Home Study in US [Study in the US] U.S. international student tax filing -8 frequently asked questions & 7 tax filing steps

[Study in the US] U.S. international student tax filing -8 frequently asked questions & 7 tax filing steps

by Jack
File Tax
Reading Time: 15 minutes

Last Modified 2021年12月1日

U.S. international student tax filing? International students in the United States will face the annual tax filing season in United States. The deadline for tax filing is usually mid-April (4/15) of each year. It is recommended to check the date online, and it is strongly recommended to file the tax in mid-February.

The most common way to file tax returns for US international students is to use the Free File system. Usually, schools will provide Glacier Tax Prep ( provided by NYU ) for American international students to file federal and state taxes. You can consider TurboTax or Sprintax (NYU students have discount). If you are not a U.S. citizen or Resident Alien, you must mail the documents generated by the system to IRS (Internal Revenu Service)!!

Most jobs will be based on the W4 you fill out, tax withholding ( Tax Withholding ) in advance , so usually the income received is After Tax called Net Pay ( Take Home Pay ).

Although there are many steps for tax filing, as long as you follow the steps step by step, you can smoothly generate the tax refund documents. This article will mention 5 common problems in tax filing for international students, and walk through the federal tax refund process hand by hand. Go through the state tax process once to help you get started the first time you file a tax in the United States.

Let us make the tax filing process smoother! Jack takes your tax declaration hand in hand

Extended reading: [Study in the United States] 40 essential websites for studying in the United States

If you know that you are already a Resident Alien, then you can directly use TurboTax to file tax online!

Extended reading: [Study in the US] TurboTax tax filing, screenshot teaching, easy tax filing in 6 steps

Contents

U.S. international students filing taxes, 8 common questions:

1. When should I file a tax return?

Before 4/15, if you had any income from the United States that year. It is usually recommended to file your tax return in mid-February . If you do not have time to file your tax return before 4/15, you must submit the Automatic Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return to the IRS. 

2. Federal tax and state tax refund

Federal taxes and state taxes are handled in two systems:

sheettool
Federal Return1. 1040NR
2. 8843
Glacier Tax Prep
State Return1. 1040NR
2. 8843 (required if you have a spouse or children)
Sprintax

Fill in in accordance with Glacier Tax Prep, Sprintax step by step, and the form will be automatically generated.

3. Do I have to pay taxes if I am not a US citizen?

Yes, you need to pay taxes ( taxpayers living outside the United States ). Regardless of your status, as long as you have legal income in the United States , you need to file a tax return , but usually the income of American international students is not too high (RA, TA or scholarship), and the most important Is to confirm your identity:

Apply for tax refund onlinediscount
Resident foreignerresident alienCan
Non-resident alienNon-Resident Alienno! To mail the form to IRS1. Income from outside the U.S. does not need to be reported
. 2. Bank deposit interest is tax-free (W8 must be filled in)
3. FICA tax is not required

U.S. international student tax filing

Note: If you are a Non-Resident Alien, do not use Turbotax to generate 1040NR, because Turbotax “cannot” generate 1040NR! !! Super important! ! ! If I have a friend fill in the wrong one, and return E File, the whole process will become quite complicated!

All non-resident tax return forms like 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ or 8843, are available with instructions on the IRS website. You can also use software like Sprintax to guide you through the non-resident tax return preparation process.

Simple NRA, RA determination method, holding F1 for less than five years, usually NRA, the first step of Glacier or Sprintax in the following article is identification determination, so you are not sure you can enter your information in the first step of making them. See the judgment result, or refer to the detailed calculation method Tax Tips for Resident and Non-Resident Aliens .

