U.S. TAX FILING DEADLINE: July 15, 2020 

  • For tax year:  Jan. 1, 2019 - Dec. 31, 2019

1. Determine Which Tax Forms To Submit 

  1. Did you first arrive in the U.S. in 2020? RELAX - no tax forms to fill out this year. 
  2. Did you arrive in the U.S. in 2019 (even the last day of the year i.e. December 31st, 2019)? See below.
  3. Did you arrive in the U.S. more than 5 years ago? , you are a Non-Resident for tax purposes. See below. 
If your situation is b. or c. above, you are a "Non-Resident" for tax purposes.
  • No U.S. income in 2019? Complete form 8843 only.
  • You had U.S. income in 2019? Complete form 8843 and a full tax return (1040NR-EZ)
  • If you have been in the U.S. more than 5 years, you may be a Resident for tax purposes. Sprintax will let you know. 

The chart below presents it in a visual way. tax chart

2. Protect Your Identity. Watch These Tax Scam Videos

Still not sure? Ask ISAP 1st!

  • Let us know if you receive a suspicious text, email, voicemail or regular mail.  NEVER give personal information:  name, address, SSN#, email or phone#, etc...  to an unknown person who contacts you, ESPECIALLY never by phone! 

3. Watch These Sprintax General Info Videos

Be Aware! 

  • Turbo Tax, H & R Block and other popular tax prep products are for: US Citizens, Permanent Residents and Residents For Tax Purposes only. 
  • Sprintax is specially for Non-Residents, because non-resident forms are different. You could be charged a penalty if you submit the wrong forms. 

4. Review The F.A.Q. Below (10 short "Frequently Asked Questions" ) 

5. Gather Your Documents 

  • Your Passport & Visa Information
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • W-2, from each employer the past year
  • Form 1099, from your U.S. bank if you earned interest on your accounts
  • Form 1042-S, if you received a taxable scholarship in the past year

6. Go To Sprintax

  • Plan about 1 hour to complete the process.
  • The FREE code to pay for Sprintax was emailed to your UWG email. If you don't have it, contact rashikaw@westga.edu / call:  678-839-5549. 
  • Sprintax can also file your State of Georgia Income Tax Return, if needed, for an additional $29.95 fee.
  • Or, you can complete the free "Georgia 500 Individual Income Tax Return" form on your own.
  • Sprintax
     
    What is Sprintax?
    • Sprintax is tax preparation software designed specifically for Non-Residents.
    • Sprintax calculates the "Substantial Presence Test" to determine if you may be a Resident for tax purposes after 5 years.
    • Sprintax includes international tax treaty benefits and applies them to your tax calculation.   
    How to use Sprintax
    1. Find the FREE Sprintax code that ISAP emailed you. If you don't have it, contact ISAP. 
    2. At link above, "Create an Account". Write down this information for future reference.
    3. Click "Get Started." (If you created an account in the past, use the same log-in. 
    4. Answer all questions. 
    5. Use the free code provided by ISAP to pay for Sprintax. 
    6. Download and print your tax forms. Keep a full copy for your personal files. 
    7. Sign your tax forms. They are invalid without a signature. 
    8. Mail your federal tax forms to the IRS and your state income tax forms, if needed, to the Ga. Dept. of Revenue.
    Need Help with Sprintax?
    Addresses To Mail Tax Forms

    *Don't forget to sign your forms, and keep a full copy for your personal records.

     
    Form Address - if you will get a Refund Address - if you owe money
    8843 only Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Austin, Texas 73301-0215
    N/A
    1040NR 

    Internal Revenue Service
    Austin, Texas 73301-0215

    Internal Revenue Service 
    Charlotte, NC 28201-1303

    GA 500 Georgia Dept. of Revenue
    PO Box 740380
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0380
    Georgia Dept. of Revenue
    PO Box 740399
    Atlanta, GA 30374-0399

     

    • Form: 8843 only
      Address - if you will get a Refund: Department of the Treasury
      Internal Revenue Service
      Austin, Texas 73301-0215
      Address - if you owe money: N/A

    • Form: 1040NR 
      Address - if you will get a Refund:

      Internal Revenue Service
      Austin, Texas 73301-0215


      Address - if you owe money:

      Internal Revenue Service 
      Charlotte, NC 28201-1303


    • Form: GA 500
      Address - if you will get a Refund: Georgia Dept. of Revenue
      PO Box 740380
      Atlanta, GA 30374-0380
      Address - if you owe money: Georgia Dept. of Revenue
      PO Box 740399
      Atlanta, GA 30374-0399

     

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Do I have to file tax forms?
      Do I have to file taxes?

      Yes, if you were in the USA even 1 day during the last calendar year (January 1st - December 31st).

      If you fail to file tax forms and apply for a visa again in the future for any reason, this will be a problem. You could be asked for all your past tax forms for every year you were present in the U.S., even for a tourist visa. 

      No, if you entered the USA for the 1st time in the current year.  

    • I departed the USA. Do I need to file tax forms?

      Yes, if you were in the USA during the last calendar year (January 1st - December 31st). The only way to get a tax refund, if owed money, is to file a tax return.  For students who already departed the U.S. but need to file a tax return, Sprintax recommends:

      • File ASAP (As Soon As Possible)
      • Use a registered delivery service such as Fedex or UPS to ensure proper delivery and security.
      • Keep your U.S. bank account open so you can receive automatic deposit of your refund. Then, close your account if you won't need it again. 
      • If you are expecting a refund but have no U.S. bank account, coordinate with trusted friends to receive you U.S. check in the U.S. and send the money to you in a different form. 
    • What is the Substantial Presence Test?
      Sprintax will calculate this for you.

