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Filing a Tax Return

taxes

Overview

The subject of taxation can be complicated for Americans, let alone visitors to the United States. UC International Services is here to assist you in any way we can. This section was created to help you understand the process of filing a tax return and provide valuable resources for filing your return.


Filing a Tax Return

How you file a tax return depends on multiple factors, including the following:

  • Whether you are a non-resident alien or resident alien in the United States
  • If you have or have not received income in the past year
  • If your country has or does not have a tax treaty with the United States

The following sections identify four types of individuals. Using the information under each type, decide which category you fall under and click the "How do I file?" button for your category. Then, you will receive specific instructions on how to file taxes for your category.


Non-Resident with U.S. Income

  • Have been in the U.S. as an F-1 or 
    J-1 Student for less than 5 calendar years
  • Have been in the U.S. as a J-1 non-student (Research Scholar/ Professor) for less than 2 calendar years 
  • Have been in H-1B status for less than 183 days during the past year
  • Did not obtain Permanent Residency status (Green Card) at any time in the past year
  • Did not obtain U.S. Citizenship at any time in the past year

Non-Resident with No Income

  • Have been in the U.S. as an F-1/F-2 or J-1/
    J-2
     Student for less than 5 calendar years
  • Have been in the U.S. as a J-1/J-2 non-student for less than 2 calendar years 
  • Have been in H-1B status for less than 183 days during the past year
  • Did not obtain Permanent Residency status (Green Card) at any time in the past year
  • Did not obtain U.S. Citizenship at any time in the past year

 

Residents with No Tax Treaty Benefit

  • Have been in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 Student for more than 5 calendar years
  • Have been in the U.S. as a J-1 non-student (Research Scholar/Professor) for more than 2 calendar years 
  • Have been in H-1B status for 183 days or more during 2015.
  • Obtained Permanent Residency status (Green Card) at any time in the past year
  • Obtained U.S. Citizenship at any time in the past year

Residents with Tax Treaty Benefit

  • Have been in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 Student for more than 5 calendar years
  • Have been in the U.S. as a J-1 non-student for more than 2 calendar years
  • Have been in H-1B status for 183 days or more during the past year.
  • Obtained Permanent Residency status (Green Card) at any time in the past year
  • Obtained US Citizenship at any time in the past year

Forms & Documents

This section provides an overview of some of the most common documents that you might receive to prepare your tax return. Remember, not everyone will receive all of these documents. However, you need to be aware of the documents you may receive to ensure that you have all the necessary documents to file your tax return. 

SSN & ITIN

If you worked and earned money from a U.S. source in the past year, you will need a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to file your tax return.

If you did not work and earn any money from a U.S. source in the past year, you do not need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).


Applying for a New Social Security Number

Only international visitors who have a visa status which allows for employment can obtain a social security number. To apply for a Social Security Number you must do the following:

  1. You must appear in person at the local Social Security Administration Office with passport, visa, I-94 card and Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) if applicable.
  2. Bring the appropriate letter from UC International Services regarding employment status. This will be issued after you have completed the Employment Eligibility Verification/Social Security Letter Request: Receiving a UC Paycheck eForm through iBearcatsGlobal.
  3. Complete form SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card (Available at UC International Services).

The local Social Security Office is located at:

Social Security Administration
Federal Building
550 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202


Applying for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

An ITIN would be issued to any individual who is not eligible to work in the United States but may need a tax ID number to be paid an honorarium, certain scholarships or awards, or being claimed on a Tax Return as a dependent (not all dependents qualify). There are two ways that you can apply for an ITIN:

  1. The applicant can appear in person at a local IRS office with passport and appropriate documentation and fill out a form W-7. The W-7 is then processed by the IRS and an ITIN is issued in about 6 weeks. The IRS office located at:
    Internal Revenue Service
    Federal Building
    550 Main St.
    Cincinnati, OH 45202

  2. The applicant can appear in person before an IRS acceptance agent, who will examine the identity documents and then mail the application to the IRS. UC International Services is an IRS acceptance agent. Call 513-556-4278 to make an appointment.


