Do I have to file a U.S. tax return?
Many of you may not realize that every year you will have to submit at least one tax form. Federal and state income tax forms are completed annually in the United States and submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) between January 1 and April 15 for the previous tax year (2013 tax forms will be due by April 15, 2014). Tax forms must be completed (even if a tax treaty exempts you from paying any U.S. taxes) if you were in the United States during any part of 2013 on any visa other than a tourist visa.
What if I didn't work in 2013?
If you didn't work in 2013, then you will need to complete form 8843. Form 8843 must be completed by everyone in your family, including your dependent children.If you did not work in 2013 then the form 8843 is due by June 15, 2014. If you did work in 2013, you must still submit the 8843 with your tax returns by April 15, 2014.
I worked in 2013, but I only made $5,000. Do I still need to file a tax return?
Yes, you will need to file a federal tax return and submit the form 8843.
I need to file a federal return, but I don't know how. What do I do?
International Student Services has purchased a user license for all Suffolk F-1 and J-1 students to complete their taxes using Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR). This program is web-based and very easy to use.
What else do I need to know about U.S. taxes?
The first step with filing taxes is to figure out if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes. Generally if you were in the U.S. less than 5 years in 2013, you are a non-resident. The FNTR system will provide you with the steps to determine if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes.
What documents do I need?
If you are employed in the United States, your employer will send you a statement of earnings, called a Form W-2, by the end of January that details your income and any taxes withheld during the previous year. If you receive benefits of a tax treaty for employment, scholarship or fellowship income, you will receive a Form 1042-S by mid-March that details your income and treaty benefits.
When do I have to finish my taxes?
If you were present in the United States during any part of 2012 on a visa other than a B visa, there is at least one tax form you must complete. Federal tax forms are due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by April 15, 2014. Massachusetts state tax forms (if necessary) are due to the Department of Revenue by April 15, 2014. Please note that if you had no U.S. based income you have until June 15, 2014 to file your form 8843.
How do I get started?
International Student Services is proud to provide our international students with this comprehensive online resource for completing your U.S. taxes. The Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR), from Windstar, provides easy-to-use federal tax preparation software along with extensive, searchable content to help you understand your tax obligations.
With the FNTR you can:
- Determine your tax residency status (resident/nonresident or dual status)
- Prepare either your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ
- Find out about tax treaty benefits
- Get answers to frequently asked questions and understand the various rules, forms, and procedures
The FNTR is free for Suffolk international students, but you will need an access code. To get an access code, please stop by the office or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to receive login information for FNTR.