Turbotax cannot generate 1040 NR (Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return), please use Sprintax to generate 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ

source

4. What documents do American international students need to prepare for tax filing?

  • Passport, Visa
  • I-94 Record (Entry and exit time will be required when determining NRA)
  • SSN Social Security Code (If not, Individual Tax Identification Number is required)
  • Current residential address
  • I20
  • Tax filing related forms:
    • W2
    • 1042-S (if you get a full scholarship)
    • 1099 : This refers to the interest income from bank deposits, the NRA does not

5. What counts as income?

  • Salary (including income from teaching assistantship in school)
  • Scholarship from the school
  • Interest on bank account opening rewards
  • Money earned by investing in stocks (Capital Gain, Dividend…)
  • Rental Income

Further reading: [Study in the United States] 3 steps to open an account in a bank of the United States, 4 common banks in the United States

6. What forms will American international students receive?

Form codeAnnual summary sourceIssuing agency
W-2incomeCompany or employer
1042-SScholarship or small salarySchool
1099-MISCSelf-employed wage incomeCompany or employer
1099-INVInvestment income
Dividend
Stock brokers
Broker
Bank
1099-DIVInvestment income
Dividend
Stock brokers
Broker
Bank
1099-INTInterest incomeDeposit bank

U.S. international student tax filing

Further reading: [Account Opening Teaching] Firstrade, an American brokerage firm, easy to open an account in 5 minutes

7. When should I receive the W2 form?

  • The statutory requirement requires employers to send W2 to employees before 1/31 . ( When do employers have to issue W-2 to employees? )
  • If you do not receive the W2 form from the employer before 2/15, please contact your employer or school as soon as possible.

8. Why do I often hear people saying that TurboTax cannot be used for tax filing?

Non-Resident AlienResident Alien
Tax return1040-NR1040
Tax filing softwareGlacier, SprintaxTurboTax
Tax filing formPrinted on paper and mailed to IRSOnline tax filing

U.S. international student tax filing

Extended reading: [Study Abroad Credit Card] Deserve Edu credit card, no SSN, easy application in 3 steps

8.1 Reason: Form 1040NR is not supported. International students need to fill in 1040NR more than five years before holding F1

US international students filing tax returns, usually five years before holding F1, will be judged as Non Resident Alien when determining their status. The state tax refund form to be filled at this time is 1040-NR (NR=Non Resident), and this form cannot be online Tax returns, but they have to be printed on paper and sent to the Internal Revenue Service Center .

While TurboTax is quite easy, and complete the form online will be automatically sent to IRS, but only support TurboTax 1040 Form ( TurboTax does not Support Form 1040NR : US nonresident Alien Income Tax the Return), and does not support 1040NR form , at the same time recommended US Nonresident Alien uses Sprintax to file tax returns .

8.2 Risk: Tax Fraud

If it is judged as US Nonresident Alien Income but fills out the tax refund form 1040, there is a risk of Tax Fraud , and the amount of tax refund is usually higher than 1040 NR, that is, it is very likely to pay less tax. If you are judged to be Nonresident Alien, you must never use Turbox . It is very important to say three times. I have more than 10 readers who have sent private messages to me. What should I do if I have used TurboTax to send it by accident? You can only ask a professional accountant to help you deal with it, usually to make up the tax.

Further reading: The Big Trap of U.S. Tax Filing-Remember! Non-resident aliens cannot use TurboTax to file tax returns

8.3 What should I do if I have an NRA status, but I have already filed taxes with TurboTax?

You can only ask a professional accountant to help you deal with it. It is very likely that you will have to pay taxes.

9. Am I Non-Resident Alien or Resident Alien?

Resident Alien

  • Type 1: U.S. citizens
  • Type 2: Green card holders
  • Type 3: Pass Substantial Presence Test and be judged as RA

If you already know that you are a Resident Alien, you can use TurboTax online to file tax returns, or buy TurboTax software on Amazon .

Non Resident Alien

  • Five years before holding a student visa
  • Two years before holding a visitor visa

If you are not a US citizen, a green card holder, or someone who is not sure, you can continue reading. The first step of the following seven steps will use the system to help you figure out what kind of status you are .

