Tax FAQs

Can OISS help me file my taxes?

OISS staff are not tax experts and cannot provide tax advice. To assist our international population, OISS has purchased Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR).  FNTR is a tax preparation software created specifically for international students and scholars who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes.  FNTR will help you navigate U.S. federal tax forms, residency status, tax treaties, exemptions, and deductions.  FNTR is accessible from around the world.

Do I have to file a tax return?

ALL international students and scholars who were in the U.S. for any period of time during any calendar year must file a federal tax statement, called an income tax return.   Some international students and scholars will need to file state tax return(s).

If you did not have any U.S. source income, you will only file Form 8843.  If you have U.S. source income, your next step is to determine your tax filing status.  Income that is taxed includes wages, scholarships and earnings on investments. 

The most common type of income is wages; the money withheld from each paycheck is an estimated payment of the federal and state income tax obligation. This money is sent by the employer to the IRS and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services in the employee's account (the account number is the Social Security number). Taxable scholarship payments may have some amount withheld similar to wages. Investment income (not including bank interest) rarely has an amount withheld in advance; the applicable tax is paid when filing the tax forms.

Do I need a SSN or an ITIN to file taxes?

It depends on your circumstances.  If you had no U.S. source income, you do not need a SSN or an ITIN to file Form 8843. However, If you do not have a social security number and you had U.S. income, you may be eligible for a SSN or an ITIN.

What are some of the typical forms I may receive for tax filing purposes?

Before you begin your tax return using FNTR, you will need to collect your income statements. If you did not receive any U.S. source income in 2014, you will not receive an income statement and can proceed directly to FNTR.  If you had U.S. source income you will receive one or more forms indicating the type, source and amount of income received

  • W-2 form - issued by the end of January for wages earned
  • 1042-2 form - issued by March 15th for income exempt from tax withholding under a tax treaty, a taxable fellowship/scholarship or grant or a non-employee service payment.
  • 1099 form - issued for miscellaneous income

What should I do if I didn't receive or if I lost the Form W-2?

If you have not received Form W-2 or received an incorrect form or information, contact your employer. You may not have received the form because of an incorrect or incomplete address. Be sure to verify the address used if already mailed. If the form was returned to the employer because of an incorrect address, or never mailed, and the employer intends to issue or re-mail, allow a reasonable amount of time for this action to occur before calling the IRS for help.  Students or scholars who were employed at Yale University and did not receive their W-2 Form should email taxforms.payroll@yale.edu.

What should I do if I didn't receive Form 1042-S from Yale University?

The Yale University Payroll Office will distribute Form 1042-S no later than March 15.  If you expect to receive a Form 1042-S and have not received it by March 15, please contact the Payroll Office by emailing taxforms.payroll@yale.edu. Not all students and scholars will receive a Form 1042-S.

Do I qualify as a nonresident or resident alien for federal tax purposes?

The Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR) program will ask you a series of questions based on the substantial presence test to determine your residence status for federal tax filing purposes. If you qualify as a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you can use the FNTR program to assist you with federal tax filing. If you qualify as a resident alien for tax purposes, you cannot use the tax preparation software in Foreign National Tax Resource but you can still use the resource library to navigate filing your taxes as a resident alien. You can also file your taxes with a tax preparation company such as H&R Block or Turbo Tax. Generally, tax treaties do not apply to individuals who qualify as resident aliens for tax purposes, there are of course, exceptions. For more information on exceptions, consult the FNTR library regarding closer connections. Resident aliens for tax purposes file taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens and residents.  Refer to the pages on Nonresident and Resident tax filing.

How can Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR) help me complete my tax forms?

Foreign National Tax Resource includes a tax resource library AND a comprehensive tax preparation program that:

  • Calculates the substantial presence test to determine the foreign national's U.S. tax residency status
  • Checks each type of payment against any applicable tax treaty to ensure that the individual takes advantage of any tax treaty benefits
  • Completes the correct U.S. federal income tax form - either Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ
  • Prepares any additional statements or attachments, as applicable - Form 2106, Form 8843, Schedule C, and/or Scholarship/Fellowship Grant Statement
  • Prints the federal tax return and all additional attachments (please note, the IRS does not allow nonresident aliens for tax purposes to file a tax return electronically)
  • Provides detailed instructions about how, when and where to submit the tax forms, as well as information about the required documents to attach and complete the tax return filing process.

How do I access Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR)?

Access codes will be available in early March. When the software is available: 

  • Current Yale students and scholars:

      Go to https://cloud.oiss.yale.edu/tax

  • Former Yale students and scholars:

     Request access to FNTR when the system is available. If you do not receive your access code within two business days after completing the requested form, please contact OISS.

Does FNTR offer software and tax support?

Yes. Submit your questions to FNTR using the following link https://trr.windstar.com/contact.php. You must be logged in to FNTR to submit the “Contact Us” form.

