Getting Ready to Prepare Your 2019 Tax Return
Do You Have a SSN or ITIN?
All tax filers with U.S. source income will need either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to file a tax return. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 SSA suspended its in-person services. If you want to explore if you can use any of SSA services at the moment please refer to this website.
Reporting your SSN or ITIN to Yale. If you have (or when you get) an SSN or ITIN, students must report your number in person to your school registrar. Yale College and Graduate School students should take their SSN card in person to the Registrar at 246 Church Street, Third Floor. Students in the professional schools should visit their school registrars. Registrars will update your student record, which will in turn update your information in the payroll system. Faculty and staff should provide the Yale Employee Service Center with a photocopy of your Social Security Card by visiting 221 Whitney Avenue. DO NOT EMAIL A COPY OF YOUR SSN OR PUT YOUR SSN IN AN EMAIL.
Collecting Your Income Statements
Before you begin to prepare your tax return, you will need to collect all applicable IRS forms, e.g, W-2 form, 1042-S form and/or form 1099-Misc. If you did not receive any U.S. source income in 2019, you will not receive an income statement and do not need Sprintax access. Just complete and submit the IRS form 8843. (You can find our guidance about how to fill out 8843 here)
If you had U.S. source income you will receive one or more forms indicating the type, source and amount of income received. Do not file your 2019 tax return until you have received all of your income statements.
- Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement - issued by the end of January for wages earned. For instructions on how to get your Yale form W-2 click here.
- Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding - issued on March 15, 2020 for stipend, non-qualified scholarship, fellowship income, prizes and awards, as well as for income covered by a tax treaty. If you have access to the FNIS system, your 1042-S form will be available to download on FNIS (Foreign National Information System).
- Form 1099-MISC - issued by the end of January for certain payments made to U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents and Resident Aliens for tax purposes. Yale will send you your 1099-MISC by email.
- Form 1098-T - you should have received this form from the University. Nonresident aliens for U.S. tax purposes (those individuals filing an 1040NR or 1040NRWEZ form) are generally not eligible to claim any of the education related tax credits or deductions for which the Form 1098-T is intended to serve as documentation.
Depending on your individual circumstance, you may have multiples of one form and/or more than one type of income statement. Click here to determine which forms you will receive from Yale University based on your tax status and the type of payments you received from the University.
IMPORTANT! If you are receiving both a W-2 and a 1042-S form, you must wait until you have all your income statements before you begin preparing your tax return.
If you are unable to access your W-2 form electronically or did not received these forms, please contact Yale Payroll at email@example.com or call 203-432-5552) and include your name, Yale NetID and last four digits (only) of your social security number for a copy of your W-2 form.
If you are unable to access your forms 1042-S electronically or did not receive forms 1042-S or 1099-MISC by mail, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (or call 203-432-5394) and include your name, Yale NetID and last four digits (only) of your social security number for a copy of your 1042-S or 1099-MISC forms.
When you receive these forms, check that your name and SSN/ITIN are correct on these income statements. If they are incorrect, you will need to contact email@example.com. (Note: if you have not previously been issued or reported an SSN or ITIN, Yale will auto-populate this field, often with a number beginning with your University student ID number. These Yale-issued numbers are for internal use ONLY and cannot be used for tax filing purposes. and you will need to have the form re-issued.)
Preparing Your Federal Tax Return
OISS provides access to Sprintax tax preparation software for Yale international students and scholars who are nonresident tax filers. The software helps users prepare all of the paper forms needed for federal tax filing, which will need to be printed out and mailed to the IRS. In late February OISS will email instructions for accessing the Sprintax software.
If you did not receive access to Sprintax you will need to fill out the paper forms without Sprintax and mail them to the IRS.
- If you received no U.S.-based income in 2019, you will need to fill out only form 8843. Print, sign and mail to the address indicated in the instructions. You do not need an SSN or ITIN to file form 8843 unless you are a J-2 or F-2 dependent eligible to be claimed as exemptions on a U.S. income tax form.
- If you had U.S. source income, you will need to fill out a 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ form AND the 8843 form.
- Form 8843 & Instructions
- Form 1040NR: Instructions | Form 1040NR
- Form 1040NR-EZ: IRS guidance | Instructions | Form 1040NR-EZ
Preparing Your State Tax Return
You may also be required to file taxes in any states where you received income.
- Sprintax can also prepare your Connecticut state return and/or returns for other states. You will need to pay for this service; the cost is $29.95 per return.
- If you received income from any other state, you may also be required to file for that state. OISS does not provide guidance for state filings.
- More information about Connecticut state filing is available here.
Print, Sign, and Mail
Whether you use Sprintax to generate your forms or fill out the forms yourself, you must print, sign and date the forms, attach the appropriate copies of your income statements and follow the instructions given to mail them to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you owe money, make your check payable to the United States Treasury. The deadline for both the federal and state tax filing for 2019 has been extended to July 15, 2020.
Remember to keep copies of what you file each year (in case your return gets reviewed and there is a problem or if the IRS audits you in the future). You can save the PDFs to your computer or print an extra copy - do not rely on Sprintax to store copies of your tax returns, as you may not be able to access them in the future.
Where's My Refund?
If you have determined that you are due a refund for federal income tax purposes, it will take the IRS some time to process your refund. If you submit your return(s) on or close to the filing deadline, it is not uncommon to have to wait several weeks (sometimes 16 to 20 weeks) before receiving your refund or a notice. You can check the status of your return at this IRS link.
This information is intended only for international students and scholars who are nonresident alien taxpayers 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, Sprintax 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.