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As an international student who has been in the United States during the 2015 calendar year, you will need to file one or more tax forms in the spring of 2016. Tax laws that apply to internationals are not the same as those that apply to U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. International students who are filing tax forms for the first time often find it to be a very confusing process. While we are not tax experts, we do want to assist you with this responsibility. The deadline for filing tax forms for the 2015 tax year is April 18, 2016.
International Student Services has purchased online tax preparation software for RIT international students called Glacier Tax Prep (GTP). The software provides everything non-residents need to file their federal tax forms all in one place.
How much does it cost?
RIT international students may use the software for FREE
How do I access the program?
In one of two ways:
How Does it Work?
The software asks students a series of questions and based on the answers determines things like:
• If you are really a non-resident for tax purposes
• Which tax returns or other tax forms are necessary to complete
• If there is a tax treaty that might apply for you
• If an ITIN is necessary
How Long Does it Take?
It typically takes 15 – 20 minutes to complete.
What if I have questions?
You may do one or all of the following:
What do I do after going through the software program?
You will print out the forms and mail them to the address provided. There are complete instructions on the final page of Glacier Tax Prep.
In addition to filing federal tax forms, many international students will need to file New York State tax forms. The Glacier Tax Prep software does not help you complete these state forms, but it will inform you if a state tax form is necessary. It is important to remember that in order to file your New York State tax forms, you must first complete a federal form.
The following resources are available to help you with your state tax forms:
Please note: State taxes vary by the state where income was earned during the tax year and forms must be filed separately for each state. If you did a co-op in another state you may need to complete a tax form for that state.
Some students decide to hire a professional tax preparer to file their taxes. This is often a good option for students who are unable to use Glacier Tax Prep, students who have complicated tax issues, or those who would simply prefer to have a professional complete their tax forms for them.
Below are links to very reputable tax firms students may turn to for help in preparing both resident and non-resident tax forms.
International students who are NON-residents for tax purposes should NOT file tax returns using TURBO-tax because it does not complete the NON-resident forms for you. Most of the tax software programs advertised online do not offer assistance in completing non-resident tax forms.
If you haven't graduated, you may print a copy of your RIT W-2 form by logging into myinfo.rit.edu. If you have not set up your myinfo account, the process is easy:
If you have graduated call the Payroll Office for help at 585-475-2381 or 585-475-2382
If you worked for another employer, you will need to contact the company for a copy of your W-2 form.
If you need to request more time to complete your federal or state tax forms you must do so by the tax filing deadline, April 15, 2016.
If the Glacier Tax Prep software has determined that you are a resident for tax purposes you may use Turbo Tax, TaxAct or any of the other software programs available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Residents for tax purposes may also find help through the free C.A.S.H. Income Tax Assistance Program. There is a C.A.S.H. site close to the RIT campus:
Kohls/Ollie's Plaza in Henrietta (next to Lumber Liquidators)
3150 W. Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY 14623
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed on Wednesdays and on March 25 & 26
The site is open until April 15, 2016. You may schedule an appointment by calling (585) 242-6485. Walk-ins are welcome as time allows, and no more than one hour before the site closes.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - federal forms
1-800-829-3676 (forms & publications)
255 East Ave., Rochester, NY
229 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY