International

Filing Taxes as a Non-Resident with US Income

You qualify as a Non-Resident Alien with Income if you meet the following criteria:

  • 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.

If you meet these criteria and earned income from any US source during the tax year, you must file tax returns using 

  • Form 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
  • or Form 1040-NR EZ, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents

You must also file a Form 8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals or Individuals With a Medical Condition.


Using Sprintax to file your tax report

UC International purchased Sprintax to help you file your taxes online through iBearcatsGlobal. To access your Sprintax password please follow these steps:

  1. Log on to iBearcatsGlobal
  2. Go to eForms
  3. Select the Insurances and Finances tab
  4. Submit the Annual Tax Return (Report) Assistance eForm. Do NOT select the Tax Analysis eForm.

After submitting the eForm, UC International will evaluate if Sprintax will work for you. If Sprintax will work for you, we will email you with a code and instructions. This review can take five business days.

There is also no charge for accessing Sprintax. This will help you file your federal taxes only. You can file your state taxes through Sprintax for a small fee.

In order to use Sprintax you will need:

  • Any computer that has web access, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and access to a printer 
  • Sprintax Access Code
  • Passport and Visa
  • I-20/DS-2019 (if F-1/J-1 Visa)
  • I-797 Approval Notice (if H-1B Visa)
  • I-94 Card
  • Form W-2 
  • Form 1042-S 
  • Any Form 1099s you may have received
  • Checkbook (for paying taxes or providing refund information)
  • The name and office telephone number of your academic advisor/supervisor.
  1. Only give Sprintax what it is asking for. In the past, students have felt the need to put information that appears on their I-20 Sources of Support into the software. If Sprintax is asking for Box 1 of your W-2, only put the number that appears in Box 1 of your W-2. Do not add other information.
  2. Do NOT include University Graduate Scholarship (UGS) information on Sprintax. You do not need to report or pay taxes on UGS awards.
  3. After completing your tax return using Sprintax, you must print your documents, sign them and mail them.
  4. Information that you input using this software is only saved until June 15. Don't forget to print it out!
  5. Do not forget to complete a State Tax Return.
  6. Avoid using Firefox and Macs.

There are many tax services available to assist people with filing a Federal and State tax report. Be warned before attempting to use other services: 

Off Campus Tax Firms, Advisors and Software
If you are a Non-Resident Alien for tax purposes, it is not recommended that you use services like H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt or computer software such as Tax Act or Turbo Tax. Most of them will not be able to give you accurate advice on how to file a Non Resident Alien tax report.

These services can be expensive and often do not give the correct advice or assistance to our students and scholars. Every year, the IRS catches mistakes, and it often takes months of work to recover the money that the student or scholar may be owed.

E-Filing
E-File is a service on the IRS Website. This program is not available for Non-Resident Aliens.

Accountants
Some accountants or other individuals offer tax services to international students and scholars. Most individuals do not know all the rules for international filings and make mistakes. Even though someone else filled out your report, you are the one held responsible for the report and will have to pay any penalties (fines, fees and criminal action) if discovered.

Dependents also must file a tax report for this year. Usually, this is a straightforward process that only requires you to file a Form 8843.

If you are using Sprintax, it will ask you if you want to also print out the 8843 for each of your family members. Alternatively, you or your dependents can complete an 8843 on their own.


File a state tax report

After completing and printing your Federal Income Tax Report you will need to complete a State Tax Report for the states that you were living and working in.  

For a small fee, you can use Sprintax to file your state taxes.

You can file state taxes by hand for free. If you worked in Ohio, you can download Ohio tax form (IT 1040) and instructions for filing your state taxes.

If you worked in a different state and want to do your taxes by hand, email James.Tenney@uc.edu.


Social Security and Medicare Tax Refund

Some students and scholars are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes. This means that they can ask the government not to take money for those programs out of their paycheck. In order to qualify, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • You hold an F-1 or J-1 visa.
  • You are considered a nonresident alien for tax purposes.
  • You work on-campus, off-campus with DHS permission, or are undergoing approved practical or academic training.

To claim an exemption from social security tax, you must provide verification of visa status and proof of work permission to the employer.

Occasionally, Medicare Taxes are withheld in error. Nonresidents may not request a refund of Medicare Taxes on their annual income tax report.

File a refund request

  1. Complete IRS Form 843 “Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.” Put an address on Form 843 that will be accurate for the next 3-4 months.
  2. Attach copies of the Form W-2, a copy of your Form I-94, and proof of work permission:
    1. An EAD (for example, for OPT), 
    2. Page Two of your I-20 (if CPT), or 
    3. your DS-2019 (if Academic Training) 
    4. If the employer was UC, copy your W-2 and I-20 / DS-2019. ‘University of Cincinnati’ is printed somewhere on both. Highlight where it says ‘University of Cincinnati’ and attach them to your documents. This is your work permission.
  3. If you are a F or J Visa holder, you also need to complete Form 8316.
  4. Make copies of the documents and keep them with your tax records.
  5. MAIL the forms with copies of your W-2 and I-94 card to the required IRS service center.

This is not a fast process. Wait at least 60 days before contacting the IRS by phone to verify the status of the refund request. 

Instructions for filling out the Form 843 by question.
Form Question Instructions
Question 1 Indicate the dates that you were employed where Medicare Taxes were withheld. If you worked for more than one tax year, you will need to complete a Form 843 for each tax year.
Question 2 Write the amount of Medicare Taxes that were withheld.
Question 3 Place a checkmark in the "Employment" box.
Question 4 LEAVE BLANK
Question 5 LEAVE BLANK
Question 6 Indicate the tax return on which the Medicare taxes were originally reported.
Question 7 Write "Medicare Tax erroneously withheld by employer. See attached Forms 8316, W-2 and I-94."
Signature Line Sign your name and put today's date.
Instructions for Form 8316 by question.
Form Question Instructions
Question A If Medicare Taxes were withheld from your paycheck and you meet the requirements described earlier, place an "x" in the "Yes" box.
Question 1-9 If you are applying for a refund of taxes that were withheld by UC, you can receive a pre-completed version of the 8316 from the payroll office.
Signature line Sign your name and put today's date. Include a telephone number and best time to be contacted by the IRS.