As the spring season arrives, it is also time to file taxes. For international students studying in the United States, tax obligations may seem especially difficult. There are two separate tax forms, state and federal. Understanding specific regulations and paying attention to details is necessary to navigate the complex U.S. tax system. To make the process easier, many students use Sprintax, a trusted tax preparation software specially designed for international students and scholars. Here are some crucial tips that can help you streamline your tax filing experience with Sprintax:

  1. Gather Your Documents:

Before starting the tax filing process, ensure you have all necessary documents at hand. This includes your passport, visa, Form DS-2019 (for J-1 visa holders) or Form I-20 (for F-1 visa holders), and any income documents such as Form W-2 (available on the ADP portal).

  1. Determine Your Tax Residency Status:

Your tax residency status is crucial in determining your tax obligations. Sprintax will guide you through a series of questions to determine whether you are considered a non-resident alien or a resident alien for tax purposes. This distinction significantly impacts the forms you need to fill out and your eligibility for certain tax benefits. To ensure that you enter your information correctly, double-check that it matches your Passport and I-20 documents.

  1. Enter Income Information:

Input all relevant income information accurately into Sprintax. This includes any wages earned from on-campus or off-campus employment, scholarships, grants, or any other sources of income received during the tax year.

  1. Claim Applicable Deductions and Credits:

As an international student, you may be eligible for certain tax deductions and credits that can help reduce your tax liability. Common deductions include education-related expenses such as tuition and fees, along with certain qualified student loan interest payments. Based on the information you have filled out, Sprintax will help identify potential tax deductions.

  1. Review and Double-Check Your Information:

Once you have entered all necessary information, take the time to review your tax return carefully. Ensure all details are accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. Mistakes or omissions can lead to delays in processing your tax return or even potential penalties from the IRS.

  1. Submit Your Tax Return:

After reviewing your tax return, electronically file the federal tax forms through Sprintax and send the state tax forms via post office. The software will generate all required forms and schedules based on your inputs and help you submit your return securely to the IRS.

  1. Keep Copies of Your Tax Documents:

After filing your taxes, it's important to keep copies of all relevant documents for your records. This includes a copy of your tax return, as well as any supporting documents such as Form W-2.

  1. Stay Informed and Seek Assistance if Needed:

Tax laws and regulations may change from year to year, so it's essential to stay informed about any updates that may affect your tax filing obligations. If you have any questions or encounter difficulties during the tax filing process, don't hesitate to seek assistance from Sprintax customer support and the CDI center.

If you need assistance with Sprintax Tax Filing, The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) offers the necessary resources. Beth Haymaker and Nam K Hoang ‘25 are available to help.

By following these Sprintax tax filing tips, international students can navigate the complexities of the U.S. tax season confidently and easily. Remember, timely and accurate tax filing ensures compliance with U.S. tax laws and may even result in potential tax refunds. The deadline for most taxpayers to file federal and state income taxes is April 15, 2024.