Further reading: IRS: Resident and Nonresident Aliens

Useful resources

  • IRS Tax Assistance Center (TAC) : You need to make an appointment in advance. This is the office of the IRS in each local government. Professional staff will answer your questions.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) : IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic tax filing services. NYU Stern’s Accounting Fraternity,  Beta Alpha Psi , i provides this service.
  • TurboTax : Online tax preparation software, there are free version and paid version. The free version is suitable for users who do not have complicated tax refunds, and the paid version is suitable for people who have their own business or have income from multiple sources.

[Lecture Sharing: Free Online Financial Management Seminar]

When investing and managing money in the United States , you should not only consider the long-term rate of return, but also the U.S. tax! If you want to start investing, how do you start? Is there a combination of “investment” and “tax optimization”?

Here to share with you a series of “financial and taxation” online seminars , which include

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7 steps for U.S. international students to file tax returns

Introduction

Next, I’m going to take you step-by-step tax refunds. We will first use Glacier Tax prep to refund federal taxes , and then use Sprintax to refund your state taxes .

Federal taxGlacier Tax prep
State taxSprintax

step

STEP1. Prepare the above-mentioned documents on the side

  • Passport, Visa
  • I-94 Record (Entry and exit time will be required when determining NRA)
  • SSN Social Security Code (If not, Individual Tax Identification Number is required)
  • Current residential address
  • I20
  • Tax filing related forms:
    • W2
    • 1042-S (if you get a full scholarship)
    • 1099 : This refers to the interest income from bank deposits, the NRA does not

Federal tax rebate
STEP2. Enter the Glacier tax prep system to answer the questions one question and one question according to the system process.
STEP3. Generate 1040NR and 8443 forms
STEP4. Enter the Sprintax system to answer the questions one question and one question according to the system process.
STEP5. Generate 1040-NR Form
STEP6. Print out the document generated by Glacier tax prep and send it to
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
USA

State tax refund
STEP7. Print out the documents generated by Sprintax and send it to each state where the state tax is refunded

The next step is to take you to complete the Federal & State Return

Take a deep breath and put the information next to it

[Federal Tax Refund] Introduction Glacier Tax Prep: Federal Return

Four stages of federal tax refund

  • Step 1: Determine identity (NRA or RA)
  • Step 2: Fill in the tax return form W2, 1099
  • Step 3: Fill in additional information
  • Step 4: Confirm that the content is correct and prepare to print the form

1. Click https://www.glaciertax.com/ (skip to the next step directly) or NYU https://www.nyu.edu/ogs/gtp/ will lead to this page, click the button to enter nyu net id and password .

Note: If you are from a different school, please check the Tax Prep page of each school

U.S. international student tax filing
NYU Tax Filing page

2. Glacier Tax Prep login page: create a new account or log in

U.S. international student tax filing
U.S. international student tax filing

The first stage: determination of immigration status

3. Step 1: Determine immigration status

glacier tax prep
U.S. international student tax filing

4. Fill in personally identifiable information

Documents required: passport and passport number

5. Fill in the U.S. entry and exit records from the past to the present:

If you used to travel to the United States, you are B-1 Vistor , and now you are an international student (F-1). At the last Arrival in time, check the Still in US option!

Documents required:

6. STEP One Summary

U.S. international student tax filing

7. The first stage: determination of status, resident alien RA or non-resident alien NRA

U.S. international student tax filing

The second stage: fill in the source of income

8. Fill in income status

Documents required:

  • W2
  • 1099
  • 1042-S (if there is a full scholarship)
U.S. international student tax filing

9. Fill in W2

Just fill in in the order of 1, 2, 3….. After filling in, be sure to check it carefully.

