International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) staff are NOT Tax Professionals or Certified Public Accountants. ANY ADVICE PROVIDED IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. For professional advice, please consult with Sprintax directly. For official information, please visit the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/.
Taxes are a financial charge imposed by a governing body upon a taxpayer to collect funds.
Income taxes are a financial charge imposed on the income earned by an individual. Not all income comes from being employed in the U.S. Taxable income can also be from a fellowship, grant, or scholarship. Income can be taxed at the local, state, and federal/national level. Those residing in Texas will not have their income taxed at the local or state level, but their income is subject to taxation by the U.S. federal government.
The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is the unit of the U.S. federal government responsible for administering and enforcing tax laws.
It is the taxpayer’s (that’s YOU!) responsibility to meet their tax obligations to the IRS. Most taxpayers meet their tax obligations through the following process:
Paying federal income taxes and filing the appropriate paperwork with the U.S. government is required by law. Failure to comply can result in serious immigration, financial, and legal consequences.
- A portion of your income is withheld by the employer or organization that is providing the income.
- The withheld portion of your income is given directly to the IRS on your behalf.
- Each year, you file a tax return to summarize your tax obligations and payments for the prior tax year. If you paid too much in taxes during the tax year, the IRS would owe you a refund. If you paid too little in taxes during the tax year, you would owe the IRS the remainder of your obligation.
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- Most international students in F-1 and as well as most international students and scholars in J-1 status and their F-2/J-2 dependents are considered NONRESIDENTS for tax purposes and therefore DO have to file a tax form with the U.S. government for each tax year they are in the U.S. even if they earned NO income.
- Most international students and scholars in F-1 and J-1 status are NOT PERMITTED to electronically file their tax return with any software other than Sprintax.
- Most international students and scholars in F-1 and J-1 status are NOT PERMITTED to utilize the tax filing software products most advertised in the U.S. because these products typically only apply to residents for tax purposes.
- Each spring, ISSS purchases tax software called Sprintax to help international students and scholars complete the following: (1) determine their tax residency status and (2) file their tax return.