Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

2020 Tax Year Unique Considerations

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unforeseen complications to U.S. tax filing. Depending on your circumstances, your U.S. tax filing obligations may have changed or remained the same.

If this Tax FAQs section does not address your particular situation, please contact Sprintax, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a qualified tax specialist (PDF) for further guidance.

Please remember that IS Advisors are not tax specialists and cannot provide tax advice.

No.

Your U.S. tax filing obligations remain the same. Please follow the steps listed on the OGS Tax Filing Instructions page to complete your tax forms.

If you were physically present in the United States anytime in 2020 in F-1/F-2 or J-1/J-2 status, you still have U.S. tax filing obligations. 

If you have returned to the United States, normal tax filing deadlines apply. If you are still currently outside the United States, tax filing deadlines may have changed. 

Below are tax filing considerations depending on your circumstances:

Nonresident for Tax Purposes

  • No U.S. source income earned in 2020: Filing obligation of Form 8843 and deadline of June 15, 2021, even if outside the United States, remains the same.
  • U.S. income earned in 2020: Filing obligation of Form 1040NR federal tax return remains the same. May still need to file a state tax return. For filers currently abroad, the filing deadline is extended to June 15, 2021. If you earned income from:
    • Georgetown University: If in 2020 you filled out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, any income received outside the United States, as identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, will be considered non-U.S. source income and not represented on any Georgetown-issued income documents (W-2 or 1042-S). Only your time identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as in the United States will be represented on Georgetown-issued income documents (W-2 or 1042-S). This may mean that the income amount identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as being in the United States will not equal the total amount of income earned at Georgetown University in 2020.
    • Off-Campus Organization: You must contact the organization directly for more information on how your income will be represented, if received outside the United States, on a U.S. income document.

Resident for Tax Purposes

Depending on when you left (and/or returned to) the United States, you may or may not have met the Substantial Presence Test to be considered a resident for tax purposes in 2020. Please use Sprintax to calculate your 2020 tax residency status. If Sprintax confirms that you are a nonresident for tax purposes in 2020, please refer to the section above. If Sprintax confirms that you are a resident for tax purposes in 2020, please continue below.

  • No income earned in 2020: No U.S. tax filing obligation remains the same.
  • Income earned in 2020: Filing obligation of Form 1040 federal tax return remains the same. May still need to file a state tax return. For filers currently abroad, the filing deadline is extended to June 15, 2021. U.S. commercial tax software such as Turbotax, H&R Block and TaxAct can assist with tax preparation. If you earned income from:
    • Georgetown University: If in 2020 you filled out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, any income received outside the United States, as identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, will be considered non-U.S. source income and not represented on any Georgetown-issued income documents (Form W-2). Only your time identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as in the United States will be represented on Georgetown-issued income documents (Form W-2). This may mean that the income amount identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as being in the United States will not equal the total amount of income earned at Georgetown University in 2020.
    • Off-Campus Organization: You must contact the organization directly for more information on how your income will be represented, if received outside the United States, on a U.S. income document.

Residents for tax purposes are subject to U.S. taxation on income earned anywhere in the world. You will need to collect supporting foreign source income documents in addition to the applicable U.S. source income documents mentioned above when preparing your federal and state tax returns. If you are in this situation, please contact a qualified tax specialist (PDF) for further guidance.

If you were not physically present in the United States in F-1 or J-1 status in 2020, then you may not have any 2020 U.S. tax filing obligations, unless you were previously considered a resident for tax purposes in the United States.

If you filled out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, any income received outside the United States in 2020 will be considered non-U.S. source income and no U.S. income documents for 2020 will be issued by Georgetown.

If you did not fill out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, or if U.S. tax withholding was erroneously applied to your paychecks or non-employment income (ex: stipends, prizes, awards, honoraria, etc.), you may be issued a U.S. income document. You must file a federal tax return to receive the tax withholding amount back as a refund. In this situation, you will need to follow the OGS Tax Filing Instructions to file your federal tax return. If filing from outside the United States, the deadline is extended to June 15, 2021.

Please double check your Georgetown University email account. Only Georgetown international students and scholars who had active F-1 or J-1 status anytime in 2020 received an email from OGS on Monday, February 22, 2021 titled “OGS Tax Website Now Live! Complete Your 2020 Legal U.S. Tax Filing Requirement”.

If you were never in the United States in 2020 and either 1) are still outside the United States or 2) received active F-1 or J-1 status after January 1, 2021, you may not have any 2020 U.S. tax filing obligations. But, you may be subject to taxation in your country of residence in 2020.

If you held another U.S. immigration status in 2020, you will need to refer to your sponsor or consult with a tax preparation specialist (PDF) for more information to learn more about your 2020 U.S. tax filing obligations.

If you held active F-1 or J-1 status anytime in 2020 and are not able to find the above referenced email or think that you are eligible for a Sprintax promo code, please contact internationalservices@georgetown.edu.

OGS understands that there have been difficulties with applying for a SSN due to the SSA being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic or due to work authorization being expired at the time of SSN application.

If your work authorization was for an unpaid opportunity, and/or you were a nonresident for tax purposes who earned no U.S. source income in 2020, then a SSN is not required to file the Form 8843.

If you worked on-campus in 2020 and are still employed, you should currently be able to apply for an SSN at the SSA. Please follow instructions listed on the OGS Social Security Number page. 

If you worked in the United States in 2020 and are no longer employed, OGS has been hearing from students that the SSA has not been accepting their SSN applications due to work authorizations being expired. If you are still in the United States, a way to regain valid work authorization would be to obtain an on-campus position or receive off-campus work authorization for another opportunity.

From OGS’ understanding of the F-1 and J-1 regulations, students and scholars who currently hold or have previously held legal work authorization are not eligible to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). It is recommended that you contact either Sprintax or a tax preparation specialist (PDF) for advice on how to file without a SSN.

COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Payments

The COVID-19 economic stimulus payments are meant as a way to provide economic relief to eligible individuals in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible individuals may receive payments from the U.S. government via direct deposit or check in the mail.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury CARES Act and IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center pages.

Additionally, please visit the Sprintax articles Nonresident Aliens: Your Guide to Navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments and Everything a Nonresident in the US Needs to Know About the Second COVID Stimulus Payment.

To be eligible to receive a stimulus payment, individuals must satisfy four conditions:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident for tax purposes
  • Meet income criteria
  • Have an SSN
  • Not be claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s federal tax return

Please visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center page for more information regarding eligibility requirements.

Additionally, please visit the Sprintax articles Nonresident Aliens: Your Guide to Navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments and Everything a Nonresident in the US Needs to Know About the Second COVID Stimulus Payment for more information.

If you received a stimulus payment from the IRS and are a nonresident for tax purposes, you received the payment in error. Please see Question A6 of Topic A: Economic Impact Payment Eligibility of the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center page for more detailed information.

Please review a copy of your submitted 2018, 2019 and/or 2020 federal tax return. If the tax return form you filed is either a Form 1040 or Form 1040-EZ, and/or you filed your federal tax return with U.S. commercial tax software like TurboTax, H&R Block or TaxAct, then you filed as a resident. Nonresidents use Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ to file their tax return.

If you are in this situation, don’t panic! To correct your federal tax return and return the stimulus payment, please visit the Sprintax article Nonresident Aliens: Your Guide to Navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act Stimulus Payments and Everything a Nonresident in the US Needs to Know About the Second COVID Stimulus Payment for more information.

If you need more assistance regarding amending a federal tax return, returning the stimulus check to the IRS or have a special circumstance to this situation, please contact a qualified tax specialist (PDF).

If you received a stimulus payment from the IRS and were a resident for tax purposes, then you are entitled to receive the stimulus payments.

Please see Question A6 of Topic A: Economic Impact Payment Eligibility of the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center page for more detailed information.

You can use Sprintax to determine what your 2018, 2019 and/or 2020 U.S. tax residency status was. If you used Sprintax already to file your 2018, 2019 and/or 2020 tax forms, then Sprintax determined that you were a nonresident for tax purposes that year.

For more information about U.S. tax residency status, please visit the U.S. Tax Residency Statuses section of this Tax FAQ page, as well as the IRS pages for F-1 and J-1 Students, J-1 Scholars and Alien Residency Examples.

For further details about the Substantial Presence Test, please visit Substantial Presence Test section of this Tax FAQ page, as well as the IRS Substantial Presence Test page.

General Questions

OGS has resources to help you learn about U.S. income tax, and instructions on how fulfill your annual U.S. tax filing obligations:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has official publications and resources to help international students and scholars:

Visit the other following resources that may be helpful in understanding your U.S. tax filing obligations:

Sprintax

InternationalStudent.com

No.

IS Advisors are not tax specialists, and cannot provide tax advice. We cannot provide guidance or tell you how to fill out your tax forms.

However, OGS has general instructions on how to fulfill your U.S. tax filing obligations based on your U.S. tax residency status and if income was earned:

If you are preparing your tax forms and need tax specialist support, contact the following resources:

Internal Revenue Service

Sprintax

If your tax situation is complex, you may need to seek a qualified tax specialist for assistance:

All international students and scholars in F or J status who have been physically present in the United States for any portion of 2020 must file tax forms, even if no U.S. income was earned.

OGS has general instructions on how to fulfill your U.S. tax filing obligations process based on your U.S. tax residency status and if income was earned:

One of the conditions of maintaining your immigration status is to comply with U.S. law. Payment of income tax due is not voluntary; it is required by law. If you are owed a refund, filing a tax return is the only way to receive it.

If you owe taxes and do not file, the IRS can assess penalties, interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax amount due. In addition, there can be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes.

Applicants for permanent residency or “green cards” are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the United States.

Federal and state tax returns must be mailed or e-filed by May 17, 2021*. They do not need to be received by that date.

If you were physically present in the United States in 2020, made no income and are filing only Form 8843, the deadline to file your tax form is June 15, 2021.

If you are currently outside the United States, the deadline to file any federal tax forms is extended to June 15, 2021.

*Maryland state tax return deadline is July 15, 2021.

Types of Source Income

U.S. source income is generally income earned or issued by a company or organization while in the United States. Both nonresidents and residents for tax purposes are taxed on their earned U.S. source income. 

Examples of U.S. source income include:

  • Salary and employment wages earned while in the United States
    (this includes F-1 practical training and J-1 Academic Training)
  • Georgetown scholarship awards issued beyond the amount of tuition and fees
  • Georgetown fellowships and graduate assistantships
  • Georgetown grants and other honoraria

For more information about U.S. source income, please visit the IRS Source of Income Page.

Foreign source income, also known as non-U.S. source income, is generally income earned or issued from outside of the United States. Examples of foreign income include:

  • Compensation from services performed while outside the United States
  • Scholarship awards, grants and fellowships from a foreign government or organization (this includes foreign-based awards distributed by a U.S. institution)

Employment income earned or issued by a foreign government or international organization is usually exempt from U.S. income tax because the income can be considered non-U.S. source income.

OGS recommends contacting the foreign government or international organization unit that handles payroll or payment disbursement for more information regarding how this type of income affects your U.S. tax filing obligations.

You can view the list of international organizations in section (c) of the Code of Federal Regulations* (CFR).

*You must scroll down the CFR list to see section (c).

Note: The World Bank, or the World Bank Group, is a qualifying International Organization. It does not appear on the CFR list because it is instead described by its two constituent institutions, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).

Visit the IRS Employees of a Foreign Government or International Organization – How to Report Compensation page for more information.

U.S. Tax Residency Statuses

A nonresident for tax purposes (formally “nonresident alien for tax purposes”) is a non-U.S. citizen who is only taxed on U.S. source income.

Nonresidents are taxed differently and have limited access to tax credits and deductions than U.S. citizens and residents for tax purposes. However, nonresidents may be eligible for tax treaty benefits, which U.S. citizens and a majority of residents for tax purposes cannot use.

Students (and their spouses and dependents) are nonresidents for tax purposes for the first five calendar years they are in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status due to being exempt from taking the IRS Substantial Presence Test.

Scholars (and their spouses and dependents) are nonresidents for tax purposes for any two years within the past six calendar years they are in J-1 or J-2 status due to being exempt from taking the IRS Substantial Presence Test.

Nonresidents file different federal tax forms than U.S. citizens and residents for tax purposes. Because of this, nonresidents must use special tax filing software to prepare their federal tax forms. Software such as Sprintax and Glacier Tax Prep should only be used to ensure proper tax form preparation and calculate the correct income tax liability.

OGS provides Sprintax promo codes for Georgetown students and scholars in F and J status to prepare their tax forms.

Nonresidents cannot use U.S. commercial tax preparation software like TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxAct to assist with their federal and state income tax filings.

For more information about U.S. tax residency status, please visit the IRS pages for F-1 and J-1 Students, J-1 Scholars and Alien Residency Examples.

A resident for tax purposes (formally “resident alien for tax purposes”) is a non-U.S. citizen who is taxed on their worldwide income (both U.S. source and foreign source).

Residents have the same tax filing obligations and access to tax credits and deductions as U.S. citizens. However, a majority of residents lose their eligibility to tax treaty benefits, which only nonresidents for tax purposes can use.

Students (and their spouses and dependents) may be considered residents for tax purposes after the first five calendar years they are in F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 status. During the sixth and future years, students will be considered residents for tax purposes if they surpass 183 days in the United States or if they satisfy the IRS Substantial Presence Test.

Scholars (and their spouses and dependents) may be considered residents for tax purposes after any two years within the past six calendar years they are in J-1 or J-2 status. During the third and future years, scholars will be considered residents for tax purposes if they surpass 183 days in the United States or if they satisfy the IRS Substantial Presence Test.

