International Tax Workshop

The Tax Department and International Services Office staff presented a 2020 International Tax Workshop, also available as a recording, providing a wealth of information.

Introductory Concepts

Federal Tax Return Basics

State Tax Return Basics

Deadlines

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Sprintax Basics

Disclaimer

 

Introductory Concepts

 

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Federal Tax Return Basics

Federal forms for nonresident aliens

Nonresident spouse and dependent

  • Same filing requirements as main visa holder
  • No Joint returns for Nonresidents
  • Minimum is Form 8843
  • 1040NR if applicable
  • Each dependent should mail them in separate envelopes

Where to get your tax reporting documents

  • Same filing requirements as main visa holder
  • No Joint returns for Nonresidents
  • Minimum is Form 88431040NR if applicable
  • Each dependent should mail them in separate envelopes

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State Tax Return Basics

State forms for nonresident aliens

 
  • DC Form D-40 and instructions
  • MD Form 502 and instructions
  • VA Form 760 and Form 760
  • Sprintax can prepare state forms for a fee, or you can prepare by hand
  • The above forms assume full year residency. If you moved states, read the state form instructions for both states to determine residency and the proper form, as some states have part-year forms. The Tax Department cannot advise on which specific state forms to file.

State tax return basics

  • Finish your federal return first
  • DC, MD and VA all use federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) as the starting point. FAGI can be found on line 11 of 1040NR .Transfer this number to your state return on the applicable line
  • Exemption amounts for full year residents
    • DC = $0
    • MD = $3,200 (this exemption is reduced once the federal adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000)
    • VA = $930
  • These are standard amounts.  If you are not filing your state return as a full year resident, the consult the state instructions for your amount.
  • Standard deduction amounts for full year residents (Indian students only)
    • DC = $12,400
    • MD = See screen shot                                                        

Standard deduction for Indian staudent screenshot

  • VA = $4,500
  • Note that states require you to claim the same type of deductions on your state return as federal return (itemized vs. standard). Because only Indian students can claim the standard deduction on their federal return, only Indian students can claim these standard deduction amounts on their state returns.
  • If you lived in a state other than DC, MD, or VA and earned income there, then you may have a filing requirement. See the applicable state tax authority’s website. GW cannot advise on these requirements

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Deadlines

  • Federal return is due April 15
  • DC return is due April 15
  • MD return is due April 15
  • VA return is due May 1
  • Refer to instructions for assembly and mailing; we recommend making copies of all forms for your record after signing and prior to mailing and using certified receipts at the post office
  • The software does not e-file any forms. Remember to mail!

Can tax filing deadlines be extended?

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Other Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my refund?

  • Federal - 6 weeks to 6 months (in normal times).  Contact the IRS to check status of refund.
  • State - similar but will vary from state to state

Missed a year? Filed as a resident by mistake?

  • Don't panic - but do set the record straight
  • Never filed
    • Catch up
    • Can back file at any stage
    • Can only claim a refund for previous 3 years
  • Misfiled - file 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return

1040X amended tax form

How do I amend my tax return?

  • If you realize that you made an error on this year's or a prior year's tax return, or you filed a resident tax return when it should have been a nonresident alien tax return, you can file an amended return.
  • Sprintax can do it for you for a fee. Alternatively, you can try to do it yourself by following IRS instructions for IRS Form 1040-X, in which you compare the amounts in the original form you filed with the new correct form.

Implications of not filing

  • Nonresidents are required to comply with all US laws, including IRS
  • Filing tax forms(even if only 8843) is part of maintaining visa status in US
  • Not filing could affect future immigration status (line H1B,LPR)
  • Fines, penalties, interest can accrue if the IRS are owed
  • Might be missing out on a refund!

     

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Sprintax Basics

  • Head to the Sprintax page on our website
  • Email [email protected] for access code (must have current relationship with GW or had one in 2020); include GWid in email; enter access code at payment stage
  • Access code prepares 1040NR and 8843 for free
  • Federal Form W-7 (application for ITIN) and State tax returns are available for fee paid directly to Sprintax
  • Support is handled by Sprintax directly, so use their online chat system, call at 1-866-601-5695 or email [email protected]

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Disclaimer

•GW (including the Tax Department and ISO) cannot complete or review your tax filings. This workshop is designed to give you the basic requirements.
•Students are solely responsible for the proper completion of their tax filings and should not rely completely on this workshop to complete their tax returns.
•Students should refer to the official IRS and state filing instructions and consider using the services of a professional tax preparer, if necessary.

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