Dependents

Dependents who are being claimed as deductions on an income tax report must have a SSN or an ITIN. In most cases, a dependent can only be claimed on a Resident Alien tax report.

However, spouses from Canada, Mexico, Korea, Japan and Indian (students, not researchers from India) may be eligible to be claimed on a Non-Resident Alien return. 

In order to determine which kind of number your dependents need, use the following as a guide:


Dependents who need an ITIN:

  • F-2's being claimed on a tax report.
  • J-2's with NO work authorization but being claimed on a tax report.
  • H-4's being claimed on a tax report.
  • T-D's being claimed on a tax report.

Dependents who do not need an SSN/ITIN:

  • F-1s, F-2s and J-1s, J-2s who did not earn any US income in 2012 and are filing Form 8843 by itself

Working at UC

If you are going to work and be paid by UC (student job, assistantship, faculty or staff), we will need to determine how much in Federal Taxes you should be paying on your salary.  In order to do this you should log on to iBearcatsGlobal and submit the UC Tax Analysis eForm.

The eForm will allow us to determine your tax residency, any applicable tax treaty benefits and whether or not you can claim dependents – all of which can lower the amount of Federal Income Taxes you need to pay.

Do not submit this eForm until you have your Social Security Number.

To submit the UC Tax Analysis eForm you will need to log on to iBearcatsGlobal, go to Full Client Services – Insurance and Finances – Tax Analysis.


Working at CCHMC

You do not need to submit the Tax Analysis eForm if you are going to work and not be paid by UC. If you are going to work and be paid for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, inquiries or problems concerning your documents (W-2’s or 1042S’s) can be directed to Maria Llambi at Maria.Llambi@cchmc.org.

Check your W-2 very carefully if you are from a tax treaty country and filed a form 8233 or W-9 at some point in the past year. If you did file one of these forms, you will also receive a W-2C and a 1042-S along with your W-2.

How can you tell if you are one of these individuals? On the W-2, Box 1 has income listed, but Box 2 has no taxes indicated. This is a clear sign that you worked for CCHMC and filed a form 8233 (claimed a tax treaty benefit) in the last year.

Attached to this W-2 will be a W-2C and 1042-S. When you fill out your tax return, you should not use the information in Box 1 and 2 from your W-2. Instead, use the information in Box 1 and 2 on the W-2c and the state and local income tax boxes on your W-2.

CCHMC has confirmed that this issue has been resolved for this past year's W-2 and 1042-S, but if you should see a discrepancy or have a question please contact Maria Llambi.

Filing a State Tax Return

If you worked during the past year, you are required to file a State Income Tax Return for each state that you lived in. You must do this after you have completed your Federal Income Tax Return. 

To file an Ohio State Tax Returen, you will need the following documents:

  • your completed Federal Income Tax Return
  • W-2s
  • 1042-S
  • any 1099's you have received

Assistance with Ohio Tax Returns will be available at the College of Law through their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Please follow the link for information on dates and times when they will be able to help you. You will need to bring all of your tax documents with you.

The University of Cincinnati College of Law (“UC Law”) Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (“VITA”) program requires all volunteers to undergo training and certification through the Internal Revenue Service. UC Law VITA gives no warranty, expressed or implied, to the accuracy, reliability, relevance, or completeness of information or service provided. Each person using the services of UC Law VITA remains individually responsible for the accuracy of the information on their own tax return.


Did you live (or do you live) in another state?

If you lived in other states while employed, you will need to file a return for that state as well.

The College of Law VITA program will offer to assist you with other state tax returns if you bring the relevant forms and instruction books of that state with you. The College of Law does reserve the right to deny help with any tax return not from Ohio. While they wish to help, they are also concerned that they give you accurate advice. If they feel that they can not give this concerning a non-Ohio return, they will turn you away.