TAX Frequently Asked Questions
Please note, this information is not tax advice but rather it is meant to help you in completing your tax filing obligations as an international student or scholar. For further tax guidance, we recommend you consult with a professional tax service.
Questions regarding changes due to COVID-19
What is the new tax filing deadline?
For students who worked in the United States during 2019, the tax filing deadline is July 15.
I received a COVID-19 stimulus pament. Was this in error? What should I do?
Currently, this is the only guidance given by the IRS (the US tax service) on the topic. Although we are awaiting more specific guidance from the IRS regarding F-1 and J-1 students, for now we recommend the following:
- If you are a “nonresident for tax purposes” (typical of F-1 and J-1 students), you are not eligible to keep the stimulus funds and should return any funds already received. Do not spend them or you may also owe interest accrued until the payment is returned. For this, we advise following the same guidelines provided by the IRS for returning an incorrect federal tax refund. The process varies based on whether you received:
- Paper check that has not yet been cashed/deposited;
- Paper check that has already be cashed/deposited; or
- Direct deposit made to the nonresident alien’s U.S. bank account.
- Paper check that has not yet been cashed/deposited;
- Review this detailed information on how to return any such incorrectly received stimulus payment. Be sure to:
- Explain that you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes and were apparently sent the check or funds in error.
- Keep records of everything you do.
- If you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes in error as a “resident for tax purposes”, we also advise that you submit an amended tax return to correct the error.
- If you used GTP (GLACIER Tax Prep), you can look for information they have on amending your tax return by selecting “FAQ” from their menu.
- You can also use Sprintax online or other similar tax services.
Either of these may charge a fee. Contact them for details.
Please be sure that you do not accept the stimulus payment unless you are legally entitled to do so. Accepting funds sent to you in error could have serious implications for your future immigration benefits, including owing interest or penalty fees, denial or cancellation of OPT, loss of student or work visa, and denial of entry to the United States.
In addition, filing an incorrect or fraudulent federal income tax return is a violation of US tax law and may potentially impact current or future immigration status.
Please note that OGS is not permitted or qualified to answer tax questions or offer legal tax advice. We provide the above information only as a resource to assist you. Please see our tax page for a list of tax resources, and consult qualified experts as appropriate.
Questions regarding previous year(s) tax returns or filing
I am still waiting to receive my tax refund for last year. Who can I contact?
If you are expecting a refund based on the federal tax return you filed and there has been no update to your refund status on the IRS website, you may send a letter to the IRS requesting the status of your income tax refund. Your letter should be sent to the same address as your tax return. In the letter, include your name and Social Security Number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) data. Attach a copy of your originally filed income tax return clearly marked “COPY”. Send your letter using certified mail, return receipt requested; or by using FedEx/UPS so that you will have proof of delivery. Also keep a copy of the letter and all other documents you sent for your records.
If the IRS contacts you, they will contact you by sending a letter in the mail. The IRS does not contact individuals by email or phone calls. If you do receive an email or phone call from a person claiming to be a representative of the IRS, do not respond to their questions. Visit the IRS website regarding IRS scams.
If you used Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) to prepare last year’s federal tax return, GTP will assist you in responding to the IRS. Contact the GTP Support Center via the HELP Link from within GTP. No email inquiries will be accepted
What should I do if I did not file a tax return for previous year(s)?
International visitors (this includes students and scholars) and their dependents are required to file tax documents each year they were present in the United States.
If you had no income for previous years, you will need to submit the Form 8843. Per the Form 8843 instructions, you will not have any penalties if you took all reasonable actions to be aware of the filing requirements. Should you apply for a work visa or US permanent residency in the future, you may need to correct the problem at that time, if still possible.
Whether you had income or not in the previous year(s), we recommend that you send an inquiry to the GTP Support Center via their Help link, or consult with an individual tax professional. Contact the GTP Support Center only after you have completed GTP for this tax year, as it will help them answer your questions accurately. You can contact their Support Center via the Help link at the top of any screen when you are logged in.You may also visit the IRS website for information on Filing Past Due Tax Returns.
