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Assistance from ISSS Staff

No staff member from ISSS is able to provide personal assistance with filing taxes such as providing tax advice or filling out specific forms. The information provided below is intended for F-1 and J-1 holder's benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office. 

overview and Tax Filing Obligations

If you were physically in the United States on F or J status anytime between January 1st through December 31st 2023, students are obligated to file Form 8843 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Meanwhile, if students earn any taxable U.S. source income will need to file a federal tax return with the IRS on top of the Form 8843. Depending on the student's individual circumstances, they may also need to file a state tax return.  Submitting these forms are a legal requirement as well as a requirement to maintain the F-1 or J-1 status. If a student or scholar who owe taxes and do not file, the IRS can fine or penalize them.

Sources of U.S. income may include the following:

  • On-Campus Employment
  • Graduate Assistantships (TA/RA/GA)
  • Scholarships
  • Fellowships
  • Grants
  • Earnings from OPT, STEM OPT or CPT

Tax Filing Deadline | April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024 is the last day for residents and nonresidents for tax purposes who earned U.S. income to file Federal tax returns for the 2023 tax year; however, if students need more time, they must file for an extension. Please review the IRS guideline for more information.

Do Not Fall for Tax Scams

International students and scholars may fall victim to phishing emails or phone calls claming that they will be refunded a large amount of money. Do not respond or give into them, if students receive any scams to report it to ISSS.


vita tax filing workshops

International Student & Scholar Services and Financial Wellness Center has arranged for trained volunteers through the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help international students complete and file their tax forms using Sprintax. Students and scholars can use the VITA program if they meet the following conditions:

   Earned any income from a U.S. source during the 2023 tax year and hold an F-1 or J-1 visa.


   Been in the United States for less than five years.


   An annual income less than $60,000.


If the student or scholar meets the criteria above, they are eligible to attend a VITA tax filing workshop. 

International Student VITA Tax Filing Workshop

Sign up

To attend and participate in the webinar, please have:

  • Immigration documents: I-20/DS-2019, passport, I-94 form.
  • The Social Security Number for yourself and all your dependents (if applicable).
  • All tax documents you have received, including a form W-2 from all states in which income was earned. Form 1042-S, Form 1099-INT for bank account interest, other tax-related documents and your previous tax returns. (if married, you must also bring all similar documents for your spouse). 

If students or scholars did not earn any income from a U.S. source during the 2023 tax year will only need to submit the IRS Form 8843. Students and scholars are encouraged to work with Sprintax to get a filled out Form 8843. 


Resident or nonresident for tax purposes

Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F or J visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. F-1 & J-1 students are automatically considered nonresident for their first five calendar years in the U.S., whilst Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered nonresidents for two out of the last six calendar years in the U.S. 

If a student or scholar have been in the U.S. for longer than the five or two year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine the individual's tax residency or Sprintax can help determine your tax status.

If the student is identified as a resident for tax purposes, this does not change their immigration status, they will still be considered on an F or J visa.


Sprintax

The International Student & Scholar Services at the University of Utah has teamed up with Sprintax to provide students with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the United States. 

Sprintax Discount Code | Now Available Until April 15, 2024

ISSS has purchased a limited number of Sprintax Discount Codes to help off-set the cost for students using the service to file their federal tax return. These codes are available at a first come, first-servied basis. Please see the step-by-step instructions below to receive a discount code. 

Nonresident students and scholars will log in to Sprintax and will be asked a series of questions about the time spent in the U.S. and the types of visas over a period of years. Afterwards, Sprintax will determine the student or scholar's tax status. If determined as nonresident (NRA) for federal tax purposes, the student or scholar may continue to use Sprintax. If Sprintax determines the student or scholar as a resident for federal tax purposes, they will not be able to use the software. However, Sprintax will direct the resident student or scholar to other resources if deemed a resident.

