International Student Taxes
U.S. Tax Filing Deadline Extended!
From April 15, 2021 to May 17th, 2021
- For tax year: Jan. 1, 2020 - Dec. 31, 2020
Tax StepsFor Non-Residents
- Step 1: Determine Which Tax Forms To Submit
- Step 2: Protect Your Identity
- Step 3: Watch These Sprintax General Info Videos
- Step 4: Review The F.A.Q. Below
- Step 5: Gather Your Documents
- Step 6: Go To Sprintax
- Did you first arrive in the U.S. in 2021? RELAX - no tax forms to fill out this year.
- Did you arrive in the U.S. in 2020 (even the last day of the year i.e. December 31st, 2020)? See below.
- 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 2. or 3. above, you are a "Non-Resident" for tax purposes.
- No U.S. income in 2020? Complete form 8843 only.
- You had U.S. income in 2020? Complete form 8843 and a full tax return (1040-NR)
- 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 represents this process in a visual way.
Protect Your Identity. Watch These Tax Scam Videos
Still not sure? Ask ISAP first!
- 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!
Watch These Sprintax General Info Videos
- 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.
Review the F.A.Q. further down on this page ("Frequently Asked Questions").
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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org / 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.
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
- Find the FREE Sprintax code that ISAP emailed you. If you don't have it, contact ISAP.
- At link above, "Create an Account". Write down this information for future reference.
- Click "Get Started." (If you created an account in the past, use the same log-in.
- Answer all questions.
- Use the free code provided by ISAP to pay for Sprintax.
- Download and print your tax forms. Keep a full copy for your personal files.
- Sign your tax forms. They are invalid without a signature.
- 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
|1040-NR||Department of the Treasury|
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, Texas 73301-0215
|Internal Revenue Service|
P.O. Box 1303
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
Please refer to Sprintax 24/7 Chat
After talking to Sprintax they will inform you that you need to have certified documents. You can get these by filing in person at a IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) the closest one that can assist with ITIN W-7 Application of verifying documents is in Atlanta. Appointment is required.
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center
401 W. Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Open Monday through Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm
To make an appointment call (844) 545-5640
Or you can mail in your original passport but be mindful as the IRS has a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants. The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7.
For your convenience we have provided the Instructions for Form W-7 for reference to assist you.
Taxes F.A.Q.Frequently Asked Questions: Taxes for Non-Residents
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.
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.
Sprintax will calculate this for you.
The Substantial Presence Test is a calculation that determines if you are 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.
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.
- Wages (money for employment)
- Scholarships for room and board (but not scholarships for tuition)
- Investment earnings
- You won't get a refund if the IRS owes you money.
- You won't get a state tax refund if Georgia owes you money.
- If you owe money and don't pay your tax bill, you will be charged fees and penalties, which could block future visa applications.
- 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.
- 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 it is not on this list, there is no reduced tax.
- My country is on the list, what do I do?
- You need to fill out the Form 8233 (For Non-Resident Aliens Requesting Tax Treaty Exemption)
- Here is a helpful link on how to fill out the form 8233: Completing IRS Form 8233 for Nonresident Aliens Requesting Tax Treaty Exemption
- My country is on the list, what do I do?
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.
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.
Yes, everyone who does not pass the substantial presence test and is not a U.S. citizen should file the 8843.
A quick reminder: Form 1098-T does not apply to nonresidents and therefore cannot be used on a nonresident tax return.
Form 1098-T provides an education tax credit to U.S. residents only. You may be interested to see if you can claim it on your own nonresident tax return. Unfortunately, no. However the form may be useful to keep with your records in case your home country's tax system needs you to document your foreign tuition expenses.
Sprintax has a useful blob about this topic and other such investment schemes. Be aware. As you go through your filing process in Sprintax, it will take care of these calculations for you if needed.
Tax FormsFor Non-Residents
|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|
|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 - Declares your U.S. income and refund or tax bill.
NR = Non-Resident (for tax purposes)
Required - for all forms of U.S. income.
|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.
The "EZ" or easy form may be used also.