U.S. Tax Filing Requirements
SPRINTAX vs. GLACIER
There are two websites that international students at Colorado College may need to use related to taxes:
- GLACIER Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance (https://www.online-tax.net/glogin.asp)
- SPRINTAX (https://sprintax.com/colorado-college)
GLACIER Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance is a system that allows Colorado College to collect information and make decisions regarding how much you should be paying in taxes based upon many factors that you input. You do NOT file your tax return through GLACIER Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance. If you are employed on campus, the information you input into GLACIER determines how much of your paycheck is withheld for tax payment purposes.
SPRINTAX is an online tax preparation service for non-resident students and scholars in the U.S. Colorado College purchases this software for international students to use to prepare their federal tax returns. This easy-to-use software will help you prepare your federal tax return and will also notify you if you need to prepare a state tax return as well (at your own cost). Once completed, you will need to print out and mail your completed federal and/or state forms to the IRS and/or state tax authorities.
If you had no U.S. income, SPRINTAX will generate a completed Form 8843 for you to print, sign, and send into the IRS.
If you had U.S. income, SPRINTAX will generate your federal tax return, either a 1040NR-EZ or a longer form 1040NR, depending on your tax circumstances. After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, they will give you the option to use Sprintax to prepare it for an additional fee (at your own cost).
Need Sprintax Support?
If you need help while using Sprintax, contact them:
- 24/7 Live Chat Help
- Refer to their FAQs
- email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call them at 1-866-601-5695
You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on non-resident taxes to provide further clarity on using Sprintax and non-resident taxes. There is also a Sprintax Blog which goes through tax related topics and can be of use to you.
All international students are required to submit tax forms each year that they are in the U.S., even if they do not work or receive scholarships. It is the students' responsibility to file taxes correctly and on time, however, the College has arranged free access to Sprintax Federal Tax preparation software for all Nonresident International students. ISSS will email all international students the current tax year's Access Code and instructions for utilizing Sprintax. Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process and prepare your federal tax return for mailing. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to file a state return(s) at your own cost. In general, U.S. tax forms from individuals must be submitted by April 15th of each year.
How to get started with Sprintax
- View the Sprintax Instructions PDF
- Compile all your immigration documents (passport, visa, I-94, I-20/DS-2019, etc.)
- Compile all tax related documents. Depending on your employment or scholarship status, you may receive one or more of the following forms:
- W-2: This form reports your wage earnings if you worked. If you had more than one employer you should get a W-2 from each employer by the end of January.
- 1042-2: Issued by CC or employer for your tax treaty benefit (income covered by a tax treaty or scholarship income) for Federal tax filing purposes. You can check for this in GLACIER.
- 1099: This form reports miscellaneous income. Can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends, earnings through freelance employment.
- 1098-T: This form is NOT needed and cannot be used for a nonresident tax return because NRAs are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits.
- 1095: Proof of insurance issued by your health insurance company. Keep this for your records.
- Create a Sprintax Account or log into your existing account
- Complete the questionnaire
- Enter the unique code sent to you by ISSS in the box on the "Review your order" page
- Sprintax will prepare your federal tax return
- Download and print your tax form(s)
- Sign and send the forms to the relevant tax department as per the instructions provided in the return pack
- NOTE: Sprintax can prepare your State tax return, if required, at your own cost
Still have questions?
IMPORTANT NOTE: College staff are not permitted to provide individual tax advice. Please contact a tax professional if you need additional assistance.
U.S. Taxes - Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to file taxes?
A: International Students and Scholars who have been in the U.S. for any portion (even 1 day) of the calendar year must file some sort of annual U.S. tax report by the tax filing deadline of April 15th in the following year. You may also be required to file taxes with the state of Colorado as well.
I didn't have an on-campus job and didn't make any money? Do I still need to file a tax return?
A: Yes.....see answer above.
If my country has a tax treaty with the U.S., does that mean that I don't have to file any tax forms?
A: No! In order to claim tax treaty benefits, you must file your U.S. federal tax report by the filing deadline of April 15th.
Can International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) help me file my taxes?
A: No, ISSS staff are not tax experts and cannot provide tax advice. To assist you, the college offers you access to Sprintax. Sprintax is a user-friendly tax preparation software created specifically for international students and scholars. Sprintax will help you navigate U.S. federal tax forms, residency status, tax treaties, exemptions, and deductions.
How do I access Sprintax to complete my tax returns?
A: View the Sprintax Instructions PDF
I'm currently not on campus because I'm studying abroad. Do I still need to file a tax return?
A: Yes, you will be able to access Sprintax while you are abroad to complete the mandatory tax returns. You will receive an email with your Sprintax access code and important Sprintax information.
Can I submit my tax forms electronically through Sprintax?
A: No, nonresident aliens cannot file tax returns electronically. Once you supply Sprintax with all of the requested information, Sprintax will auto-fill the appropriate tax forms. To complete your tax filing requirement, you must print the forms and mail them to the address provided by Sprintax. The address will depend on the form you are filing.
What are the consequences of not filing my tax returns?
A: Payment of income tax due is not voluntary, it is required by law. One of the conditions of your visa is to comply with U.S. law. If you owe taxes and don't file, the IRS can assess penalty and interest and seize U.S. bank assets for repayment. Fines and penalties can often amount to more than the original tax debt.
There can also be immigration consequences for failing to file tax forms. For example, applicants to change from F-1 to H-1B (the professional worker visa) can be asked by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office to submit copies of previous years' income tax forms as part of their H-1B application. Applicants for permanent residency ("green cards") are frequently asked to show proof of income tax filing for previous years in the U.S. A person who appears at a U.S. consulate abroad for consular processing of a permanent residency application may be asked to produce U.S. income tax forms from their previous years in the U.S.
In extreme cases, you could lose your legal immigration status in the U.S.
Where can I get more information about U.S. taxes?
Catherine Tobin is Colorado College's Tax and Compliance Manager. You may email her at email@example.com. You can also visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage for international students and scholars.