International Tax Assistance Program

Contact ITAP

The University of Georgia
210 Memorial Hall
Athens, Georgia 30602

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST
Monday-Friday (excluding holidays)

Important Information - International Tax Assistance Program

Filing taxes in the US can be confusing. While the U.S. government has complex tax laws, the purpose of this information is to help identify UGA International Students/Scholars if they must file tax forms, what to file, when to file by and what resources we offer to answer tax filing questions and complete and file federal and state tax returns. Please read the entire page as it will help you to complete the appropriate tax documents that are a part of maintaining your visa status within the US.

The U.S. federal and state governments tax income, taxable scholarships and other types of monetary gain. Tax is generally withheld before a payment is made and individuals are expected to file tax reports by a specified deadline after the end of the tax year as a mechanism to reconcile all tax withheld against what the federal and state government identifies should have been withheld. At the end of the year, if the tax payments that were made were not enough to cover the total income tax due, you must pay the federal and/or state revenue department. Conversely, if you paid too much over the course of the tax year (more than what you owe in tax), then the federal and/or state revenue department will send back your excess payment in the form of a tax refund.

Click Here to view a helpful diagram that explains your tax filing responsibilities.

NOTE: The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers by email, phone call, text message, or social media.

With a new semester, the Sprintax team will be hosting a free tax webinar to provide helpful information around nonresident tax filing obligations. These webinars are open to all international students and scholars:

 An introduction to US taxes will aim to provide these individuals useful tax information such as what to expect during employment or receipt of US income, lay out the core information about tax obligations for nonresidents in the USA as well as preparing them in advance for tax filing season 2021.

 The workshop will be free to join and is open to both new or existing international population folks who want to brush up on their tax responsibilities – feel free to share the workshop details below!

 Sprintax Introduction to US Taxes for Nonresidents (EA) on Oct 13, 2021 12:00 PM EDT at: – Register here

The ITAP program for Spring 2021 will begin in February. Be on the lookout for an email in the spring semester from ISL regarding your filing obligations!

Every F-1 student, J-1 student, and J-1 scholar is highly encouraged to register for ITAP. Registering allows International Student Life to help determine your next steps. To receive assistance from ITAP, you must be either an F-1 student, J-1 student, or J-1 scholar. If you fit into one of these visa categories, please follow the steps below to register to receive tax assistance for your 2020 tax paperwork.

If it is determined that you need to file Federal and State tax returns, you will be provided the opportunity to access a service called Sprintax* at a discount for $10; additionally, there will be a fee for state tax filing that must be fully covered by the student. Georgia state filings will cost $29.95; additional states will be an additional charge. The Federal filing code you will purchase from ITAP for $10 is greatly discounted from the regular price of $35.95. The State filing fees of $29.95 at Sprintax are very competitive  and it is highly recommended that you consider using Sprintax for both your Federal and State filing purposes as Sprintax guarantees the accuracy of all filings.

Sprintax will determine your tax residency. If you are a nonresident for tax purposes and earned taxable income, then use Sprintax to help you through the process of completing your Federal and State tax return documents. If the software identifies you are a resident taxpayer then please follow instructions available on IRS.gov for individual resident taxpayer filing.

Note: UGA will continue to use Glacier for employer payroll compliance and record keeping. Sprintax tax preparation software, however, is for individual non-resident taxpayers to complete tax returns.

* Sprintax software is provided by International Student Life, with additional support from the Office of International Education and the University System of Georgia.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an extended deadline for tax payments in March 2021. The new deadline is May 17, 2021 (extended from April 15, 2021). 

December 2020 Stimulus Payments
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed in December 2020 to further expand economic stimulus. Similar to the April 2020 stimulus, nonresident aliens including anyone who files a Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ will be ineligible for stimulus payments. Please see https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center and refer to the email from January 7.

April 2020 Stimulus Payments
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was passed by the U.S. Congress related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please note that in general, nonresident aliens including anyone who files a Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ will be ineligible for the stimulus payment as a part of the CARES Act. For more information, please visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center and refer to the email sent on April 16. 

FAQs

Yes! Every international student in the United States is required to file tax paperwork, even if they have not worked.

The discounted Sprintax software provided by ISL is the only tax software that UGA’s non-resident international students should use. Other programs are not as advanced and may give you incorrect paperwork. ISL is only able to provide support to non-residents for tax purposes who utilize Sprintax software.

Due to the large volume of international tax assistance requests in years past, ISL, along with the other universities in Georgia, have determined that providing the Sprintax program was the most cost and time effective approach to providing quality and accurate assistance to international students and scholars. As such, the cost of providing Federal filing codes and running the ITAP program with workshop volunteers requires financial resources. The $10 fee assessed by ITAP helps ISL offset the costs associated  with this service. It is important to understand that tax assistance for anyone typically costs some sort of fee. ISL is committed to keeping this fee as low as possible while also accounting for expected costs with running this service.

You will need to file resident forms. Unfortunately, ISL cannot assist students who need to file resident tax forms. Resident tax forms are available online or at local libraries. There also are free online tax software programs at the federal IRS website for resident tax issues. Please contact ISL for a list of local resources.

Yes! After registering for ITAP and purchasing a Sprintax code, you will receive information on how to sign up for Sprintax workshops, held via Zoom in spring 2021. Note that ISL Staff ARE NOT tax professionals. We are able to assist with general questions related to Sprintax. 

Each student’s situation is unique. Tax return results can vary due to income differences, tax treaty details, and days present in the USA. ISL strongly advises you from comparing your results with others, as it will often lead to confusion and unnecessary concern.

Occasionally, scammers will send out phishing attempts to pretend to be communicating on behalf of the IRS. You might receive communication impersonating the IRS and/or a UGA entity with their email address designed to look “real” with either something IRS related in the communications or a “.edu” email. The phishing emails seemingly com from “irs.gov” or an “irsservices@uga.edu,” display an impressive, yet fake IRS logo and use various subject lines, such as “Tax Refund Payment” or “Recalculation of Your Tax Refund Payment.” The email directs the recipient to click on a link and submit personal information to claim their tax refund. Individuals who receive this scam email should NOT click on any link in the email. 

The IRS asks that individuals who receive such an email to please send it to them. For security reasons, you should not forward the email, rather you should save the email using “save as” and then send that as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov or forward the email as an attachment to phishing@irs.gov. 

As a reminder, the IRS will NOT initiate email contact with you without consent. The 2020 tax return is the first year that the IRS has included the option for the taxpayer to insert an email address. If you insert an email address, the IRS may choose to send an email; however, any email from the IRS will NOT include links to claim a refund or ask for any secure information such as social security number, date of birth, or bank account information. If you have questions about this information, please contact the International Tax Assistance Program at isltax@uga.edu. 

Step 3: Start the Sprintax Program

Please only proceed to Sprintax after you have purchased a code from the ITAP program. Proceeding before purchasing your code will result in your Federal tax filing fee being significantly higher.


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