      Substantial Presence Test is a calculation that determine if you are as a Resident or Non Resident for Tax Purposes, based on your days of presence in the United States. F1, J1 students are considered Non Residents for tax purposes up to 5 years. After 5 years, you may be considered a Resident for tax purposes. 

    • Can I use Turbo Tax, H & R Block or others? 
      No, if you have been in the US less than 5 years. 

      Tax forms for residents and non-residents are different. Don't file the wrong forms. 

    • What kind of income is taxable?
      What type of income is taxable?
      • Wages (money for employment)
      • Scholarships for room and board (but not scholarships for tuition)
      • Investment earnings
    • What happens if I don't file?
      What happens if I don't file?
      1. You won't get a refund if the IRS owes you money.
      2. You won't get a state tax refund if Georgia owes you money. 
      3. If you owe money and don't pay your tax bill, you will be charged fees and penalties, which could block future visa applications. 
      4. If you apply for a visa of any kind, or permanent residency (a green card) and don't have copies of tax forms for every year you were present in the U.S. this could be a basis for denial, or at least a huge delay while you try to obtain historic tax forms. 
    • What about Tax Treaty Benefits? 
      • If your country has a tax treaty with the U.S. you may be able to pay a lower tax rate. Each treaty is different. Sprintax will automatically factor in tax treaty benefits.  However, if you don't file, the tax treaty benefit is useless. 
      • Does my country have a tax treaty with the U.S.? Look it up here. If not on this list, there is no reduced tax.  
    • Where can I get the Sprintax code?
      Where can I get the Sprintax code?

      The Sprintax code is emailed out to UWG students through their student email accounts. Please note that this code is intended only for use by UWG students and use by anyone else is unlawful. We can only email out the codes to UWG email addresses and will not forward or share this information outside of the UWG email. 

    • Can I file jointly with my spouse, who is in the US?
      Can I file jointly with my spouse?

      Non-residents are not able to file joint tax returns. 

      If both you and your spouse are considered residents for tax purposes, then yes you can file jointly. 

    • Do I have to fill out seperate 8843s for everyone in my house?

      Yes, everyone who does not pass the substantial presence test and is not a U.S. citizen should file the 8843. 

  • Tax Forms

    Income Forms

    Form Purpose When Do I Get It?
    W2

    W = Wages. This form reports your wages and taxes already paid. Only students on a payroll get this form. 

    January 31st
    1099

    Interest earned on bank accounts

     

     January 31st 
    1042S   

    S = scholarship. Reports taxable portions of scholarships, like room and board. This usually only applies to athletes. 

     March 15th 

    Income Forms

    • Form: W2
      Purpose:

      W = Wages. This form reports your wages and taxes already paid. Only students on a payroll get this form. 


      When Do I Get It?: January 31st

    • Form: 1099
      Purpose:

      Interest earned on bank accounts

       


      When Do I Get It?:  January 31st 

    • Form: 1042S   
      Purpose:

      S = scholarship. Reports taxable portions of scholarships, like room and board. This usually only applies to athletes. 


      When Do I Get It?:  March 15th 

     

    Tax Forms

    Form Purpose More Information
    8843 Declares duration of physical presence in the U.S. for non-residents for tax purposes. 

    Required - even if you had no income in the U.S. 

    Does not require an SSN or ITIN.

    1040-NR

    1040 - Delcares your U.S. income and refund or tax bill.

    NR = Non-Resident (for tax purposes)

    Required - for all forms of U.S. income. * The "EZ" or easy form may be used also. See below. 

    SSN needed. 

    1040NREZ Simplified version of the 1040-NR commony use for most international students. SSN needed. 
    W-7 Application for an ITIN. Not needed if you already have an SSN or ITIN#
    W-8BEN Requests a tax treaty benefit on scholarship money. Submit this form to the organization that pays your scholarship, NOT the IRS.
    GA Form 500 or 500EZ

    Delcares your U.S. income, and refund or tax bill for state of Georgia income taxes.

    If you file a federal tax return, you should also file a State of Georgia income tax return. Both the IRS and State of Georgia may owe you money or vice versa.  

    Tax Forms

    • Form: 8843
      Purpose: Declares duration of physical presence in the U.S. for non-residents for tax purposes. 
      More Information:

      Required - even if you had no income in the U.S. 

      Does not require an SSN or ITIN.


    • Form: 1040-NR
      Purpose:

      1040 - Delcares your U.S. income and refund or tax bill.

      NR = Non-Resident (for tax purposes)


      More Information:

      Required - for all forms of U.S. income. * The "EZ" or easy form may be used also. See below. 

      SSN needed. 


    • Form: 1040NREZ
      Purpose: Simplified version of the 1040-NR commony use for most international students.
      More Information: SSN needed. 

    • Form: W-7
      Purpose: Application for an ITIN.
      More Information: Not needed if you already have an SSN or ITIN#

    • Form: W-8BEN
      Purpose: Requests a tax treaty benefit on scholarship money.
      More Information: Submit this form to the organization that pays your scholarship, NOT the IRS.

    • Form: GA Form 500 or 500EZ
      Purpose:

      Delcares your U.S. income, and refund or tax bill for state of Georgia income taxes.


      More Information: If you file a federal tax return, you should also file a State of Georgia income tax return. Both the IRS and State of Georgia may owe you money or vice versa.