Taxes

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has announced that it will begin accepting tax return filings for income earned in 2021 on January 24, 2022.

The Center for International Services specializes in immigration matters, not taxes. If you require additional information or have specific questions, please direct your inquiries to an international tax professional or call the IRS International Customer Service at (267) 941-1000.

Everybody in F or J status has a tax filing requirement.  If you were physically present in the U.S. in F or J status anytime between January 1 and December 31, 2021, you are required to mail a Form 8843 to the Internal Revenue Service (the U.S. tax agency), even if you had no income. Completion of Form 8843 is relatively simple and you do NOT need to use a tax preparation software program to complete it. You should be able to complete Form 8843 on your own and mail it to the IRS.

Who has to complete Form 8843?

ALL non-resident aliens must fill out Form 8843 even if you did NOT earn any income, if they were:

  • In the US during 2021.
  • In F, M, J, or Q status (including dependent statuses-  F-2, J-2, etc.)

How do I learn more about completing the Form 8843?

  • You may find this  Tutorial  from the IRS helpful in completing your Form 8843

In Item 9 on the 8843 Form:   Academic Institution Information:

When asked to provide the Name, Address, and Telephone number of the academic institution that you attended during the 2021 academic year, please enter:

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY 13244

315-443-1870

In Item 10 on the 8843 Form:   Academic Program Information:

When asked to provide the Name, Address, and Telephone number of the Director of your academic program, you should list the dean of the school/college in which you are currently studying. Please refer to the list below:

School of Architecture
Michael A. Speaks, Dean
204 Slocum Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-0790

The College of Arts and Sciences
Karin Ruhlandt, Dean
300 Hall of Languages
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-3940

School of Education
Kelly Chandler-Olcott, Interim Dean
230 Huntington Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-4751

L.C. Smith College of Engineering & Computer Science
J. Cole Smith, Dean
223 Link Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-4341

David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Diane Lyden Murphy, Dean
440 White Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-5582

School of Information Studies
Rajiv Dewan, Dean
343 Hinds Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-2736

College of Law
Craig M. Boise, Dean
440 College of Law
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-9580

Whitman School of Management
Eugene Anderson, Dean
Whitman SOM, Suite 415
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-3751

Maxwell School of Citizenship
and Public Affairs
David M. Van Slyke, Dean
200 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-2252

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Mark J. Lodato, Dean
400 Newhouse 1
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-1909

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Michael S. Tick, Dean
200 Crouse College
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-5889

_____

Mail Form 8843 to:

          Department of the Treasury

          Internal Revenue Service Center

          Austin, TX 73301-0215

  • If you had income (salary, stipend, prize money, etc.) during the 2021 tax year (January 1-December 31, 2021) you are also required to file a tax return (Form 1040 NR) to reconcile your accounts with the IRS.
  • If you had income, an estimated amount of your tax liability may have been withheld and paid over to the government toward your tax liability. If the estimated amount withheld is more than what you actually owe in taxes, filing a tax return is how you will receive a refund of any taxes withheld above the amount you owe.  You will also file a tax return to determine if the amount withheld was less than what you actually owe,.  Filing a tax return form does NOT necessarily mean you will get taxes that you paid refunded to you.  You will receive a refund if what has been withheld was an overestimate.  You may have to pay more in taxes if the estimate was less than what you actually owe.
  • There is no minimum dollar amount of income that triggers a filing requirement for a nonresident alien, including a foreign student or a foreign scholar.  If you earned income, you are required to file a tax return.
  • Income that is not taxable because of an income tax treaty must be reported on a U.S. income tax return even though no income tax is due on the U.S. income tax return.
  • An income tax return (Form 1040 NR) is NOT required to be filed by nonresident alien students and scholars who have income ONLY from:  foreign sources (family funds, home country scholarship, etc.); interest income (from a U.S. bank, U.S. savings & loan institution, U.S. credit union, U.S. insurance company; an investment that generates portfolio interest; a scholarship or fellowship grant that covers tuition only.  However, these individuals must file a Form 8843 .
  • NOTE:  Form 1098T:  You may receive a Form 1098-T Tuition Statement from Syracuse University.  Non residents are NOT eligible to claim education expense tax credits.  You do NOT need this form and this form CANNOT be used for a nonresident tax return.

NOTE:  In general, most (but not all) F-1 and J-1 students and scholars who are non-residents for tax purposes cannot use tax software programs designed for residents for tax purposes.   You must determine your resident vs. non-resident filing status before completing a tax return to know whether you should file as a non resident or resident.  

  • The Center for International Services has purchased access to an online tax preparation software program called Sprintax to make your non resident U.S. tax filing obligation easier for you. Sprintax will guide you through the tax filing process through a series of questions about your situation.  It will assist you in preparing your federal tax return and advise you if you can file electronically or if you have to print and mail your tax return.  If you use Sprintax to file your state tax returns, you will need to print them out and mail them.
  • Sprintax will help you determine if you are a nonresident for tax purposes.  If you are a nonresident for tax purposes, Sprintax will prepare your federal tax forms for free by using the ACCESS CODE that will be provided in an email sent to all students registered in 2021 and students with approved OPT and STEM OPT.   Look for an email from international@syr.edu with the subject line Sprintax Preparation Software Program to be sent in mid February, 2022.  Additional services for state tax filings will be available to you for a fee paid directly to Sprintax.

Students who are determined to be residents for tax purposes CANNOT use Sprintax and will be referred to another preparation program.

Filing deadlines

  • If you earned income and received a Form W-2 reporting wages and had federal taxes withheld from your pay, Monday, April 18, 2022 is the deadline to submit your U.S. income tax return to the IRS.
  • If you did not receive a Form W-2 but only a Form 1042-S, June 15, 2022 is the deadline to submit your U.S. income tax return to the IRS

What documents do you need?

  1. Your passport
  2. Your I-20 or DS-2019
  3. Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN); if you do not have an SSN or ITIN, you will need to apply for one.
    • An ITIN may be applied for at the same time as filing your tax return. You should follow the instructions in Sprintax and make an appointment at the Taxpayer Assistance Center (in downtown Syracuse) to have your immigration documents authenticated so that you do not have to mail your original passport to the IRS.
    •  A Social Security Number may be applied for only if you are currently working.
  4. Your U.S. entry and exit dates for current and all past visits to the U.S.- you need to print out of the travel history page of your I-94 or refer to the exit and entry stamps in your passport;
  5. If you received wages, the W-2 form(s) you received from your employer(s); if you received wages from Syracuse University, see your MySlice record for the W-2 form.
  6. If you received a scholarship or fellowship grant in excess of tuition, claimed tax treaty benefits, or received other non-payroll payments, the 1042-S form you received from the payor;  if you received such payments from Syracuse University, your 1042-S form should be mailed to you through the U.S. Postal Service or uploaded to the FNIS website by March 15th.
  7. If you are using Sprintax to complete a state tax return, a copy of your already completed federal tax return.

  1. Access Sprintax
  2. Create a Sprintax account or sign in to your account if you have previously used Sprintax
  3. Complete the questionnaire
  4. Use the access code you will receive in an email from international@syr.edu in mid February 2022 when requested at the payment stage
  5. Sprintax will prepare your tax return and determine if you are owed a refund or owe more in taxes
  6. Sprintax will advise if you can file electronically or if you have to print and mail your tax return.  The deadline for filing is April 18, 2022.  State tax returns will likely need to be printed out, signed and mailed.  It will depend on the state.
  7. If you are due a refund, you will be able to indicate whether you want it deposited electronically into your bank account or if you want a paper check mailed to you.  If you owe money, you will need to pay it at the time you file your tax return, electronically, by check or by money order.
  8. Mail your state tax documents (and if necessary, payment of additional taxes) to the address instructed by Sprintax by April 18, 2022

For Further Assistance

Sprintax Active Webinar Schedule (General sessions suitable for majority of visa types)

J1 Scholar Specific Sessions

The informational webinars will cover:

  • An overview of tax for nonresident students and scholars
  • Who must file a 2021 US tax return
  • What income forms you may receive
  • Forms that need to be completed and sent to the IRS
  • We cover terms like FICA, ITIN and Form 1098-T
  • What happens if students don’t file, or misfile
  • State tax returns
  • IRS stimulus payments
  • Sprintax overview