- I am an F-1 or J-1 student and I had no income during 2012. Do I need to file any tax forms?
Yes. You need to file Form 8843. This is the only form you will need to complete
if you earned no income or only earned bank interest.
- Where do I send Form 8843?
If you do not have to file a 2011 tax return, mail Form 8843 to:
The Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
- I arrived in the U.S. in March, 2013. Do I need to fill out any tax forms?
No. The tax forms required in April report on the previous year, which ended
- I worked last year, but then graduated and went home. Do I have to file tax forms this April?
Yes. You should if you have plans to ever return to the U.S. Ask your employer to mail your wage statement (form W-2) to you. The IRS can mail you a check outside the U.S if you are owed a refund.
- What is the deadline for filing tax forms?
April 15, 2013
- Can the ISS Office file my tax forms for me?
The ISS staff members are not able to complete your tax forms for you. While we are not tax experts, we do want to assist you with this responsibility. We hope that the information on the ISS website and the GLACIER Tax Prep software will allow you to complete your U.S. tax forms in an easy and efficient way.
- I don’t know anything about U.S. tax forms. Where can I get help?
The first step is to visit www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/iss/howdoi_paytaxes. At this website you will find the resources International Student Services provides to help with your tax filing responsibility. Many students are able to use the GLACIER Tax Prep software and the other resources to complete their tax forms on their own. If you have questions please plan to attend one of the tax workshops listed on the website.
- What is GLACIER Tax Prep?
GLACIER Tax Prep is a user-friendly software created specifically for foreign nationals who are legally present in the U.S. ISS has purchased this software so that all RIT international students who are non-residents for tax purposes may use it for free. You will receive an email from ISS in late January with details. This software will generate and fill-in all the forms for you. You will then follow simple directions to print them out and mail them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Note: You will hear various tax prep software advertised to Americans during tax season such as “Turbo-Tax”, “H&R Block” etc… but these are inappropriate for you if you are a non-resident for tax purposes. They may take your money, but will also cause errors and problems for you later.
- What does it mean to be a resident or non-resident for U.S. income
Your tax status (non-resident or resident) is separate from your immigration status.You may be a resident for tax purposes even though you are still a non-resident for immigration purposes. You become a resident for tax purposes when either you get a green card or you "pass" what is called the "substantial presence test."
The GLACIER Tax Prep software will determine your tax status for you.
The software may determine that you are a resident for tax purposes if:
* You are an F-1 or J-1 student (or F-2 or J-2 dependent) who entered
the U.S. in 2007 or earlier.
* You are a J-1 scholar (or J-2 dependent of a J-1 scholar) who
entered the U.S. in 2010 or earlier.
* You are on an H1B or TN visa and were in the U.S. at least 183 days
* You became a "green card" holder in 2012
Your tax status determines which tax forms you need to complete, and
therefore determining your tax status is the first step in completing your forms.
- What if the software determines that I am a resident for tax purposes?
Residents for tax purposes are not able to use GLACIER Tax Prep. Instead, they may file taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens using various tax preparation products you will see advertised. Typically, tax treaties do not apply to resident aliens for tax purposes. If you believe you can claim a tax treaty as a resident, see IRS Publication 519, pg. 57. Residents for tax purposes with an income less than $58,000 may file their tax return for free. Additional resources and free software are available at www.irs.gov
- What’s the difference between GLACIER and GLACIER Tax Prep?
GLACIER is a comprehensive tax compliance system used by the RIT
Payroll Office. RIT foreign nationals are automatically enrolled in GLACIER
once they start working on campus. Login details and a temporary password
are delivered by email when you arrive on campus. It is important to keep your GLACIER record updated at all times. RIT relies on this system to identify your appropriate tax status, monitor payments, and declare eligible tax treaty benefits.
GLACIER Tax Prep is a companion program that prepares Federal tax forms for persons taxed as Non-Resident Aliens, as determined through your GLACIER record.
- In the past I have used CINTAX to complete my federal tax forms.
As an RIT international student am I still able to use CINTAX?
The name of the tax filing software has changed from CINTAX to GLACIER Tax Prep. All RIT international students who are non-residents for tax purposes may use GLACIER Tax Prep for free.
- How do I get access to GLACIER Tax Prep to complete my tax forms?
You will receive an email from the RIT Payroll Office with instructions on how to use GLACIER Tax Prep to complete your U.S. tax forms. As explained in that email, you will simply access GLACIER using your existing UserID and Password, and GLACIER will transfer certain data directly into GLACIER Tax Prep. This will make your tax preparation very easy!
If you did not have access to GLACIER during 2012, ISS will provide you with an access code and login information. ISS will email information about accessing GLACIER Tax Prep in January.
- Will GLACIER Tax Prep file my tax forms electronically for me?
No. GLACIER Tax Prep will fill-in the forms and allow you to print and save them. You will need to mail the forms in an envelope with correct postage to the IRS at the address indicated. The envelope must be post marked by the deadline to avoid penalties and fees.
- What is the difference between the 1040 NR and the 1040 NR-EZ?
The “NR” means non-resident for tax purposes. The 1040NR is a longer, more detailed tax form, totaling five pages, which can be used by any non-resident. The 1040NREZ is a simplified version of the same form, which can be completed by non-residents who meet certain requirements. Just remember EZ stands for “easy” or a less-detailed form. GLACIER Tax Prep will determine which formyou need to use.
