Social Security and Income Tax

Income Tax Filing Tips for Nonresident Aliens


F-1 and J-1 Students who had been in the U.S. for Five Years or Less in 2016
&
J-1 Scholars who had been in the U.S. for Two Years or Less in 2016

Things You Should Know

Please read the tips below carefully so you can avoid income tax filing mistakes made by other UB international students.

1) Do not e-file your income tax return if you are an F-1 or J-1 student who had been in the U.S. for five years or less in 2016 or a J-1 scholar who had been in the U.S. for two years or less in 2016. E-filing does not exist for “nonresident aliens”, which is your income tax filing status. If you e-file, you will have to file an amended income tax return, which may entail hiring a professional tax preparer to ensure that it is done correctly.

2) Do not use UB’s School of Management tax preparation services if you are an F-1 or J-1 student who had been in the U.S. for five years or less in 2016 or a J-1 scholar who had been in the U.S. for two years or less in 2016. The volunteers are not trained to prepare non-resident alien income tax returns, which are the income tax returns you will need to file. If you use that tax preparation service, you will have to file an amended income tax return, which may entail hiring a professional tax preparer to ensure that it is done correctly.

3) Avoid getting advice from American friends. If you do, you will likely receive advice for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, not non-immigrants. If you follow such incorrect advice, you will fill out the wrong tax forms, apply the wrong regulations and, therefore, need to file an amended income tax return, which may entail hiring a professional tax preparer to ensure that it is done correctly.

4) Avoid going to a low-cost tax preparer. Every year, some UB international students fill out the wrong tax forms because they received bad advice from a low-cost tax preparer. If this happens to you, you will have to file an amended income tax return, which will entail hiring a professional tax preparer to ensure that it is done correctly. Therefore, avoid going to a low-cost income tax preparer!

5) F-1 or J-1 students who had been in the U.S. for five years or less in 2016 and J-1 scholars who had been in the U.S. for two years or less in 2016 AND who had no U.S. income in 2016 do not have to pay income taxes, but are required to fill out some income tax forms and send them to the U.S. government. The deadline is June 15, 2017. We will have explanatory handouts in ISSS, Talbert 210, North Campus to assist you later this semester.

Please take to heart the above advice. It you do, you will avoid having to hire a professional tax preparer to correct your mistakes.

UB Resources for Income Tax Filing

UB F-1 and J-1 students who had been in the U.S. for five years or less in 2016 and J-1 scholars who had been in the U.S. for two years or less in 2016 can use Sprintax to prepare their federal (U.S. government) and New York State income tax returns. Sprintax is free for your federal income tax return. However, you will have to pay a fee to use it to prepare your New York State income tax return.

Although Sprintax is accessed online, it does not e-file income tax returns; it merely assists with the completion of the income tax forms. Therefore, it is fine for international students to use Sprintax.

You can receive the code to access Sprintax from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services in Talbert Hall 210, North Campus.

In case you have any questions when using Sprintax, you can email Sprintax at Hello@sprintax.com or phone them at 866-601-5695. Sprintax also has an online Live Chat service.

Note: Sprintax is made available to UB international students and scholars by UB’s International Employment Tax Unit.