Questions regarding filing this year’s tax return
I just received a Form 1095-B. What do I need to do with it?
Form 1095-B is a tax form that reports the type of health insurance coverage you have. The 1095-B is NOT needed to file a Non Resident Tax Return. If, however, you are a resident for tax purposes, you will need to refer to it when completing your tax filing responsibilities. Regardless, save this form along with your other tax documents.
Who can I speak to if I have tax questions?
Due to the fact that we are not tax professionals and have very limited knowledge regarding taxes, the staff at OGS is not able to assist in completing tax forms or answering tax-related questions. If you are using Glacier Tax Prep or Sprintax and have a specific question regarding your federal or state tax, contact their help desk for assistance. If the problem is regarding your federal tax return and you used Glacier Tax Prep, you can contact their Support Center via the Help link at the top of any screen when you are logged in. If the problem is regarding your state tax return and you used Sprintax, you can contact their Live Chat system or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can only direct you to helpful tax resources. Please see our tax page for a list of tax resources and workshops available for international students. Make sure to first review all questions on this page, as your question may be answered here.
When is the deadline to file my tax forms?
The deadline to file your tax forms for individuals who had taxable income during the previous tax year is typically April 15. The government has now extended this deadline to July 15 for those who had taxable income in 2019 due to Coronavirus-related measures. If April 15 falls on a weekend or government holiday, the IRS will post the deadline on their website. For people who did not receive US income and are only filing IRS Form 8843, the deadline is June 15. Please note that the deadline refers to the date the envelope is postmarked by the post office. Some post offices remain open until midnight on the day of the deadline. Electronic filing is not permitted for individuals with nonresident tax status.
Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file my tax forms?
If you had no US source income, you do not need a SSN or ITIN to file the Form 8843. If you did have any US source income, you will need either a SSN or ITIN to file your tax forms.
Do I need to file for taxes even though I did not earn any US income last year?
Yes. Whether or not you earned income last year in the United States, all international visitors are required to a file a federal tax form called the Form 8843 with the IRS, even if they were present in the US for only one day of that year. Glacier Tax Prep, a software program available on our tax page, will assist you in completing the Form 8843. You will need to print, sign (digital or electronic signatures not accepted), and mail the completed form to the IRS address as instructed by Glacier Tax Prep.
During the last year, I received a US-based scholarship/fellowship/grant. Do I need to file taxes?
Yes. Depending on the type of scholarship/fellowship/grant you received and whether your country has a tax treaty (IRS Publication 901- U.S. Tax Treaty) with the US, you may need to report your scholarship as US income. You should receive a tax document from the organization that issued your scholarship. US source scholarships/fellowships/grants that are beyond the amount of tuition and fees are usually considered taxable. If you received a taxable scholarship from NYU, you should receive Form 1042-S from NYU. For more information on taxable and nontaxable scholarship items, please visit NYU’s Global Tax Compliance Department ‘U.S. Tax Information for Nonresident Alien Students and Scholars’. If you did not complete GLACIER when you first received your NYU scholarship/fellowship/grant, contact NYU.Glacier@nyu.edu.
I am no longer living in the US Do I still need to file taxes in the US?
Yes, all international visitors present in the United States for even one day last year must file a tax report for that year. If you were employed in the US during the past year, contact the employer(s) you worked for and request a copy of your Form W-2 to be mailed to your address abroad. Ask your employer(s) if you are able to access your Form W-2 online. If you overpaid federal tax, the IRS can mail a refund check overseas.
What should I do if I worked in the US and did not receive or lost my Form W-2?
Contact the employer(s) you worked for and request that another copy of your Form W-2 be mailed to you. Be sure that they have your correct address on file. Ask your employer(s) if you are able to access your Form W-2 online. Students or scholars who were employed at NYU may follow these instructions to access the Form W-2 online.
If you have requested the Form W-2 from your employer but have not received it, the IRS can help you obtain the missing form(s). Call 1-800-829-1040. Be prepared to provide your name, address (including zip code), phone number, Social Security Number, and dates of employment and the name, address (including zip code), and phone number of the employer. For additional information, see Tax Topic 154, "Form W-2 - What To Do if Not Received" on the IRS website.