Residents file the same federal tax forms as U.S. citizens and can use U.S. commercial tax preparation software like TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxAct to assist with their federal and state income tax filings.

For more information about U.S. tax residency status, please visit the IRS pages for F-1 and J-1 Students, J-1 Scholars and Alien Residency Examples.

State residency status is determined by the state and how long you lived in that state during a particular year. Please know that your state residency status is different than your IRS federal tax residency status (i.e. nonresident alien or resident alien) and should not be confused. Which state residency status you hold will also depend on state tax law, not federal tax law.

District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have the following residency statuses:

  • Resident
  • Part-Year Resident
  • Nonresident

Which state residency status you are will determine the state tax return you will file to complete your U.S. tax filing obligations.

If you earned U.S. source income in 2020 and used tax preparation software to prepare your federal tax return, then the same software should be able to assist you with determining your state residency status and tax forms.

For more information about state residency status, please visit:

Substantial Presence Test

The Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is a calculation used by the IRS to determine a non-U.S. citizen’s tax residency status as a resident or nonresident for tax purposes by counting the days of physical presence in the United States. The SPT must be applied on a yearly basis.

Students in F-1/J-1 status (and their F-2/J-2 spouses and dependents) are exempt from the SPT for the first five calendar years. During the five calendar years of SPT exemption, students are nonresidents for tax purposes.

Scholars in J-1 status (and their J-2 spouses and dependents) are exempt from the SPT for any two years within the past six calendar years. During the two years of SPT exemption, scholars are nonresidents for tax purposes.

The following is used as criteria to satisfy the SPT:

  • The individual must be present in the United States for at least 31 days during the given calendar year.
  • The individual must add all the following values together:
    1. All the days physically present in the United States in the given calendar year
    2. 1/3 of the days physically present in the United States during the first preceding calendar year
    3. 1/6 of the days physically present in the United States during the second preceding calendar year

After adding the values together, if the resulting calculation is:

  • 183 Days or More: SPT satisfied; Individual is a resident for tax purposes for the given calendar year.
  • Less than 183 Days: SPT not satisfied; Individual is a nonresident for tax purposes for the given calendar year.

For further details, visit the IRS Substantial Presence Test page.

U.S. Tax IDs

It depends.

If you earned U.S. source income in 2020, then yes, you will need a SSN or ITIN to file your tax returns.

If you earned no U.S. source income in 2020, then you do not need an SSN or ITIN.

SSN: If you were ever a paid employee in the United States, you should already have an SSN. If you were a paid employee in the United States but do not have an SSN, please contact your IS Advisor for assistance.

ITIN: If you received U.S. source income in 2020 that was not earned from employment (ie: non-service stipend, scholarship award above tuition and fees, honoraria, etc.), then you will need an ITIN. To apply for an ITIN, you should wait to file your federal tax return via Sprintax (promo codes available from OGS mid-February to mid-April). Sprintax will assist with preparing your ITIN application in tandem with your federal tax return.

You will need a certified copy of your passport as part of the ITIN application, which may be available from your Embassy.

For more information, please visit the Sprintax article “Do I Need an ITIN?”.

It is strongly recommended that you correct your SSN or ITIN on your U.S. source income documents before filing your tax returns in case the IRS or state tax agencies audit your tax return submissions. To correct the error, visit the following resources:

Georgetown University

Form W-2: Visit the Office of the Chief Financial Officer Requesting a W-2 section of the Payroll for Employees page.

  1. Fill out the W-2 Request Form.
  2. When filling out the form, select the reason “Social Security Number or Name Incorrect”.
  3. Mail or fax the document to Payroll Services for processing to receive a Form W-2c.
  4. Attach Form W-2c to your original Form W-2 to make your revised Form W-2.

Please email Payroll Services directly at payrollservices@georgetown.edu for further troubleshooting and assistance. When writing to the Payroll Services, DO NOT include your SSN. Email is not a secure method of sending private information.

If you are still employed by Georgetown, please be sure to update your SSN in GMS.

Form 1042-S/1099: First visit FNIS and make sure that your SSN or ITIN is updated in FNIS. Afterwards, contact the Georgetown Tax Department. When contacting about your incorrect SSN or ITIN, be sure to include the following in your email:

  • Subject Line: Incorrect SSN/ITIN on Form 1042-S/1099
  • Body of Email Message: List your full legal passport name and your current mailing address. Also let them know that you just updated your SSN or ITIN in FNIS. Ask for next steps to receive your revised Form 1042-S/Form 1099.

When writing to the Tax Department, DO NOT include your SSN or ITIN. Email is not a secure method of sending private information.

Off-Campus Organization

Contact the organization or business directly for steps to correct your SSN or ITIN on your Form W-2, Form 1042-S and/or Form 1099.

