March 25 Update: Tax Deadlines Extended to July 15 & How to File

Updates:  March 25, 2020

With the COVID-19 health emergency, has the federal and/or state tax filing deadline changed?  

Yes, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 21st that the federal income tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. This is an automatic extension, so tax payers do not need to file any additional forms to benefit from it.

  • If you owe taxes, you need to pay by July 15th. If you need additional time to file beyond the July 15th deadline, you can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868.
  • If you are owed a federal tax refund, however, you have three years to file your tax return and claim your money, and you do not need to file an extension.  However, the sooner you file your tax return, the sooner you will get your tax refund.  

The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has also extended the filing and payment deadline for CT personal income tax returns by 90 days, to July 15, 2020.

Sprintax Advice:
1. File your taxes now - while the tax deadline has been extened, you should still file now. Tax compliance can be easily forgotten when left on the to do list for a few more months. 
2. Their statistics show that the vast majority of nonresident tax filers receive a refund, so the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your refund. 
3. Check out Sprintax's online webinar, Everything You Need to Know About NonResident Taxes.

Can I file my 2019 tax return if I am not in the U.S.?

Yes, you can file your 2019 tax return from outside the U.S.  Log into  Sprintax and enter all the necessary information. Sprintax will prepare the tax return forms you need to file. Unfortunately, nonresident tax payers cannot file taxes electronically, so just as you would do if you were in the U.S., you need to print out the forms prepared by Sprintax, sign them, attach the tax income documents you have (W-2, 1042-S, or 1099), and follow the mailing instructions.  Be sure to keep a copy of your entire tax return.

Has Yale issued the 1042-S forms?  

Yes. The 1042-S forms were issued by Yale University and have been and posted on the FNIS website. If you have a FNIS account, please log in and download your form. If you have not received your 1042-S form, you should email Yale Shared Services for assistance.  Everyone is working remotely at the moment, so please be patient. They will respond to you as soon as possible.

  • Will I get a 1042-S form?
  • The 1042-S form is issued to individuals who have received a taxable scholarship or fellowship (i.e. the amount of your financial aid or scholarship exceeds the amount of your tuition), some prizes and awards, and also for income covered by a tax treaty.  

How can I get help with my tax filing?  

If you have not already done so, start by signing up for a Sprintax account (please make sure to do this via the link here; if you independently create an account you will not get the free federal filing offered by Yale OISS). Click here for access for Sprintax and more information about filing your taxes in the U.S. Sprintax is fairly easy to use even for first time filers. If you need extra help Ask Stacy. Follow the instructions and at the end you will have a completed tax return for mailing to the IRS.

General Information about Filing Your 2019 Tax Return

International students and scholars in the U.S. have certain U.S. tax obligations, including filing an annual federal tax return. OISS sent a detailed email about filing your taxes earlier this week, so please refer to that for more information.  A short summary of the information in the mail is below.  

If you had no U.S. source income in 2019, you must complete and submit the IRS form 8843.

If you had U.S. source income in 2019, there are a few things you can do now in preparation for filing your 2019 federal tax return.

  1. International students and scholars with U.S. source income must have either a U.S. social security number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).
  • If you had taxable income in 2019 (wages and/or taxable scholarship) and don't have either an SSN or ITIN, unfortunately you need to wait for the time being. Social Security Administration (SSA) suspended its face-to-face services to the public (see here). If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, we recommend that you still go ahead and use Sprintax to find out whether you owe taxes or are due a tax refund. If you owe taxes, please note that you will need to file an extension in order not to accrue penalties, and have enough time to obtain your SSN or ITIN as soon as the SSA resumes its services. However, if you are due a tax refund, then you can wait to file your taxes until you obtain an SSN or ITIN: you will have three years from the filing deadline to file your tax return and there is no need to file an extension. However, please note that you must be in the U.S. and have a valid immigration status to be able to get an SSN or ITIN at that later time when SSA resumes its services. You will not be able to obtain an SSN or ITIN if your immigration status has ended or you are outside the U.S. when SSA resumes its services.
  • If you already obtained an SSN or ITIN, but have not reported it yet, then please update your student record with your school's registrar.  If you are not a student, please update your personnel record with the Employee Services.
  1. Collect your income statements usually the form W-2 (Yale released the W-2 forms in late January) and/or form 1042-S which is released in mid-March.
  2. To access the Sprintax software (a tax preparation software for non-resident tax filers), click here. You will be asked to log on through Yale CAS and then you will be directed to the Sprintax website specific for Yale students/scholars. 
  3. For more information about your U.S. tax obligations click here. You can also learn more from Sprintax's online webinar, Everything You Need to Know About Nonresident Taxes.