U.S. international student tax filing

10. After completing the form, the Summary of Total Income Form will appear

U.S. international student tax filing

The third stage: fill in additional information

11. Stage 3: Fill in the US residential address

12. Fill in the address of home in Taiwan

U.S. international student tax filing

13. Fill in SSN, if not, fill in ITIN

14. Marital Status

15. Information about the institution that sponsored your immigration status
: New York university

Documents required

  • I-20
U.S. international student tax filing

16. Are there any loans from Bank of America?

17. [Additional Information]

U.S. international student tax filing

18. Congratulations! Tax refund is finally available!

You can choose to return to the bank or check

U.S. international student tax filing

19. Fill in bank information

20. If you have a married partner, you need to fill out Form 8843

U.S. international student tax filing

The fourth stage: generate the form

21. Print out the form and send it

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
USA

U.S. international student tax filing

Complete the federal tax, more than half of the entire process! GO GO GO

Jack, a New York engineer who is a little tired of filling out forms

[State Tax Refund] Introduction to Sprintax: State Return

Website and document preparation

1. Enter the Sprintax webpage: https://www.sprintax.com/

U.S. international student tax filing

2. Prepare 7 documents at hand

  • Federal Tax Return before and now
  • passport
  • I-94 (Immigration and Entry Information)
  • W2, 1042-S or 1099
  • Visa Information, I-20
  • SSN or ITIN
  • If you only want to use Sprintax to report State Tax Return, you need to put the information we just used Glacier Tax Prep next to
U.S. international student tax filing

3. Choose the year you want to file your tax return

U.S. international student tax filing

Six Steps to Sprintax Tax Return (State Tax Return)

  1. Fill in Federal Tax Information (State Only)
  2. Fill out the tax return
  3. School Information
  4. State tax filling
  5. an examination
  6. Finish

Because we have just completed the federal tax return form with Glacier Tax Prep, only the State Tax Return part is needed in Sprintax!

Fill in federal tax information (documents generated by Glacier Tax Prep)

4. Fill in personal information and Visa status

U.S. international student tax filing
U.S. international student tax filing

5. Fill in the U.S. address and home address

Pay special attention here, you need to select the address of tax return.

U.S. international student tax filing

6. Fill in the state tax form and report the state

Because Glacier just showed that my form is 1040NR, so I choose 1040NR here .

U.S. international student tax filing

Fill out the tax return

7. Select the form to be filled

U.S. international student tax filing

8. Fill in in order according to the W2 you have at hand

Just fill in in the order of 1, 2, 3….. After filling in, be sure to double check

Pay special attention to the drop-down form on the left, select Emplyer Type

  • Academic research institutions
  • School
  • Private enterprise
  • Non-academic research institutions
  • Non-profit organizations
  • U.S. Government Department
  • other
U.S. international student tax filing
U.S. international student tax filing

9. Have you completed W2 additional income?

For example: 1099, 1042-S….

U.S. international student tax filing

10. Other taxes and the tax declaration status of previous years

U.S. international student tax filing

Fill in school information

11. Fill in school information (I-20 is required on hand)

Note: The phone number can only be filled with numbers!

U.S. international student tax filing

State Tax

12. Transfer the information we filled in before to the state tax form

In this step, the system transfers the part of the Federal Information we just filled in to the state tax form.

U.S. international student tax filing

13. Fill in the entry and exit information for 2019

For this step, you can refer to step one of our Glacier Tax Prep . Form I-94 is required .

Special attention here: Because I hold an F1 student visa, I must choose Temporary as the Type of visit .

U.S. international student tax filing

14. Fill in the federal tax refund information

Documents required: 1040NR

Press the 1040NR at hand, and follow the line8, line11, ….. written in the form in sequence, and fill it in. After you fill it in, please double check it carefully.

  • Income
  • Adjustments to Income
  • Federal adjusted gross income (FAGI)
  • Itemized deductions
  • Schedule A
  • Your Tax
  • Taxes paid
U.S. international student tax filing

15. Resident status determination

  • domicile : the place you intend to have as your permanent home or where your permanent home is located or the place you intend to return to after being away (as on vacation, business assignments, educational leave, or military assignment)
  • permanent place of abode:In general, a permanent place of abode is a residence (a building or structure where a person can live) you permanently maintain, whether you own it or not, and usually includes a residence your husband or wife owns or leases .