Spouses and Dependents

Yes.

Anyone in F or J status present in the United States and a nonresident for tax purposes is required to complete at least one tax form.

F-2/J-2 spouses or dependents should visit the OGS Tax Filing Instructions for more information.

No.

If your child is a U.S. citizen and did not earn any income, no tax forms need to be completed.

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen or resident for tax purposes, and you are a nonresident for tax purposes, you and your spouse have two options:

  • File joint federal and state tax returns together using the filing status “married filing jointly”. In this situation, your tax filing obligations will be the same as a resident for tax purposes and must report your worldwide income.
  • File federal and state tax returns separately, each using the filing status “married filing separately”. In this situation, you would follow the tax filing process as a nonresident and your spouse would follow the tax filing process as a U.S. citizen/resident.

Consult with your spouse and/or a qualified tax specialist (PDF) to consider which option would be the best for your household.

For more information, please visit the IRS Nonresident Alien Spouse page.

Scams

No!

Do not fall victim to scammers who call and impersonate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) officials! Aggressive phone scams are common during tax season. Impersonators claim that required taxes have not been paid or that there is a problem with your SSN, and demand immediate payment by threatening arrest or deportation.

Remember these tips:

  • The IRS and SSA will never call or send an email to demand immediate payment.
  • The IRS and SSA will never threaten or intimidate people, demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or demand a credit card or debit card number over the phone or by email.
  • The IRS and SSA will never threaten to call the police or immigration agents if you don’t pay.

Report suspected scams to both the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A sample of the latest SSA scam can be found in the FTC article “Social Security is Not Trying to Take Your Benefits”.

The FTC has also created a video on how to identify and avoid IRS Imposter Scams.

You can find more information on different kinds of scams you may encounter in the U.S. on the OGS Resources on Scams page.

No U.S. Source Income

All nonresidents for tax purposes in F or J status who were physically present in the United States in 2020 are required to complete Form 8843, even if no U.S. source income was earned.

This requirement also includes nonresident dependents in F-2 and J-2 status, regardless of age.

Instructions on how to file Form 8843 and supporting documents can be found on the OGS Tax Filing Instructions page.

Residents for tax purposes in F or J status who did not earn any income in 2020 do not need to complete any tax forms to fulfill their annual U.S. tax filing obligations.

All nonresidents for tax purposes who were physically present in the United States for at least one day of 2020 in F or J status are required to file Form 8843 and supporting documents to the IRS, even if no income was earned.

Instructions on how to file Form 8843 and supporting documents can be found on the OGS Tax Filing Instructions page.

Residents for tax purposes in F or J status who did not earn any income in 2020 do not need to complete any tax forms to fulfill their annual U.S. tax filing obligations.

State Tax Returns

It depends.

If you earned U.S. source income in 2020, the tax preparation software that assists you with completing your federal tax forms will help you determine if you need to file a state tax return based on state tax filing requirements.

If you earned no income in 2020, no.

Refunds and Tax Treaties

Visit the IRS Refunds page to check the status of your federal tax refund.

Nonresidents for Tax Purposes: The IRS often experiences delays in issuing refunds for nonresident federal tax returns. Expect to receive your refund anywhere within 3-8 weeks since sending out your federal tax return to your preferred refund method (check or direct deposit).

Residents for Tax Purposes: Expect to receive your refund within 3 weeks since e-filing your federal tax return to your preferred refund method (check or direct deposit).

State Tax Returns: Depends on the state agency and their processing time. Visit the following pages to check the status of your state tax refund and expected processing timelines:

Nonresidents for Tax Purposes: First contact the Georgetown Tax Department or off-campus organization directly to see if they can issue you a FICA tax refund. If they are unable to issue you a refund, use Sprintax to complete your federal tax return and follow instructions to request a FICA tax refund.

Residents for Tax Purposes: Taxed the same as U.S. citizens and therefore not exempt from FICA tax.

Refer to both the IRS Publication 901 – U.S. Tax Treaties (PDF) and the IRS Tax Treaty Table (PDF) for information about tax treaties and terms.

Nonresidents for Tax Purposes: If you earned U.S. source income at Georgetown University and believe you are eligible for tax treaty benefits, fill out the Georgetown University Nonresident Alien Tax Request Form and allow the Georgetown Tax Department to determine your eligibility.

If you earned U.S. source income with an off-campus organization or business and believe you are eligible for tax treaty benefits, contact the organization tax department and follow their process to determine your eligibility.

If you believe you are eligible for tax treaty benefits but did not apply with the Georgetown Tax Department or off-campus organization/business tax department before receiving your Form W-2 and/or Form 1042-S, you can still apply for tax treaty benefits retroactively through Sprintax. Sprintax can determine your tax treaty eligibility, readjust your tax liability and prepare a refund for the excess tax withholding.