Why didn’t I receive a Form 1098-T?
The Form 1098-T is issued to students to show the amount of tuition paid for federal tax deduction reasons. Most international students are not eligible for the tax credit but you can talk to a tax professional if you are considered a dependent of a US citizen or US permanent resident and think you are eligible.
Keep in mind, however, that the 1098-T can only be issued if you have a US Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). According to the NYU Bursar's FAQ question, "Why am I not eligible for a 1098-T?", you can use a statement of accounts in lieu of the 1098-T.
If you have any further questions about the 1098-T or if you need a 1098-T issued because you are a dependent of someone who is filing taxes as a resident or you are a resident for US tax purposes yourself, visit the NYU Bursar’s website for instructions on how to access your 1098-T.
I was not able to attend a tax workshop. How can I get the information I need?
Please use the tax software resources on our website that that we have made available to you. Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) is provided free-of-charge to the NYU community for help with federal tax filing and Sprintax is offered at a discounted rate if accessed using an NYU email address.
Glacier Tax Prep and Sprintax are both user-friendly software with instructional videos you can reference to help complete your tax forms. Glacier Tax Prep has an informative 25 minute video about nonresident taxes once you access the software. Feel free to watch the entire video or just the shorter segments, separated by topic, that pertain you.
What should I do if I did not file or am unable to file my tax forms by the deadline?
You should try your best to mail your tax form(s) by the deadline. Additionally, keep in mind that individuals with a non-resident tax status are not able to electronically file their tax forms. Since you cannot file electronically, you should be sure to mail your tax documents with the United States Post Office by the deadline to have your enveloped stamped and postmarked. Several United States Post Offices remain open for extended hours on the tax filing deadline date.
If you had taxable income and are unable to file your forms by the deadline, you will need to mail a Form 4868 Automatic Extension of Time to File your Tax Return to the IRS by the tax filing deadline. Your application requesting the automatic extension will also need to be postmarked by the United States Post Office by the deadline. On the form, you will need to properly estimate your tax liability for the year, which is why we prefer you just submit the tax form that Glacier Tax Prep provides to you instead.
If you did not have any taxable income in the previous year, you have until June 15 to submit the Form 8843.
You may contact Glacier Tax Prep directly regarding federal income tax help and Sprintax for state tax help or consult with a tax professional from our list of resources on our tax page. The IRS website also has information for ‘Filing a Past Due Tax Return’.
I realized there was a mistake on my documents after I filed my taxes. What can I do?
Unfortunately, we are not tax experts and are unable to offer any tax advice or answer specific questions related to filing your taxes.
If the problem is regarding your federal tax return and you used Glacier Tax Prep, you can contact their Support Center via the Help link at the top of any screen when you are logged in.
If another tax software or online service was used, you should contact their help desk for assistance.
If none of the above options help you solve your problem, please consult with a tax professional from our list of resources on our tax page.
Questions related to Glacier Tax Prep or Sprintax
What is the contact information for the school official to be listed on my tax form?
383 Lafayette Street, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10003
Note: This will auto-fill for GTP but not for Sprintax.
I am having trouble accessing Glacier Tax Prep. Who can I contact?
To access Glacier Tax Prep, make sure that your NYU NetID is active. To activate your NetID, visit https://start.nyu.edu. If your NYU NetID has been activated but does not work, or you have forgotten your password, follow the instructions on the NYU ServiceLink website on Resetting a Forgotten or Expired NETID. If you continue having problems, contact ITS at email@example.com or 212-998-3333.
You should then be able to log into Glacier Tax Prep using your active NYU NetID and password and after 1 or 2 pages, you will be able to create your own account with a different username and password.
**If you continue to have difficulty accessing Glacier Tax Prep, contact us and we will request Glacier Tax Prep to email you an individual access code.**
Who can I contact if I have trouble accessing or using Sprintax?