The above are attached to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance noun explanation. This option may choose different combinations due to the different definitions of states and states, please check the definition of the state where you pay taxes!

16. Select the state to declare state tax

The system will display the states that can be checked based on the information you just filled in

U.S. international student tax filing

The progress has reached 95%! Almost soon!

Give me back the overpaid tax!

17. Housing issues in each state (95% already!)

 school district: That is the official list provided by New York Department of Taxation and Finance. If your town/village/hamlet is not in the list, please select the nearest one. If you do not know the name of your school district, contact your nearest public school. If you lived in NY City select one of the following: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island.

U.S. international student tax filing

Income and tax summary table

18. Tax and income summary table

congratulations! After filling in for so long, it finally came out ( I have to pay tax Orz as a result )

U.S. international student tax filing

19. Choose the method of tax collection and refund and the method of paying tax owed

U.S. international student tax filing

20. (optional) Replenishment service

If the IRS needs additional information based on this form, you can add money here, and Springtax will help you to contact Tax office one step further.

U.S. international student tax filing

21. Pay

If there is an access code provided by the school, you can add a discount, but if you are a NYU alumnus , when you create an account with @nyu.edu email, you will enjoy the discount!

In either case, use your @nyu.edu email address to get a special discounted rate. Stern and Law School students must use their @nyu.edu email address for the discounted rate as the system will not recognize your @stern.nyu.edu or @law.nyu.edu email address.
U.S. international student tax filing

Review the steps & check & send the Fedaral Tax Return, State Return forms separately

Step review

STEP1. Prepare the above-mentioned documents on the side

Federal tax refund
STEP2. Enter the Glacier tax prep system and answer the questions one question and one question according to the system process.
STEP3. Generate the 1040NR-EZ and 8443 forms
STEP4. Enter the Sprintax system and answer the questions one question and one question according to the system process.
STEP5. Generate 1040 Form

STEP6. Print out the document generated by Glacier tax prep and send it to
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
USA

State tax refund
STEP7. Print out the documents generated by Sprintax and send it to each state where the state tax is refunded

Check

Be sure to check and check again! A few reminders. If it is a U.S. student who holds an F1 visa to file a tax return and is judged to be NRA (Non-ResidentAlien):

  • Cannot E file Tax, which means that it must be mailed! To be mailed! The form we prepared
  • Federal Tax Return & State Tax Return addresses are different
  • Be sure to check the address where you sent the State Tax Return
  • It must be completed before 4/15 . If you need to extend the time, you must submit the Automatic Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return to the IRS 

Congratulations! Completed the tax filing process!

American students return Misson Complete

Finally completed the long steps, I hope to answer the above questions, and fill out the forms with the system to make your tax declaration process smoother! If you have any tax filing questions, please leave a message below. Whether you are studying abroad or working, I hope this blog can make your life, travel, and fun more smoothly!

Frequently Asked Questions by Readers

When should I file a tax return?

Before 4/15, if you had any income from the United States that year. 
It is usually recommended to 
file your tax return 
in 
mid-February . If you do not have time to file your tax return before 4/15, you must submit the 
Automatic Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return to the IRS. 

Am I Non-Resident Alien or Resident Alien?

Resident Alien

Type 1: U.S. Citizen

Type 2: Green Card Holder

Type 3: Passed the Substantial Presence Test and was judged to be an RA.

If you already know that you are a Resident Alien, you can use 
TurboTax online to 
file 
taxes , or buy 
TurboTax software on Amazon 
.
Non Resident Alien

former five-year student visa

holders visiting scholar visa two years ago

if not a US citizen, green card holder, 
not sure people can read on the following seven steps in the first step , Will use the system to help you figure out what kind of identity you are .
Further reading: 
IRS: Resident and Nonresident Aliens

When should I receive the W2 form?

The statutory requirement requires employers to 
send W2 to employees before 
1/31 . 

When do employers have to issue W-2 to employees? )

If you have not received the W2 form from employer before 2/15, please contact your employer or school as soon as possible.

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