Resident for Tax Purposes: Most non-U.S. citizens who earned U.S. income lose their eligibility for tax treaty benefits once they are considered residents for tax purposes.

However, exceptions exist. One notable example is the U.S.-China tax treaty, which allows students from China to continue using tax treaty benefits beyond the initial 5 calendar years in F or J status as nonresidents for tax purposes.

If you are a resident for tax purposes who still qualifies for tax treaty benefits, you may need to meet with a qualified tax specialist (PDF) to represent tax treaty benefits on your federal tax return.

Filing Late

Yes!

Complying with U.S. tax law is part of maintaining your immigration status. You will need to file your tax forms as soon as possible.

For filing instructions, please visit the OGS Tax Filing Instructions page.

Alternatively, you can have a qualified tax specialist (PDF) file your tax forms for a fee.

If you are owed a refund, the only way to receive it is to file your tax return.

If you owe taxes, the IRS and/or state tax agency can assess penalties, interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax amount due.

Complying with U.S. tax law is part of maintaining your immigration status. You will need to file any tax returns from previous years as soon as possible.

If you are owed a refund, you still must file the tax returns, but only have up to three years to claim the refund.

If you owe taxes, the IRS and/or state tax agency can assess penalties, interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax amount due.

Sprintax can assist with retroactively filing nonresident prior year tax returns for a small fee.

Many U.S. commercial tax preparation software can assist with retroactively filing resident prior year tax returns for a small fee.

Alternatively, you can have a qualified tax specialist (PDF) retroactively file your prior year tax returns for a fee.

Complying with U.S. tax law is part of maintaining your immigration status. You should file the previous year’s Form 8843 as soon as possible. Sprintax can assist with retroactively filing prior year Forms 8843 for a small fee.

If you would like to file the Form 8843 on your own:

  1. Previous year forms can be found at the IRS Form 8843 Prior Year Products page.
  2. General instructions on how to file Form 8843 can be found on the OGS Form 8843 Filing Instructions page. Based on which year you are filing, year-specific question items will need to be adjusted.

One of the conditions of maintaining your immigration status is to comply with U.S. law. Payment of income tax due is not voluntary, it is required by law. If you are owed a refund, filing a tax return is the only way to receive it. 

If you owe taxes and do not file, the IRS can assess penalties, interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax amount due.

In addition, there can be immigration consequences for failing to file taxes. Applicants for permanent residency or “green cards” are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the United States.

Amending Tax Forms

If you need to amend your tax return because you filed the wrong tax forms, chose the wrong filing status, or inputted incorrect information, Sprintax can help you amend your tax return for a fee.

Alternatively, you can have a qualified tax specialist (PDF) amend your tax returns for a fee.

For more information about amending tax returns, please visit:

Tax Preparation Software

There are two ways you can contact Sprintax:

  • Email: hello@sprintax.com
  • Live Chat: Login to your Sprintax account to chat with an agent.

Additionally, you can access Sprintax’s troubleshooting resources:

No.

If your F-2 or J-2 spouse or dependents did not earn any income in 2020 and you used Sprintax to complete your federal and state tax forms, the software will help you complete a Form 8843 for your spouse and each dependent.

If your J-2 spouse or dependents earned income in 2020, they can use the same code the J-1 status holder received and should refer to the OGS Tax Filing Instructions page [will include link]  page to prepare their federal and state tax returns.

It depends.

Nonresidents for Tax Purposes: It depends. E-filing of nonresident federal tax forms is still limited and in development. Sprintax will identify if you are eligible for e-file or if you must mail your federal tax forms to the IRS. State tax returns are still not e-file supported and will need to be printed and mailed to the state tax agency. Be sure to make a copy of your tax forms for your personal tax records.

Residents for Tax Purposes: Yes. E-file is possible for federal and state tax returns in all major U.S. commercial tax preparation software platforms. Be sure to save a copy of your tax returns for your personal tax records.

Form W-2

The Form W-2 is an IRS tax form issued by your employer that reports all the income you earned in a particular calendar year. The Form W-2 also details any federal, state and other taxes (ie: Social Security and Medicare) withheld from your paychecks.

You will use the information on the Form W-2 to prepare your federal and state tax returns.