NYU has made Sprintax available at a discounted price to help you file your state taxes. In order to access this discount, you must sign up using an @nyu.edu email address. If you use GLACIER Tax Prep (GTP) and also need to file state taxes, you will be directed to Sprintax by GTP, for a fee; or you can log in directly to Sprintax. In either case, use your @nyu.edu email address for the OGS discounted price. Note: You must complete your federal taxes (free with GTP or for a fee with Sprintax) before attempting your state taxes; and you may have to file returns for multiple states depending on where you lived or worked -- or you may not have to file at all. In any case, GTP and/or Sprintax will let you know what you need to do.
Stern and Law students: Be sure to use the @nyu.edu email address as the system will not recognize your @stern.nyu.edu or @law.nyu.edu email address.
For state tax questions, please use the Sprintax online Live Chat system (available at all times, 24/7). You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Either of these options will provide you with the best assistance.
Can I use Glacier Tax Prep or Sprintax to file for my dependents?
GTP: Contact us with your dependent’s legal name (as it appears on their passport) and their email address. We will then request an individualized access code to be sent to their email address.
Sprintax: For the Sprintax discount, an @nyu.edu email address is required, and only one access is permitted per email address. If your dependent does not have an NYU email account, one of you should use your NYU “NetID” email address to register, and the other should use your “alias” NYU email address. Both of these will be accepted as different NYU email addresses by Sprintax. Both emails will need to end in @nyu.edu. Please contact us if there are any problems with this.
Glacier Tax Prep has determined that I am no longer a nonresident for tax purposes and cannot use their tax filing service. What should I do?
If Glacier Tax Prep told that you that you are a Resident for tax purposes, you cannot use GTP. Please speak with a tax professional if you have further questions about filing resident taxes, or take a look at these optional resources:
The NYU Stern’s Beta Alpha Psi group offers VITA services by appointment. Here is the link to the UG Stern tax filing services. You need to make an appointment at least two days in advance. As we get closer to the tax filing deadline, you may find that their appointments will fill up quickly. Plan at least 30 - 90 minutes for your appointment.
Can I submit my tax forms electronically through GLACIER Tax Prep?
No. If you are considered a nonresident for tax purposes, you must submit original-signed paper tax form(s) by mail. Electronic or digital signatures are not accepted.
Other Tax Questions
How do I receive a refund for taxes withheld in error?
If you worked for NYU, email email@example.com to request a refund of the taxes withheld.
If you work elsewhere, you can contact the employer who withheld the taxes and ask for a refund. If you are unable to get a full refund from your employer use the FAQ or Help feature on the Glacier Tax Prep software for further instructions. You would need to file the IRS Form 843 and Form 8316 along with supporting documentation as listed on the IRS website for ‘Refund of Taxes Withheld in Error.’
What are the consequences for not filing my tax form(s)?
Penalties for not complying with the filing requirement can include but are not limited to:
Denials of future requests for a Change of Status (especially to Permanent Resident)
Denials of visa renewals at American Consulates/Embassies
Fines and interest will accrue on unreported income and could result in more money being owed to the IRS in the future
If filed more than 3 years late, a refund will not be remitted by the IRS to the taxpayer
I received a threatening call or email “from the IRS” demanding payment or banking information immediately. What should I do?
The IRS does not use phone calls or email to begin contact with you. Any communication from the IRS is done through a letter sent in the mail to your address. If you have received a phone call or email from someone claiming to be a representative of the IRS, hang up the call or do not respond to their email. Incidents like these are scams and fake schemes intended to steal money or banking information from their victims. The IRS has issued stern warnings to the public against these scams and asks individuals to protect themselves and not be a victim. If you have received one of these calls or emails, stop by our Advising Hours to speak to an OGS advisor or email us. You should also report this online to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or by calling 800-366-4484.
I am a Canadian citizen preparing my yearly Canadian tax forms and I need NYU to provide me the TL-11A form.
Upon request, NYU’s Bursar Office is able to prepare and issue the Canadian Tax Form TL-11A (Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate - University Outside Canada). This form will verify any tuition charges, payments, scholarships and financial aid information for the requested tax year. To request this form, contact the Bursar’s Office or visit one of the StudentLink Centers.