Sprintax Webinars

Webinar Dates and Times Registration Link
Wednesday  January 24th @ 1 PM (MST) REGISTER HERE
Thursday February 8th @ 11 AM (MST)

REGISTER HERE

Tuesday February 20th @ 10 AM (MST)

REGISTER HERE

Tuesday March 5th @ 2 PM (MST)

REGISTER HERE

Wednesday March 20th @ 12 PM (MST) REGISTER HERE
Wednesday March 27th @ 11 AM (MST) REGISTER HERE
Thursday April 4th @ 1 PM (MST)

REGISTER HERE

Wednesday April 10th @ 10 AM (MST) REGISTER HERE
Monday April 15th @ 11 PM (MST) REGISTER HERE

Students have access to the Sprintax Youtube channel where there are a number of educational videos on non-resident taxes. These videos will provide further clarity on non-resident tax and how to use Sprintax. Sprintax also offer a range of usseful content on their blog to help students file their returns. 

Students and scholars are not required to use Sprintax for their federal or state returns. However, please note that other tax preparation software, such as TurboTax or H&R Block will not allow individuals to file nonresident tax forms, so many international students and scholars are not able to use those programs. Only F and J visa holders that are determined to be residents for tax purposes should use tax preparation software like TurboTax. 


Step-by-step instructions for filing tax forms for nonresident F and J visa holders using sprintax

 

  1. Gather the Documents for Sprintax

    Documents marked with * may not apply to all F and J visa holders. If the document does not apply to your circumstance, you will not need to include it when filing your tax return.

    Document Description
    Passport Must be valid at the time of filing.
    Visa/Immigration information, including form I-20 (F status) or form DS-2019 (J Status)

    Please use the most current I-20 or DS-2019.

    Social Securty or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you have one)

    These are not needed if you had no income for the 2023 tax year and the Form 8843 is the only form you have to file.

    *W-2

    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 were employed by the University of Utah for any part of the 2023 tax year, you should receive a W-2 from Human Resource Management and Financial Services. Please contact Human Recourses if you did not receive a W-2. 

    *1042-S

    This form is used to report: 

    1. Stipend, scholarship, fellowship income and travel grants (not tuition reduction or exemption).

    2. Income covered by a tax treaty.

    3. Payment for other types of services (eg by the semester as a note-taker).

    If you received this type of income, the 1042-S will be emailed to you by March 15th 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. 

    U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for Current and Past Visits to the U.S.

    In addition to passport stamps, you can review or print your U.S. travel history by issuing a recent I-94.

    *1099 This form reports miscellaneous income. Can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, earning through freelance employment. If you received this type of income, the 1099 will be mailed to you by the issuer. 
    1098-T If you received this form, it is not needed and cannot be used for a nonresident tax return because NRAs are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits. Please keep this form for your own records.

  1. Create a Sprintax Account 

    We have arranged for individuals to use Sprintax to assist in tax filings. Please create a Sprintax account using the link below. Students must utilize the links to Sprintax from this page.
    create sprintax account (University of Utah link)

  1. Request for Discount Code from ISSS

    **Codes are Not Available until February 05, 2024

    ISSS has purchased a limited number of Sprintax Discount Codes to help off-set the cost for students using the service to file their federal tax return. These codes are available at a first-come, first-served basis. 

    This service is limited to current F-1 students and J-1 students or scholars (including those who are on Optional Practical Training or Academic Training).
    Sprintax discount code request e-form

  1. Follow the Sprintax Instructions

    If you did not earn any U.S. income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any). This form must be physically mailed to the IRS. On page 3 of IRS Form 8843, there are instructions on where you will mail this from. Before mailing anything, make copies for your records.

    If you did earn U.S. income: Sprintax will generate your "tax return documents", including form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.

  1. (If Required) Complete Your State Tax Return

    After the student finishes their federal return, Sprintax will inform the student if they need to complete a state tax return. If so, they will give the student the option to use Sprintax for an individual fee. However, it is the student's choice to use Sprintax or to do the state tax return on their own. 

    If the student or scholar transferred from another U.S. institution and/or earned income in another state, must file a state income tax return for every state in which income was earned. 

  1. Read the instructions for filing/mailing your returns

    Students and scholars are encouraged to read the instructions that Sprintax provides. Students or scholars may be able to e-file (electronically file) their federal tax return directly through Sprintax; however, they may still need to print, sign and mail the state tax return forms to the state tax authorities. 

    *If students or scholars only need to file Form 8843, this will also need to be physically mailed to the IRS. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 4/3/24