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All international students, scholars, and their dependents present in the U.S. at any time in 2020 are responsible for filing annual tax forms (called "tax returns" because you often get money returned to you by the government). This is a requirement for all F and J visa holders even if you did not earn any income in the U.S.
The staff of International Student Services are not tax experts and cannot address any personal tax questions. However, we have purchased Sprintax, a tax-filing system made especially for international students to make your tax filing easy. A Sprintax access code and instructions has been emailed to all RIT international students. If you are currently on OPT you may request an access code by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
*** Sprintax Blog Post on Second Stimulus Payment ***
Please Note: The information provided by International Student Services is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.
Please register to participate in one of the helpful Sprintax webinars below.
Tuesday, February 2nd at 12:00 noon REGISTER
Wednesday, February 10th at 11:00 a.m. REGSITER
Thursday, March 4th at 2:00 p.m. REGISTER
Monday, March 15th at 11:00 a.m. REGISTER
Tuesday, March 30th at 1:30 p.m. REGISTER
Wednesday, April 7th at 2:00 p.m. REGISTER
Monday, April 12th at 12:00 noon REGISTER
Webinars will cover:
ISS has teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the U.S. Sprintax will guide you through the tax filing process through a series of questions about your situation. It will complete and generate the forms you need to print, sign, and mail to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). You cannot file your tax return forms electronically.
An ISS email will be sent to all RIT international students with Sprintax Tax Preparation Software in the subject line. The email includes an access code you may use to file your federal tax forms for free.
Step by Step Guide
You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on nonresident taxes to provide further clarity on using Sprintax and nonresident taxes. There is also a Sprintax Blog which includes tax related topics which may be of interest to you.
Some or all of the forms listed below may be issued to you. It is important to note that you may not receive the same forms received by your friends. Every person's tax situation is different. Please do not use Sprintax until you have received all of your tax forms.
You do not have to complete anything on these forms, but will enter information from them into Sprintax to complete your tax return. Copies of the forms are submitted to the IRS as part of your tax return.
All international students, scholars and their dependents present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status who are nonresidents for tax purposes must file Form 8843 even if they received NO income in 2019. This form must be filed by June 15, 2020.
Mail the form by June 15, 2020 to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
After you have completed your federal tax forms in Sprintax you will have the opportunity to use the software to fill out your state tax forms. Sprintax will charge you $29.95 for this service. If you do not want to pay the fee you may download the forms and complete them yourself. Please note that you will not be able to complete your state forms until you have finished your federal forms.
State taxes vary by the state where the income was earned during the tax year and forms must be filed separately for each state. If you worked on campus and also did a co-op in a different state you may need to complete two state tax forms.
The following links are provided to help you if you wish to do your state taxes on your own:
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:
1. Go to https://myinfo.rit.edu
2. Enter username: SIS username
3. Enter password: SIS password
4. If this is your first time accessing this application, your account will be set up within an hour.
5. When you log back in, you can set up direct deposit, access your pay slip, and update Federal tax withholding. (State Tax withholding must be done via paper form submitted to payroll).
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.
In general, students in F or J status are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes for the first five calendar years of their stay in the U.S. Non-student J-1 visa holders are considered nonresident aliens for tax purposes for the first two calendar years of their stay. Please note that this is a general guideline only. Sprintax will accurately determine if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes.
If Sprintax determines that you are a resident for tax purposes, there are many resources you may use to file your taxes:
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 Sprintax, students who have complicated tax issues, or those who would simply prefer to have a professional complete their tax forms for them.
The following are very reputable firms students may turn to for help in preparing both resident and nonresident tax forms:
International students who are NONresidents for tax purposes should NOT file tax returns using Turbo Tax because it does not assist in completing the nonresident forms you need. Most of the tax software programs advertised online do not offer assistance in completing nonresident tax forms.
If you are a nonresident and you already filed resident forms, you will need to follow these steps: