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Taxes

All international students and scholars are required to report to the U.S. tax service (known as the Internal Revenue Service) each year — even if they did not work during the prior year. You will not necessarily need to pay taxes; but you must at least report your presence in the U.S. This is a legal requirement.

Although OGS staff cannot advise on tax issues, we hope to give you basic information here as a helpful starting point.


Do I have to file?


If you first arrived in the U.S. on or after January 1, 2015 and if you were not present in the U.S. at all during 2014, you currently have no tax filing obligations — but you will need to file next year, so check back then on what to do.

If you were present in the U.S. for even one day during 2014 you have tax filing obligations. Keep reading for when, what and how to file.


When to file


The earliest we recommend you file your taxes is February 1 as the government updates their forms each year and these new forms are only ready in late January. The tax filing deadline to file is April 15. If you are unable to file your forms by that due date, you must submit an Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Your Tax Return Form 4868 to the Internal Revenue Service.


What and how to file


Step 1: Gather the following documents and information as references you may need.

(Note: You may not have or need some of these; this is a list of all the documents you might need.)

  • Passport, Visa, I-94 record
  • Your Exit and Entry Dates for all past U.S. visits
  • Your I-20, DS-2019, or other immigration documents
  • Social Security number (if you do not have a Social Security number, you will need an Individual Tax Identification Number, which can be obtained through GLACIER Tax Prep; see step 2)
  • Current U.S. Address AND Permanent Foreign Address
  • Name of Educational Institution or Sponsoring Organization
  • Form(s) W-2, 1042-S, 1099
  • Scholarship or Fellowship grant letters (if no related Form 1042-S)
  • Copy of past year’s tax forms (if you had any)

Step 2: Use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) to file your federal tax return and/or forms.

NYU has purchased GTP software to help you fulfil your tax obligations. GTP will ask you a series of questions and will use your answers to fill in all necessary U.S. government tax forms for you. It will also inform you of any tax treaty benefits that may apply to you.

1. Access the GTP log in page with your NYU net ID and password. If your NYU Net ID is not active, first visit https://start.nyu.edu. If you are still having difficulty activating your account, then contact AskITS@nyu.edu.

Click here to access glacier tax prep

 

 

2. Log into GTP. If you have a GLACIER account through NYU OR you used GTP last year, be sure to use your same user name and password. If you have never used GTP and do not have a GLACIER account, create a new account.

3. Once logged in, answer the questions in GTP. Once submitted, GTP will determine your tax return filing requirements.

4. Print the forms GTP generates. Review, sign and mail them no later than April 15. Note: non-resident taxes cannot be submitted electronically; GTP will tell you the mailing address to use.

5. If GTP determines that you are a resident for U.S.tax purposes, it will not generate your tax forms. You should file resident tax returns — the same thing U.S. citizens do. Resources for this include:


Step 3: Confirm whether you had U.S. income during 2014 —

GTP will have helped you figure this out. Note that U.S. income includes earned wages, as well as some non-NYU scholarships, stipends, prizes, awards, winnings, etc.

  • If you had no U.S. income during 2014 you are not required to file a state tax return. Send in your signed federal forms and you will be done for the year!

Step 4: If you had U.S. income during 2014, you also must file a state tax return.

Note: State taxes may have different residency guidelines then U.S. taxes. You can use Sprintax to file your state taxes at a discounted rate. See the information at right under "outside vendors for expert guidance" for more information.

              

1. New York State and City Taxes:


a. You must file a NY Tax Return if:

  • You were a NY resident and you filed a U.S. tax form (other than Form 8843) for 2014; or
  • You had NY income greater than $4,000 in 2014; or
  • You want a refund of NY State or City taxes withheld from your paycheck in excess of what you actually owed.

b. First, determine if you were New York resident for tax purposes:

  • Each individual must confirm their own NY tax status, but, in general, if you lived and/or worked in New York:
    • full-time undergraduate and graduate international students are considered nonresidents of NY state and city for tax purposes
    • other international visitors, including part-time students, J1 international professors and scholars, and individuals in H4 status are considered NY residents for state and city tax purposes if they both
      1) had a place to stay in NY for at least 11 months; and
      2) were physically in NY for at least 6 months of the year.
      Review NY state’s definition of
      tax residency to determine your NY tax filing status.

2. New Jersey State Taxes:

  • Each individual must confirm their own NJ tax status, but, in general, if you lived and/or worked in New Jersey:
    • international students, professors and scholars are considered nonresidents for NJ state tax purposes unless they had a “permanent home” in NJ.
  • the NJ state’s definition of tax residency to determine your NJ state tax filing status.
  • Use the appropriate NJ tax form:
  • If you are unable to file your New Jersey tax forms by the due date, you must submit an Application for Extension of Time to File with the New Jersey Division of Taxation by the due date.
tax forms image

More Resources to Help You File Federal, State, and City Taxes


Online Tax Workshops

  • Recorded Workshops - The University of Buffalo created these workshops for international students and scholars. Please note, the workshops are updated each year as they become available, and should be used as additional resources and a point of reference only. The videos cover federal and New York state tax filing.

Outside Vendors for Expert Guidance: These vendors are NOT free!

For most students and scholars the advice on this page is enough to successfully file their taxes. But if you have further questions or complex tax circumstances you may want to contact one of the companies listed.

Sprintax

Sprintax is an online software that allows you to file your state tax return as a nonresident. NYU has purchased codes which allow you discounted access to file your NY state tax return for $14.95. The rate for the NJ tax return is $10.95.

We emailed all NYU international students, faculty members, and researchers instructions on how to use Sprintax on March 6, including the access code you need get the discounted rate. Refer to that email for specific instructions. If you did not receive the email, let us know by filling out our contact us form. For any other questions on Sprintax, please contact hello@sprintax.com.  

H & R Block 

Call 212-268-2038 and ask to schedule an appointment and identify yourself as foreign national.

  • To file taxes with H & R Block may cost around $350-$400
  • A 15-20 minute consultation typically costs $50

Gary R. Engler & Company

Call 310-440-5557 or email Gary@englercpa.com to schedule a time to meet. Again, this is not a free service. You can also visit http://www.englercpa.com/international.html for more non-resident tax information.

 


Good to Know:


Tax Treaties

The United States has over 50 tax treaties with different countries. The treaties vary in terms of the benefits they offer to students, the types of income covered, the total amount of the exemption, and the number of years you could claim the benefit. If you file your tax forms with a tax software, the software will automatically factor in any benefit offered through a tax treaty with your country.

For more information on tax treaties, including a list of the countries that the United States has tax treaties with, see IRS Publication 901, U.S. Tax Treaties. Note that tax treaties vary in their implications for state taxes.


Tax Forms and Publications

For more detailed information on filing taxes, visit our tax pages for students and scholars.

Form 8843
Form 1040NR-EZ
Form 1040NR-EZ Instructions
Form 1040NR
Form 1040NR Instructions
Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Taxes
Form W-7 Application for Individual Taxpayer ID Number
Form 8233 Exemption from Withholding on Compensation
Form 8233 Instructions
Form 843 Request for Refund or Abatement
Publication 4011 Foreign Student and Scholar Volunteer Resource Guide
Publication 515 Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens
Publication 519 United States Tax Guide for Aliens
Publication 901 United States Tax Treaties
Form IT-201 New York resident tax form
Form IT-203 New York non-resident tax form
Form IT-370 NY application for extension of time to file your tax return
NJ-1040 New Jersey resident tax form
NJ-1040NR New Jersey nonresident tax form
New Jersey Application for Extension of Time to File

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