If you were employed in 2020  and earned paychecks for your work and services, then you will be issued a Form W-2 by your employer no later than January 31, 2021. If you worked at:

  • Georgetown University: Income reported on the Form W-2 represents employment performed while in the United States.
    • If in 2020 you filled out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, any employment performed outside the United States, as identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, was considered non-U.S. source income and not represented on the Form W-2.
    • If you worked both in and out of the United States in 2020, only your time identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as in the United States was represented on the Form W-2. This may mean that the income amount identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as being performed in the United States will not equal the total amount of employment income earned at Georgetown University in 2020.
    • If you worked entirely outside the United States in 2020 and this was identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, all the income earned was considered non-U.S. source income and a Form W-2 will not be issued.
  • Off-Campus Organization: You must contact your employer directly for more information on how your employment income will be represented, if any, on the Form W-2.

If your position was unpaid, then you will not receive a Form W-2 because no U.S. source income was earned.

Forms W-2 are to be issued no later than January 31, 2021. If you have not yet received a Form W-2, please refer to “2. How do I know if I will be issued a Form W-2?” before contacting the respective entities below:

  • Georgetown University: Visit the Office of the Chief Financial Officer ‘Request a W-2’ section of the Payroll for Employees page for further guidance.
  • Off-Campus Organization: Contact your employer to request another Form W-2.

It is strongly recommended that you correct your SSN on your Form W-2 before filing your tax returns in case the IRS or state tax agencies audit your tax return submissions. To correct the error, visit the following resources:

Georgetown University: Visit the Office of the Chief Financial Officer “Request a W-2” section of the Payroll for Employees page.

  1. Fill out the W-2 Request Form.
  2. When filling out the form, select the reason “Social Security Number or Name Incorrect”.
  3. Mail or fax the document to Payroll Services to receive a Form W-2c.
  4. Attach Form W-2c to your original Form W-2 to make your revised Form W-2.

Please email Payroll Services directly at payrollservices@georgetown.edu for further troubleshooting and assistance. When writing to the Payroll Services, DO NOT include your SSN. Email is not a secure method of sending private information.

If you are still employed by Georgetown, please be sure to update your SSN in GMS.

Off-Campus Organization: Contact the organization directly for steps to correct your SSN on your Form W-2.

Form 1042-S

The Form 1042-S is an IRS tax form issued by your scholarship/grant provider or employer that reports:

  • Non-Employment Income. Examples include:
    • Non-Payroll Stipend Payments
    • Financial Aid Above Tuition and Fees
    • Prizes and Awards
    • Honoraria
  • Income exempt from federal and state tax from a tax treaty.
    • You must have submitted a Form W-8BEN to the Georgetown Tax Department or off-campus organization or business in advance for tax treaty exemptions to be reported.

The Form 1042-S also details any federal and state tax withheld from your scholarship/grant award.

If you received non-employment income or applied for tax treaty benefits, then you will be issued a Form 1042-S no later than March 15, 2021. If your award or tax treaty benefits were applied from:

  • Georgetown University: Non-employment income reported on the Form 1042-S represents awards received while in the United States. Similarly, tax treaty benefits will only be applied to employment performed while in the United States.
    • If in 2020 you filled out the Nonresident Alien Student Out of the Country Certification Form with the Georgetown Tax Department, any award received outside the United States, as identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, was considered non-U.S. source income and will not be represented on the Form 1042-S. Any employment performed outside the United States, as identified by the Georgetown Tax Department, will not have tax treaty benefits applied and not represented on the Form 1042-S.
    • If in 2020 you were both in and out of the United States, only your time identified in the United States with the Tax Department will be represented on the Form 1042-S. This may mean that the income amount identified by the Georgetown Tax Department as being awarded in the United States will not equal the total amount of non-employment income awarded at Georgetown University in 2020.
    • If you were entirely outside the United States in 2020 and this was identified with the Georgetown Tax Department, the income was considered non-U.S. source income and a Form 1042-S will not be issued. Tax treaty benefits will not be applied to employment income earned outside the United States.
  • Off-Campus Organization: You must contact the organization directly for more information on how your non-employment income or tax treaty benefits will be represented, if any, on the Form 1042-S.

If you did not receive scholarships or grants awarded over tuition and fees, or did not apply for tax treaty benefits through the Georgetown Tax Department or off-campus organization, then you will not receive a Form 1042-S.

Forms 1042-S are to be issued no later than March 15, 2021. If you have not received the form by March 18, 2021, please first refer to “2. How do I know if I will be issued a Form 1042-S?” before contacting the respective entities below:

  • Georgetown University: Visit FNIS before contacting the Georgetown Tax Department. When contacting about Form 1042-S, be sure to include the following in your email:
    • Subject Line: Missing Form 1042-S
    • Body of Email Message: List your full legal passport name and your current mailing address.
  • Off-Campus Organization: Contact the organization to request another Form 1042-S.

The Form 1042-S is typically not issued to U.S. citizens and residents for tax purposes.

