International students and scholars have special filing requirements for U.S. federal income tax returns. If you earn income from general employment, an assistantship or scholarship, you might incur tax liability.
There is no minimum dollar amount of income that triggers a filing requirement for a nonresident alien, including foreign students or foreign scholars. The dollar limit thresholds that would trigger a filing requirement for a U.S. citizen or a resident alien do not apply to nonresident aliens. However, Notice 2005-77 provides that a nonresident alien whose only U.S. source income is wages is not required to file a U.S. federal income tax return unless his U.S. source wages exceed the personal exemption amount. Please refer to Publication 501 to determine the personal exemption amount. However, the University strongly suggests that you file a return each year.
Filing IS required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have:
Filing IS NOT required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have income ONLY from:
A scholarship or fellowship, which is entirely a Tax Free Scholarship or Fellowship as described in Chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education; and/or
Any other income, which is nontaxable under the Internal Revenue Code.
However, income which is not taxable because of an income tax treaty, must be reported on a U.S. income tax return even though no income tax is due on the U.S. income tax return.
Form 8843 Requirement: Regardless whether or not you must file a Federal tax return, you are required to file Form 8843 with the IRS each year.
GLACIER TAX PREPARATION SOFTWARE
Each year the International Center purchases a software license to a tax program called GLACIER Tax Prep. GLACIER is a specialty program that is directly targeted to international students and scholars who are NOT classified as “residents” and will produce the necessary forms required by the U.S. government for your tax return.
Income tax software products such as TurboTax or TaxAct and other similar software can only generate return forms for international students who qualify for “resident” status. “Resident” status generally requires that you have been present in the U.S. for more than five years. TurboTax and similar software is not set up to do the typical income tax returns for students on F-1 or J-1 visas who have been in the U.S. less than five years.
International students should not use the forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for their return and are required by the Internal Revenue Service to file either a 1040NR, 1040NREZ and/or the 8843 Form. By using the 1040, 1040A or 1040 EZ form through these software programs, there is a possibility that you may receive a monetary refund from the U S. government (IRS) that you are either not entitled to or in excess of what you are entitled to.
Please be aware that if you use the wrong IRS forms and receive a payment from the IRS to which you are not entitled, you may very well be required to return any refund you are not entitled to and also potentially be subjected to other penalties, including fines. The IRS does audit tax returns on a regular basis.
If you wish to do your own income tax return without the assistance of GLACIER or any other software program, the form(s) that are required by the IRS typically are:
You have been in the U.S. less than five years:
If you have any earned income or scholarship from the previous year: Form1040NREZ and Form 8843 are required
If you had NO earned income or scholarship from the previous year: only Form 8843 is required
You have been in the U.S. for five years or more:
If you are a “resident” for federal tax purposes during the previous year: Form 1040 or 1040EZ You may download these forms for free:
Please be aware that you are responsible for assessing and meeting your tax obligations while at the University of Hartford. If you are employed by the University and you are from a treaty country and your tax treaty exemption expires,or if you change status, or if any other action may change your tax liability, you should contact your supervisor and the Payroll Office immediately to change your tax withholding as necessary.
You must file a Connecticut (CT) state income tax return if any of the following is true for
The above figures may be subject to change
If none of the above apply, do not file a 2017 CT state income tax return.
Federal Income Tax Treaties: Federal income tax treaty provisions are not recognized for Connecticut state income tax purposes. For complete information, refer to Special Instructions for Nonresident Aliens of the Connecticut Income Tax Instructions.
Determining "Residency" status: In any calendar year, you could have a different status for (1) immigration, (2) federal income tax purposes, and (3) state income tax purposes. For information about "non‐resident" vs. "resident" for CT income tax purposes, refer to the CT Income Tax Instructions.
International students and scholars are responsible to pay any local city or town property taxes. Typically, theses taxes are paid if you own a car, a house, or other personal property that is subject to local taxation. Failure to pay your yearly property tax might result in not being able to register your car with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
DISCLAIMER: It is your responsibility to meet any Federal, State or local tax requirements/obligations. The International Center and its staff are not tax experts, accountants, or attorneys and as such, we do not provide consultation on any tax matters, do not provide income tax return services (other than access to our purchased online software), and are not responsible in any way to assist you with your tax obligations.
If you want professional assistance in filing your income tax return, you can hire professional tax preparers or accountants for a fee to assist you in filing your tax documents. Please be sure that the tax preparer/accountant is knowledgeable about filing "Non-Resident" tax returns.
Any links provided on this site are for reference only and do not constitute legal advice. For assistance on your tax questions, please contact the resources/assistance/"help line" identified by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (for federal tax returns/questions) or the designated department of revenue or taxation in the state for which you are filing a state tax return.
The International Center offers its students "Glacier" income tax software as a service. The Center assumes no liability with regard to the accuracy of this software.