintax when you complete step #2 above.
  • Complete your tax return, which includes form 8843.
  • Mail a copy of your forms to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) by the deadline above. Address your envelope like this:

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service Center

Austin, TX 73301-0215

  • Use your Federal Return to complete your State of Georgia Tax Return (if applicable) for an additional fee.

 Please note:

  • ISSS cannot provide tax advice or personal assistance with US tax forms.
  • Always keep a complete copy of your U.S. tax returns and forms 8843.