Independent Minds, Working Together

Taxes

Material on this Web site is general and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or replace professional legal advice, and you should not rely on it solely when making decisions about your immigration status or reporting requirements.

GLACIER TAX PREP Access

The OISA offers free access to GLACIER TAX PREP Complete International Tax Preparation Software (a product of Arctic International) for Wooster students, staff, faculty, and recent alum who qualify as non-resident taxpayers.

GLACIER TAX PREP is a web based tax return preparation system designed exclusively for foreign students and scholars who are non resident aliens, to aid them in preparing their U.S. Federal Income Tax Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ.

GLACIER TAX PREP is only for Federal returns, and it is only for Non-Resident tax filers.

  • Current Students: GLACIER TAX PREP instructions and this year's access code will be sent to you through OISA-L and through Campus Mail, as soon as it becomes available.
  • Recent Alumni, Wooster Faculty and Staff:Use your Wooster email, and send a 'request for access' to oisa@wooster.edu.

Tax Basics

There are many other online tax preparation systems; professional tax consultants can be found in the Wooster city phone book; and there is also a great deal of help available through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications and on the IRS Homepage. BUT - not all of these services provide the same quality of support or awareness of N.R. issues. The information below includes a basic introduction to non-resident income tax issues.

The first step, to make sure you are completing the right forms accurately, is to determine your 'residency for tax purposes.' Residency for immigration purposes is different from residency for tax purposes. Residency for tax purposes is established by taking the "substantial presence test" in Publication 519. *If you use GLACIER TAX PREP, the program takes you through the substantial presence test as a first step.

Income is taxed by the Federal, State, and local governments. Some wages are also taxed for Social Security and Medicare benefits - though a non-resident taxpayer may be exempt from these.

When You Begin a Job

When you begin a job, your employer must confirm that you are eligible to receive payment from a US source, and you must establish your tax status. Forms include: Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification; & Federal and State Forms W-4 Employee's Withholding Certificate Allowance.

Annual Reconciliation of Tax Obligation

The tax year runs from January 1 through December 31. Annual Tax Returns (regarding income from the previous year) are due April 15. All non-immigrants in the US are required to file a tax return - even if they did not earn any taxable income.

The following documents are issued in Jan/Feb, to report income from the preceding year. They are required as 'evidence' for the Annual Tax Return:

  • Form W-2 Wage And Tax Statement. An employer issues Form W-2 to report how much was earned and how much tax was withheld for Federal and State income taxes (issued on or before Jan 31)
  • Form 1042S Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject To Withholding. The College must issue this form to report, for example: A) wages earned (code 18 or 19) that were less than the amount of any tax treaty benefit (assuming that you filed the 8233 to prevent withholding); or B) taxable Grants or Scholarships (code 15) (issued on or before March 15)
  • Form 1099G is issued from the State of Ohio, to report any State Refund that was received from the previous year's income tax returns.
  • Form 1099INT is issued by your bank, to report any interest earned (though Non-resident aliens are exempt from taxes on interest income).

The documents listed above are used in order to complete the annual reconciliation of your tax obligation. If you use CINTAX, the program will complete your federal returns for you. If you are not able to use CINTAX, you may use the links below to access PDF forms from the IRS website.

Federal Return

  • FORM 8843 Statement For Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition (this form is required for all non-resident aliens who are present in the US during the applicable tax year, regardless of earning an income).
  • FORM 1040 NR-EZ  U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Non-resident Aliens (Instructions) - or - FORM 1040 NR  (Instructions)
    *Forms 1040 EZ or Form 1040 are used for RESIDENT filers (tax table 2010)
  • CINTAX does not facilitate State or Local income tax returns. You may use the links below to access PDF forms from the IRS website. It is helpful to use your completed federal return as you complete the state and local returns.

State Taxes (Ohio):

Tips & Answers to Common Questions

  • Don't forget to attach supporting documents! Include the correct W-2 (and any other supporting documents) when you mail your return. It says right on the forms which return it should be attached with.
  • Use a pen on your final draft.
  • Use the Direct Deposit option for refunds (so that you avoid problems with having a refund check mailed or forwarded to a home address abroad.)
  • Always make and keep photocopies of your tax returns. They are very helpful as you file returns in future years, and proof of compliance with IRS tax code may be requested as part of an immigration procedure that you will face in the future.

If you have questions about nonresident alien issues, call 215-516-2000 or fax 215-516-2555.

If you need to get a hold of a previously filed tax return (and did not keep a copy) you may request a printout of the figures from your previous returns at 1-800- 829-1040. To get copies of the forms filed in the past, use Form 4506 to place your request.

If you do not receive your tax refund, you can file to claim your refund on Form 3911.

If you need to 'back-file' you can get copies of old forms at 1-800-TAX-FORM

If FICA/Medicare (Social Security) taxes were withheld in error, approach your employer first, and ask for a refund. If the employer will not issue a refund, it is possible to file IRS FORM 843 Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. (Instructions) This can take up to six months, and you may be asked by the IRS for additional evidence.

Can you claim a Tax Treaty Benefit?  It is your responsibility to understand the details, limitations, obligations, etc... of any Treaty Benefits that you choose to claim. Helpful resources include: IRS Publication 519; IRS Publication 901; and Windstar Technologies.

If you are a non-resident taxpayer on an F-1 visa, and you are employed off campus through CPT, OPT or Economic Hardship, the handout below may be helpful as you communicate with your employer about your tax status and your tax obligations. Taxes while on OPT.