Can I submit my tax forms electronically through FNTR?

No, nonresident aliens for tax purposes cannot file tax reports electronically. Once you provide FNTR with all of the required information, the system will auto-fill the appropriate tax forms. To complete the tax filing requirement, you must print the forms and mail them to the address provided on the instruction sheet from the Foreign National Tax Resource. The address will depend on the form(s) you are filing. Connecticut state taxes must be filed with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.  The address is available on the appropriate Connecticut tax form.

What is the deadline to file tax forms?

If you received taxable income, the deadline is April 15 the following year.. If you had no US income and are only filing IRS Form 8843, the deadline is June 15.   The deadline refers to the date the envelope is postmarked by the post office.

What should I do if I am unable to file my tax form by the deadline?

If you need more time, you can file Form 4868 to request an automatic extension of time until August 15. You will not be notified if the extension request is approved, it is automatic.  If you owe any taxes, you must still mail the estimated tax payment by April 15 or you will be assessed penalties and interest as of April 15 on any payment owed. Be sure to sign and date the forms and keep copies for your records.

There is a tax treaty between the U.S. and my country. Should I file a tax form?

Yes, since you were present in the U.S., you are required to complete and file a tax form.

I'm an F-1/J-1 student with no U.S. income or scholarships for 2014. Do I need to file anything?

All nonresident aliens for tax purposes, in F or J status, are required to complete Form 8843 with the IRS regardless, if payment was received or not. This also includes dependents in F-2 and J-2 status, regardless of age. 

I arrived in the U.S. in December of 2014 and I didn't work. Do I still have to file Form 8843?

All nonresident aliens for tax purposes, in F or J status, are required to complete Form 8843 with the IRS, if they were present in the U.S in 2014.

Does my F-2 or J-2 dependent need to file a tax form?

Yes, anyone in F or J status, present in the U.S. and a nonresident for tax purposes are required to complete a tax form. If your F-2 or J-2 dependent did not earn any income, they would be required to fill out the Form 8843. J-2 dependents who received an EAD, and earned an income, may be required to complete additional tax forms. They would be eligible to gain access to FNTR to assist in the federal tax form process.

Do I need to file a Form 8843 for my U.S. citizen child?

No, if your child is a US citizen and did not earn any income, no tax forms need to be completed.

I worked in 2014 but returned to my home country. Must I file taxes in the U.S.?

Yes, all students or scholars who were in F or J status, a nonresident for tax purposes and were present in the United States in 2014, must file a tax report for that year. Ask your employer to mail the Form W-2 to your home country address or explain how you may access it online. If you overpaid federal tax, the IRS can mail a refund check overseas.

Do I have to file taxes with the State of Connecticut?

The State of Connecticut (through the Department of Revenue Services) requires an annual report of income, and assesses tax on the same type of income that is taxed by the federal government. Individuals who earned less than the minimum filing requirement do not have to file.   However, if any tax was withheld by the employer, the individual would want to file a return in order to be refunded for the withholding.

Do I have to file taxes in Connecticut if I did not earn income?

Unlike federal rules, Connecticut does not require an annual tax report from those who made less than the minimum filing requirement or had no income at all. Visit the Individual Filing Requirements section of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services for more information.  If you do not have a filing requirement but had taxes withheld from your income, the only way you can get your money back is to file a Connecticut tax return. Students or scholars, who are considered a resident for Connecticut state tax filing, will complete and file Connecticut Tax Form 1040.

What are the consequences of not filing?

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 penalties, 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 taxes. Applicants for permanent residency or “green cards” are frequently asked to show proof of tax filing for previous years in the U.S.

I filed my tax report and am expecting a refund, but haven't received it.

Go to Where's My Refund? to track your federal refund. Where's My Refund? will usually have information about the refund six to eight weeks after filing a paper return. Check weekly for any updates to your refund information.

I did not file a tax return for the previous year.  What should I do?

If you were present in the U.S. in 2013, you will need to file a tax return for that year.  Depending on your status as a resident or nonresident, you can use Foreign National Tax Resource (FNTR) to file your 2013 federal tax forms.   

 

Note: The information above was adapted from tax FAQs written by our friends and colleagues at the UC Berkeley International Office.


Disclaimer

This information is intended only for international students and scholars with income sources and level typical of students and scholars at Yale University.  Although the information contained in this site has been reviewed carefully and should be adequate to assist most international students and scholars, it is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a qualified tax accountant.  If your visa status has changed in the past year, or you believe you have a complicated tax issue, please consult the IRS or a qualified tax accountant.

In addition, while the tax preparation software, Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE™ FNTR, is being provided to help you with your tax filing obligations, you are individually responsible for verifying that the correct information has been entered into the tax preparation software and included on all forms and/or other documents printed or derived from the tax preparation software, and ultimately responsible for any errors or omissions.