YES. All international students and scholars are required by law to file at least one tax form (Form 8843), even if you have not received U.S. source income. If you have received a scholarship, stipend, fellowship and/or salary in the U.S., you may need to file a tax return. This will determine if you owe the U.S. government additional taxes or are due a tax refund.
The tax deadline is usually April 15 to file taxes for the previous year. You should start receiving the tax documents you need to file taxes (W-2, 1099, 1042-S, etc.) by February.
All tax forms are available online on the IRS website. You can print them and follow the instructions to file your taxes on your own, you can use a tax filing software, or you can pay a Certified Public Accountant to assist you. The ISSO offers discount codes to use Sprintax, a tax filing software specifically for foreign nationals, which are available for purchase for $3.25.
YES. If you did not receive any U.S. source income, you will ONLY need to file Form 8843 (pdf), “Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition.” Please follow the instructions on page 3 and 4 of the form for information about how to complete the form and where to mail it.
Most Brandeis international students and scholars will be nonresident tax filers. However, some will be considered residents for tax purposes even though they have a nonimmigrant visa status. It is important to file in the correct status. See the IRS website for more information, or use Sprintax to help you determine your resident status.
If you made any U.S. source income last year, you must file a federal tax return. Depending on how much money you made, you may also need to file a state tax return. In Massachusetts, you are required to file a state tax return if your gross income for the year was at least $8000. If you worked in a U.S. state other than Massachusetts last year, check that state's website for information about their state tax filing requirements.
Your employer and/or Brandeis should provide these documents to you either online or by mail.
The United States has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States. See the IRS list of income tax treaties to determine if your country has a tax treaty with the U.S.
An SSN or ITIN is required to file federal tax returns. However, they are not required if you only need to file Form 8843.
You may owe money in taxes to the U.S. government if your employer did not withhold enough in taxes from your pay throughout the year. If you have questions, you may reach out to a Sprintax representative or a Certified Public Accountant.
You may get your refund within 6 weeks to 6 months of filing your tax return. Contact the IRS to check the status of your tax refund.
Yes. If you miss the April 15 deadline or forget to file taxes for a certain year, you may face late filing penalties. However, you should still file your taxes as soon as possible to fulfill your tax obligations. You can always back file a previous year’s tax return. However, you can only claim a refund from within the last three years.
Please reach out to a Certified Public Accountant or tax attorney for personal tax advice. The ISSO staff are not tax experts, but we can provide you a list of CPAs who are!