You may need to meet with a qualified tax specialist (PDF) to report income or tax treaty benefits represented in Form 1042-S on to your federal and state tax returns.

Forms 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC

The Form 1099-MISC is an IRS tax form issued by organizations to report miscellaneous income. For the 2020 tax year, the Form 1099-NEC was introduced to represent independent contractor income instead of the Form 1099-MISC. If you were an independent contractor for an organization, then all your income earned in a particular year will be represented on the Form 1099-NEC.

The Form 1099-MISC will continue to exist, but will represent miscellaneous income outside of independent contractor income.

There usually is no federal or state tax withholding information on the Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC because organizations are not obligated to withhold taxes on independent contractor paychecks.

You will use the information on the Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC to prepare your federal and state tax returns.

Contact your organization for more information about the two forms and if you will be receiving a Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC.

If you performed services as an independent contractor for an organization, then you may be issued a Form 1099-NEC no later than January 31, 2021.

If you received miscellaneous income outside of independent contractor compensation from an organization, then you may be issued a Form 1099-MISC no later than January 31, 2021.

If you performed services or received miscellaneous income under $600, the organization is not required to issue you a Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC.

Contact your organization for more information about the two forms and if you will be receiving a Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC.

Forms 1099-NEC/1099-MISC are to be issued no later than January 31, 2021.

If you have not yet received your Form 1099-NEC/1099-MISC and believe you are eligible to receive either form, please contact the organization directly.

Forms 1099-INT, 1099-DIV

Form 1099-INT is an IRS tax form issued by banks and financial institutions to represent any interest income you may have earned in a particular year. The most common reason why international students and scholars may receive a Form 1099-INT is due to interest earned from a savings account.

The Form 1099-INT also details federal and state tax withholding and/or tax exemptions, if any, on your earned interest.

You will use the information on the Form 1099-INT to prepare your federal and state tax returns.

Note: Not everyone will receive Form 1099-INT. If the interest earned on your account was less than $10, then the bank or financial institution is not required to issue you Form 1099-INT. Most banks and financial institutions will alert their customers if a form has been issued. You may want to check your online bank or financial institution account to see if a digital version of the form was uploaded into the statements or documents section. The deadline for banks and financial institutions to send Form 1099-INT to customers is January 31, 2021.

Form 1099-DIV is an IRS tax form issued by investment companies to represent any dividend income you may have earned from investments in a particular year.

The Form 1099-DIV also details federal and state tax withholding and/or tax exemptions, if any, on your earned dividends.

You will use the information on the Form 1099-DIV to prepare your federal and state tax returns.

Note: Not everyone will receive Form 1099-DIV. If the dividends earned on your investments was less than $10, then the investment company is not required to issue you Form 1099-DIV. Most investment companies will alert their investors if a form has been issued. You may want to check your online investment account to see if a digital version of the form was uploaded into the statements or documents section. The deadline for investment companies to send Form 1099-DIV to investors is January 31, 2021.

Forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C

Form 1095 (-A, -B or -C) determines whether individuals and employers have complied with the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s healthcare coverage requirement. Nonresidents for tax purposes do not have any obligations associated with Form 1095.

Visit the IRS Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, and 1095-C) page for more details.

Form 1095-B

If you are student who is a resident for tax purposes and insured through the Georgetown Student Health Insurance Premier Plan, you will need information from your Form 1095-B to prepare your federal tax return. Instructions on how to obtain a Form 1095-B can be found at the Georgetown Student Health Insurance Premier Plan Forms page.

Form 1095-C

All full-time employees who were eligible for medical insurance through Georgetown in 2020 will receive a Form 1095-C containing information about the healthcare coverage offered to Georgetown employees and their dependents. Form 1095-C is submitted directly to the IRS by the employer. Individuals do not have to submit a copy to the IRS, but should indicate on their federal tax return whether or not they and/or their dependents were covered by employer-provided health insurance plan and, if so, for how many months. If you receive Form 1095-C, keep it in your personal tax records.

Form 1095-A

Most international students and scholars will not receive a Form 1095-A. You will receive Form 1095-A only if you purchased a health insurance plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Form 1098-T

Form 1098-T is an IRS tax form issued by educational institutions to report general school and enrollment information, tuition payments and any awarded scholarships and grants.

Nonresidents for tax purposes are not eligible for federal tax return educational tax credits. The Form 1098-T is for informational purposes only and not needed to complete tax filing obligations.  Keep the Form 1098-T in for your personal tax records.

Residents for tax purposes may be eligible for federal tax return educational tax credits. In this situation, the Form 1098-T may be needed to complete federal tax return filing.

For more information about the Form 1098-T and how to obtain one from Georgetown University, please visit the Georgetown Revenue and Receivables How Do I… page.