- My friend filed Form 1040 and received a larger refund. Can I do that too?
Though it is tempting to try to get a bigger refund by filing this form if you are a non-resident for tax purposes, you cannot do so legally. If you are a non-resident for tax purposes you must file form 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ. Failure to file the correct form is considered tax fraud and can place your immigration status in jeopardy. The additional money you may receive is not worth this risk.
- What is a W-2 form?
Form W-2 shows how much you earned from working during the year. It also shows how much tax you have paid in that year. You need information from the Form W-2 to complete your tax forms and must attach a copy of it to your tax return form. If you worked in the U.S. and have not received a Form W-2, contact your employer for a copy. RIT W-2 forms are mailed by the Payroll Department by January 31st or available to self-print through Student Self Service.
- I received a 1042-S form but not a W-2 form. What should I do?
A 1042-S is used by RIT and other sponsors to report taxable scholarships
and income exempt from tax under a tax treaty. 1042-S forms may be accessed through GLACIER after March 15th. If you did not work in the U.S. in 2012, or if all your income was exempt under a tax treaty, you will not receive a W-2 form.
- What should I put in item #10 on the 8843 that asks for me to contact information for my "academic or other specialized program?"
You should put the following:
Director, International Student Service
Rochester Institute of Technology
42 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
- What are FICA Taxes?
Also called Social Security and Medicare taxes, F.I.C.A. stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act which is taxation on income earned where the funds are used for federal programs that provide benefits for U.S. citizens and permanent residents when they retire, are disabled, or are the children of deceased workers. Funds withheld for F.I.C.A. are reflected on paycheck stubs and also in boxes 4 and 6 of your W-2.
- Do I have to pay F.I.C.A. taxes?
F-1 and J-1 student visa holders are typically exempt from paying F.I.C.A. taxes for their first 5 years in the United States and these taxes should not be deducted from paychecks. J-1 scholars and researchers are typically only exempt for 2 years. The mechanism for the exemptions are found under Internal Revenue Code 3121 (b)(19) and is available to persons in F-1, J-1, M-1 and Q immigration status.
- What can I do if FICA taxes were taken from my pay check?
If your employer has mistakenly withheld F.I.C.A. taxes, you must work with him or her directly to request a reimbursement. If they will not assist you, you would file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms 843 AND supplemental form 8316 to request reimbursement. Please note that J-2s with work authorization are not exempt from FICA taxes.
- So what happens if I don’t file any IRS forms?
Filing tax forms is not optional; it is required by law. One of the conditions of your visa is to comply with US law. If you never plan to enter the U.S again in your life, nothing will happen.
- What are state tax forms?
In addition to filing a federal tax form, many individuals need to complete a state tax form. Tax forms and regulations vary by the state where the income was earned. Depending on where you have earned income, you may need to file several different forms. For example, if you worked on campus at RIT and did a summer co-op in California, you may need to file:
• A federal tax return for all U.S. earnings and income
• A New York State return for the money earned at RIT
• A California return for the money you earned on your co-op.
The GLACIER Tax Prep software will determine if you need to file state tax forms and will provide a link to the appropriate state tax website.
- How do I complete New York State tax forms?
See Five Steps to Completing New York State Tax Forms (link available soon)
- Where do I send my completed New York State tax forms?
If you are enclosing a payment (check or money order), use the following address:
STATE PROCESSING CENTER
PO BOX 15555
ALBANY, NY 12212-5555
If you are not enclosing payment, use this address:
STATE PROCESSING CENTER
PO BOX 61000
ALBANY, NY 12261-0001
- I did a co-op in a different state. How can I get help in
completing that state’s tax forms?
Please visit http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.php?lnk=2# for a list of links to state tax forms and filing options.
- Is it possible to have my tax forms completed by a
professional for a fee?
Yes! Some students decide to hire a professional tax preparer to
file their taxes. This is especially helpful for students who are unable to
use GLACIER Tax Prep, or students who have complicated tax issues,
or would simply prefer to have a professional complete their tax forms
Darrell Geib from Welker & Company Certified Public Accountants will be
on campus to assist students who would like their taxes done for a fee. To make an appointment with Mr. Geib please call his office at 585-475-1041.
- I've lost my RIT W-2 form. How can I get another one?
A copy of your W-2 form is available online at myinfo.rit.edu. If you have not set up your myinfo account, registration is fast and easy:
- Go to https://myinfo.rit.edu
- Enter username: ritstudent
- Enter password: tiger123
- Create your own username & password by following the prompts. (You’ll need your PAY STUB to access your employee number* and the exact spelling of your name in the payroll system.) *Your employee number is the first five digits of your Kronos punch in number.
- Go to https://myinfo.rit.edu and log in with your new user name and password.
- Click on the RIT Student Self Service link.
- Click on the self-service option you need.
- Follow prompts to set up direct deposit, access your pay slip, update tax withholding, reprint your W2 and more!
- My roommate told me I can get a 8863 education credit because I paid for my education last year. How do I do this?
The 8863 education credit refers to the American Opportunity Tax Credit. Unfortunately a student cannot claim the credit if he or she
was a nonresident alien for any part of 2012 and did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. If, after taking the Substantial Presence Test, you determine that you are a resident for tax purposes, please read the information on the IRS website about the education tax credit.