Sprintax Tax Service
We have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with an easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the US.
OISS (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.
All F-1 and J-1 students and scholars will receive an email from OISS with information about how to access the tax preparation software Sprintax. We anticipate sending the email with Sprintax instructions and each student's unique code by late February 2023. This software will help you prepare your federal tax return.
For an additional fee, Sprintax can assist you in preparing your state income tax form.
After you receive your access code login to Sprintax, you will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the US over recent years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a “nonresident alien” (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use the software and respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will then complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the tax authorities.
What will Sprintax help me with?
Sprintax will help you…
- determine which tax forms you need to complete.
- determine your “residency for tax purposes.”
- determine if are eligible for tax treaty benefits or a standard deduction.
- assist with completion of the 1040NR form.
- prepare a completed federal tax form for you to print, sign, and mail in and what documents to attach to it.
How do I get started?
After you receive your Sprintax access code from OISS and have gathered the required documents (see next question below), go to Sprintax, create an account (or login to your account if you have one from last year), and complete the online questionnaire.
You will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the US over recent years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a “nonresident alien” (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use the software and respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will then complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the tax authorities.
However, if Sprintax determines that you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won’t be able to continue using the software.
What documents do I need in order to use Sprintax?
You will need the following…
- Sprintax access code available from OISS (in late Feb/early March)
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN if you had any US sources of income
(Note: a SSN or ITIN is not needed if you had not income and the Form 8843 is the only form you have to file.)
- US entry and exit dates found stamped in your passport or accessed in the travel history portion of your I-94 record on the CBP website
- Foreign and US addresses
- Tax forms that have been mailed to you or that you have accessed from the University (including, but not limited to W-2, 1042-S, and 1099). Be aware that you may not have any of these, or you may have more than one. For example, the W-2 is used by an employer to report how much salary they paid to an employee during a year, and what taxes were withheld, and a copy of the W-2 is sent to the employee. If you did not work as an employee, you will not receive a W-2. If you worked for 3 different employers in the same tax year, you should receive a W-2 from each of them. See chart to below to understand various tax forms:
This form reports your wage earnings if you worked.
If you had more than one employer you should get a W-2 from each employer. It is issued by the end of January for the previous year. Make sure all employers from last year have an up-to-date address for you.
If you did NOT work, you will not receive a W-2.
This form is used to report:
If you received this type of income, the 1042-S will be mailed to you by 15 March by the payer.Note: Only Nonresident Aliens receive this form. If your tax status changes to a Resident Alien you will not get a 1042-S. Sprintax can help you check your tax status if you’re not sure.
|Form 1099||This form reports miscellaneous income. Can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, earning through freelance employment|
|Form 1098||This form is NOT needed and can NOT be used for a nonresident tax return because Non-resident Aliens are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits. If you think you MIGHT eligible, see more info on our webpage about the 1098-T.|
What are the steps to file my non-resident tax forms using Sprintax?
- Gather documents you will need: see list above.
- Create a Sprintax Account:
You will receive an email from the OISS (we anticipate by mid-March) providing you with a link to Sprintax to set up your account as well as your unique code to use on Sprintax. This unique code will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you.
Open your new Sprintax account by creating a User ID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can login using your existing credentials.
- Follow the Sprintax Instructions:
If you did not earn any US Income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any).
If you did earn US Income: Sprintax will generate your “tax return documents”, including form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.
- If required, complete your state tax return:
After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, you will have the option to use Sprintax for an additional fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.
- Read the Instructions for filing/mailing your return:
Remember to read the instructions that Sprintax provides.
You will be required to download, print and sign your federal tax return and mail it to the IRS. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to E-file your Federal tax return. However, this will depend on certain eligibility criteria. You can learn more about eligibility in this Sprintax blog - https://blog.sprintax.com/nonresident-federal-tax-efiling-live/
If you have a state filing requirement, you must also mail this to the tax authorities.
Finally, if you only need to file Form 8843, this will also need to be mailed to the IRS.
Get Started with Sprintax
Can I E-file my federal taxes with Sprintax?
Sprintax is now approved by the IRS to submit Federal tax returns electronically (E-Filing).
In short, this means you no longer need to download, print and mail a physical copy of your tax return to the US tax office. Instead, you can now file your federal tax return without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Read more about federal E-filing on this Sprintax blog.
Can I E-file my state taxes with Sprintax?
No. You can only E-File your federal tax return with Sprintax.
However, if you are required to file a state tax return, Sprintax will help you to prepare the documents you need.
Read more on this Sprintax blog about E-filing.
Sprintax offers webinars for international students, scholars and professionals to learn about U.S> taxes for nonresidents . Topics include who must file, tax residency, FICA, State returns, implications of misfiling and how to use Sprintax to file a compliant tax return.
All webinars for the 2022 tax year have now concluded.
We anticipate webinars for the 2023 tax year will start in early 2024.
Who is considered Resident or Nonresident for federal tax purposes?
Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F or J visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. International students on J-1 & F-1 visas are automatically considered nonresident for their first five calendar years in the U.S., while international scholars/researchers on J visas are automatically considered nonresidents for two out of the last six calendar years in the US.
Need Sprintax support?
Sprintax access is provided as a helpful service to international students and scholars. OISS staff are not qualified or allowed to answer any tax-related questions or provide individual tax advice beyond the information provided on our webpage. The information provided is intended as a helpful resource. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).