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 Georgia Tech 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.
Guide to Who-Files-What
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.
No Income? File Form 8843
Were you present in the United States for any period during the year 2016 (January 1-December 31)? Are you a non-resident for tax purposes? A yes answer to both questions means you must file a tax form 8843, even if you did not work. All nonresident aliens present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status must file Form 8843 "Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition" -- even if they received NO income during a tax year. Depending on various factors, you also may need to file both a federal and state tax return. This year, all tax forms and returns must be mailed by Tuesday April 18th, 2017 to the IRS and each individual state you earned income during the tax year.
Form 8843 must be filed if an individual is:
- Present in the U.S. for any day during 2016
- A nonresident alien (an individual who has not passed the green card test or the substantial presence test.)
- Present in the U.S. under F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 status
If an individual meets all three qualifications above, the Form 8843 must be filed for the tax year. The OIE encourages students who are non-residents for tax purposes to complete the form 8843 using the information below.
Click Here for Helpful Tips to complete Form 8843
Federal & State Taxes
International Student and Scholar Services has purchased access licenses for international students to use Sprintax software to assist Georgia Tech students and scholars to file Federal and State tax returns. There are a limited number of codes available, so request one and use it as soon as possible. Students who request a code near the tax deadline (April 18th) are a) not guaranteed a code and b) not guaranteed to receive their code in time to complete their tax return in time for the tax deadline.
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.
Georgia Tech non-resident taxpayers who earned income should use the Sprintax software to complete your Federal and State tax returns. The OIE has paid Sprintax to cover the cost of the federal tax return for Georgia Tech non-resident students and scholars. You will be responsible for paying Sprintax to complete State tax filing, at a discounted rate for each state return you are required to file.
The OIE will continue to assist Georgia Tech students and scholars to provide the paperwork and support to assist with filing for an ITIN and for a return of Social Security taxes (FICA) withheld in error. Individuals can also choose pay a discounted rate to Sprintax to complete the ITIN or Social Security taxes (FICA) withholding in error tax forms.
Filing Taxes after April 18, 2017: Individuals are still required to file the applicable tax forms even after the deadline. You can continue to request a Sprintax Access Code (if codes are still available) using the instructions below, or refer to the information above to file the Form 8843.
** Georgia Tech will continue to use Glacier for employer payroll compliance and record keeping. Sprintax tax preparation software is for individual non-resident taxpayers to complete tax returns.
How to Request a Sprintax Access Code:
1. If you need to file an annual tax return, please complete the Sprintax Access Request e-form which will be available in iStart under the "SSN and Taxes" menu.
2. If you do not need to file an annual tax return because you had no taxable income, you do not need to access Sprintax and can use the information above to complete the form 8843.
3. Still have Sprintax access questions? Email your name, GT ID, and question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use the following when completing Sprintax:
Academic Program Director Name: Marisa Atencio
Academic Program Address:
Georgia Institute of Technology
631 Cherry St, Savant Bldg 211
Atlanta, GA 30332-0284
Please Note: If you are non-resident for tax purposes, and you had no U.S. earned income or scholarships in U.S., you must file IRS Form 8843. Spouses and dependents in F-2 and J-2 status who are non-residents for tax purposes must also file Form 8843. Use the Helpful Tips video above to help you complete the form. All you will need to do is mail the form 8843. There will be no tax forms required for the State of Georgia.
- Guide to Tax Forms and Vocabulary
- Instructions to file the form 8843 and form 8316 to request a refund of SSN taxes (FICA) withheld in error
- How to Request an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) During the Tax Season
- Information and Resources from the Office of Human Resources
- Global HR International Student and Scholar FAQs
Filing a Resident Tax Return? Use the following handout to learn How to Claim a Tax Treaty Benefit When Filing a Resident Tax Return. (pdf)
The Georgia 500 form has changed this year. Students are strongly recommended to use Sprintax to prepare and file your Georgia State taxes. Reminder: Sprintax will charge $25.95 for preparation of a state return for each state in which you worked.
NOTE: Filing income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student and scholar. ISSS has designed this website as a service to help you meet your tax filing obligations but please be aware that you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of your income tax returns.
Avoid Tax Scams
We want you to be aware of tax scams, especially to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There is an increase in aggressive phone scams during tax season. Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website on Tax Identify Theft for ways to identify a tax scam, and helpful tips for keeping yourself safe.