In the U.S., it is each individual's responsibility to meet his or her own tax obligations using the appropriate set of tax laws. Federal tax laws apply to taxes paid to the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C., while state tax laws apply to taxes paid to the state in which you live and work. In some cases, filing a federal tax return results in a refund; however, sometimes a taxpayer may need to send a payment to the IRS with their return if taxes were underpaid.
Who must file a tax report?
All F and J visa holders listed below who were physically present in the U.S. between January 1 and December 31 are required to submit some type of 2012 federal tax report.
- Any F-1 or J-1 on a visa document from ODU who was physically present in the U.S. for even one day in 2012.
- Any F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant student enrolled at Old Dominion University in 2012.
- F-1 students on Optional Practical Training in 2012.
- J-1 students on Academic Training in 2012.
- Current J-1 Visiting Scholars affiliated with ODU in 2012.
- Former non-immigrant Visiting Scholars affiliated with ODU in 2012
- F-2 and J-2 dependents of the above.
Filing a tax report is required whether or not you worked and received income in the U.S. last year. Taxpayers are divided into two general categories for federal tax purposes: residents and nonresidents.
How do I determine my tax residency?
When you completed the initial ODU or ODURF employment paperwork in ISSS, your tax residency was determined using the Substantial Presence Test. You are required to complete new tax forms each year you are enrolled and working at ODU or ODURF so we can monitor changes to your tax residency status. ISSS holds Tax & Travel Signature Days every year in November to track you toward becoming a tax resident.
How do I file a federal tax report?
ISSS has purchased a site license for GLACIER Tax Prep, a federal tax return preparation software program designed specifically for nonresident alien students, scholars and researchers to prepare their U.S. federal nonresident income tax return (Form 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ). Use is limited to Old Dominion University international students, scholars and researchers with earned income.
Dependents of F and J visa holders as well as those nonimmigrant international students and scholars with no earned income are required to file Form 8843 - Statement of Exempt Individuals. Instructions for completing this form will be provided.
What documentation do I need?
Gather together all of your income documents in order to complete your tax forms including:
- W-2 forms from all employers (ODU W-2 forms will be mailed to your PR address in LeoOnline)
- 1042-S forms (for student athletes) which report on scholarships and other awards (if applicable)
- 1099 form (if applicable)
Income is not limited to a paycheck; it can also be a portion of a scholarship that includes housing or living expenses, interest earned on a bank account, etc.
I am a tax resident of the U.S. Can I hire someone to prepare my tax forms for me?
Absolutely! Student and scholars who have become tax residents of the U.S with more complicated tax cases or simply want assistance in completing their tax forms can pay a tax service provider or a tax consultant. You also have the option of hiring a lawyer to assist you in reporting your taxes and to file your forms. If you choose to hire a private agency or lawyer, we strongly recommend that you make certain they specialize in tax issues unique to foreign nationals.
How do I file a state tax return?
Only those Nonimmigrant international students who earned income in Virginia are required to file a Virginia tax return. If you worked in another state during 2012, you may also be required to file a tax return in that state. For state tax purposes, you are considered a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia and should complete Form 760 - Resident Individual Income Tax Return. Additional Virginia tax information can be found online. It is recommended that you complete your federal tax return before beginning the state tax forms.
When are the deadlines to submit tax forms?
April 15, 2013 is the deadline to file your 2012 nonresident federal tax return forms (1040NR or 1040NR-EZ which will include Form 8843).
May 1, 2013 is the due date for filing your Virginia income tax return. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, you may file your return on the next business day.
June 15, 2013 is the deadline to only file IRS Form 8843 - Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals With a Medical Condition (For use by alien individuals only.) for those individuals with no income.
Resources for Tax Assistance
GLACIER Tax Prep Support Center - email@example.com
Internal Revenue Service - www.irs.gov, 800-829-1040
For automated refund information from the IRS: 800-829-4777
Where can you file your Virginia state tax return? Locations: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=WhereToFile
Norfolk Commissioner of the Revenue Office: 757-664-7885