International students and scholars who worked in the U.S. and received pay in the previous year need to fill out and file tax forms with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The OIS does not provide advice or assist with filing taxes. It is the individual’s responsibility to understand and meet tax obligations.
If you are a nonresident for U.S. income tax purposes, which many F-1 and J-1 students and scholars are, then you will need to file your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ forms on U.S. income you earned in the previous year, even if your income was exempt from taxation based on a tax treaty. In addition, all students and scholars, including their dependents, who are on F or J visas, and who are nonresidents for U.S. tax purposes, are required to file Form 8843 Statement with the IRS, regardless of whether or not you had any U.S. income. Form 1042-S has been distributed by mail. If you have any basic questions about your tax filing status with the University, please contact Richard Gallardo at (210) 562-6309 or Sonia Arevalo at (210) 562-6379 in Payroll Services. Please note that the Payroll Services can only answer general questions related to U.S. income tax filing status and cannot give you advice about filing income tax forms.
The OIS wants to reiterate that we do not provide advice or assist with filing taxes. We do however purchase a license to a tax prep software to assist in preparing your U.S. federal income tax return (form) for non-resident tax filers each year. The IRS website provides examples on who qualifies as a “Non-Resident” for filing U.S. tax returns. The software will also help you determine if you are considered a “Non-Resident” or “Resident” for U.S. tax purposes. For those individuals who do not qualify as “Non-Residents” for filing U.S. tax returns, the software will not be of assistance to you and you will need to use another resources (IRS website, other tax software, private certified public account or tax preparer, etc.) to prepare your “Resident” tax returns.
The OIS does send out notice by email at the end of February or beginning of March that the software is live. This email will be sent to your student/employee UT Health San Antonio email account or the email that we have on file for those individuals that are not eligible for an email. This online tool provides easy-to-use federal tax preparation software along with an extensive online library that will help you file your tax forms and understand the often-confusing rules surrounding taxes for foreign nationals. The tax filing requirements will often be different from the requirements for the U.S. citizens due to tax treaties, immigration rules, and other exemptions. These complexities make it important to understand how you have been taxed so that you can properly complete a return.
The OIS encourages you to complete your U.S. tax return as soon as possible. The quicker you begin – the quicker you’ll finish and receive any tax refund due to you. There is a tax filing deadline and this date is usually in April. If you decide to use the software that the OIS provides, please note that the last two weeks of the tax season are a very busy time to use the software, so you may experience delays if you submit questions during that time.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is needed when an individual does not have a Social Security number (SSN) due to being ineligible and needs to complete their tax forms. The ITIN is not work authorization but merely an identifier for tax purposes. Be sure to review the ITIN information on the IRS website.
Please be aware of the IRS scams that may target international visitors and trainees during the tax filing season. The IRS does not contact individuals via phone, email, text, or social networks. If you should receive any type of communication asking about your status here in the U.S. or any personal financial questions, please do not respond, click any links, or open any attachments and forward the email as-is to email@example.com. Then, delete the original email. If you, unfortunately, experience any TAX scam, please report the issue to the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Complaint Assistant or in the event that you had financial loss, contact Treasury Inspector General Administrator (TIGA). Be sure to report the incident to the OIS.
IRS Tax Scam Video: Sounds Too Good to be True
VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program) offers free tax help to low-to middle-income individuals who are not comfortable preparing their own tax forms. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax forms in communities across the country. Not all of the VITA sites can handle 1040NR or other issues related to nonresidents or the particularities of international student and scholar tax returns, such as tax treaty benefits. The VITA site at Guadalupe Community Center 1801 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd. does have volunteers who understand non-resident taxes. Please refer to VITA for more information about their hours of operation. The VITA volunteers are protected under the Volunteer Protection Act, and as such, must set limits for each site, including the income of the tax filers. For more information to see if you qualify or to schedule an appointment, contact (210) 207-1711.
You may consult with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) knowledgeable in non-resident and/or international tax preparations. There are CPAs that provide tax return preparation services for a fee. Be aware that these fees can vary in price.