U.S. Tax Filing Requirements
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. 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 CANVAS tutorial on Sprintax
- When complete, you will receive an personal access code via your CC email account
- Create a Sprintax Account or log into your existing account
- Complete the questionnaire
- 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: Instructions for accessing Sprintax will be provided in the mandatory CANVAS tutorial.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage for international students and scholars.