2019 Tax Instructions
International students must prepare and file tax statements or a “tax return” for the 2019 year. Taxes are due April 15, 2020 and are taken very seriously in the US. Please read this guide very closely to make sure you comply with tax requirements.
Employers withhold taxes from your paycheck and send it to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It may not equal the exact amount due at the end of the year. If your employer pays too much, you are eligible for a refund. Please note that there is no longer a minimum earned income threshold.
This guide is intended to help you understand your tax obligation and what you need to submit. It is not legal advice and Global Education cannot give specific tax advice. If you have questions, please contact a tax professional.
Determine your residency status
- If you arrived after December 31, 2014, you are a non-resident for tax purposes. Please continue reading below for directions for if you had income or not.
- If you arrived prior to December 31, 2014, you are a resident for tax purposes and may file a 1040 or 1040EZ if you had income in 2019. You may file your taxes through TurboTax, H&R Block, or other tax software or consult a tax accountant. If you are a resident for tax purposes, you do not need to follow further instructions on this document.
I am a non-resident but I did not work in 2019:
- You must file Form 8843. See page three of this document for instructions.
- This form must be mailed. Do not bring to GEC.
- Missed this form in previous years? Google 8843 and the year to download missing forms.
- Use this Tax Form Wizard to fill out the Form 8843: https://www.internationalstudent.com/tax/form/
I am a non-resident and I did work in 2019:
You must file a 1040NR or 1040NREZ if you had any income in 2019. Do not use TurboTax, H&R Block or other widely advertised tax software. These programs are intended for residents only and do not support the NR form. If you are non-resident for tax purposes,
- Collect the required documents:
- Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement: W-2 forms are sent to you by your employer(s) in January. This form shows how much you earned last year and how much was deducted for taxes.
- Immigration Documents: passport, I-20, I-94
- Social Security Number or ITIN
- Current US Address and Foreign Address
- WCTC Address and phone number
- Copy of last year’s tax return, if you filed
- 1042-S: If you received a scholarship or fellowship money that exceeds tuition and fee-related charges, you will get a form indicating this taxable income. (uncommon)
- Scholarship/fellowship grant letter
- Determine how you will file:
- The IRS allows you to file your documents online
- File by Mail
- Collect all the required forms and mail to the IRS (not recommended)
- International Student Tax Preparation Service (recommended)
- Sprintax: Sprintax will talk you through creating your Federal and State returns. There is a fee associated with this service. Please email me if you choose to use this product and I will send you a coupon code.
- Glacier: Glacier Tax Prep will help you file your Federal Return only. You will still need to paper file your state taxes.
- Complete the following forms: