Tax Filing

International Programs and Partnerships has teamed up with Sprintax  to provide you with an easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the US. If you are a registered BGSU student, you will receive your access code to the Sprintax  tax software via to your BGSU email from iss@bgsu.edu.  Recent graduates may receive tax codes by emailing iss@bgsu.edu with your full name, email address, student id number, and graduation date.  Please watch for the weekly ISS the Weekly Newsletter from our office where we will announce from our office with details when the access codes will be provided. 

Our agreement with Sprintax   is for BGSU INTERNATIONAL and EXCHANGE STUDENTS only, non-students, including faculty, staff, and visiting scholars, will not receive access to this software.

Who must file tax forms for 2020 tax season? Even if you did not earn any income, if you were physically in the US on F or J status anytime between 1 January – 31 December 2020, you're obligated to file a Form 8843 with the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service, or ‘IRS’, are the US tax authorities). Meanwhile, if you earned more than $0 of taxable US source income, you may need to file a federal tax return with the IRS. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to file a state tax return(s).

Who is considered Resident or Nonresident for Federal Tax Purposes? Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F, J, M or Q visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. International students on J-1 & F-1 visas are automatically considered nonresident for their first five calendar years in the US, whilst Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered nonresidents for two out of the last six calendar years in the US. If you’ve been in the US for longer than the five or two year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine your tax residency.

Tax Filing Deadline:  The deadline has been extended from  April 15th to May 17th, 2021 as the last day for residents and non-residents who earned U.S. income to file Federal tax returns for 2020.

REMINDER: We (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice. Students with specific questions should consult a tax professional

1.      Gather the documents you may need for Sprintax: Employers will be sending your tax forms to you either electronically or via US Postal System by January 31, 2021.  Please do not attempt to file your taxes prior to receiving your tax forms from your employer.

2.      Create a Sprintax Account: You will receive an email from the international student office providing you with a link to Sprintax to set up your account as well as your unique code to use on Sprintax. This unique code will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you. Open your new Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can login using your existing credentials.

REMINDER: After you login to Sprintax: You will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the US over recent years. Sprintax  will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a "nonresident alien" (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use the software to respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax  will then complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the tax authorities. However, if Sprintax determines that you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won't be able to continue using the software.

3.      Follow the Sprintax instructions: If you did not earn any US Income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any).

If you did earn US Income: Sprintax will generate your "tax return documents", including either a 1040NR-EZ or a longer form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.

4.      (With U.S. income only) If required, complete your state tax return: After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, you will have the option to use Sprintax for an additional fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.

5.      Read the instructions for filing/mailing your returns: Remember to read the instructions that Sprintax provides. You will be required to download, print and sign your federal tax return and mail it to the IRS. If you have a state filing requirement, you must also mail this to the tax authorities.

Finally, if you only need to file Form 8843, this will also need to be mailed to the IRS.

We partnered with Sprintax to offer international students assistance in filing their taxes. In February and March, Sprintax will host a virtual webinars to provide information sessions and answer your questions. Please find the details for the webinar below.  Students must register using the link provided to access the free webinars.  Once registered they will receive the attendance details directly from GoToWebinar.  

Dates: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 11:30 AM-1:00 p.m. (EST) and Thursday, March 11, 2021 4:30 PM- 6:00 PM (EST)

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3161958358320152080

Need Sprintax Support?

If you need help while using Sprintax, you can contact their support team using the options below

Email - hello@sprintax.com

24/7 Live Chat Help

Refer to their FAQs

Sprintax Educational Tax Videos and Blog: You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on nonresident taxes. These will provide further clarity on nonresident tax and how to use Sprintax. Sprintax also offer a range of useful content on their blog to help you file your return.

DISCLAIMER: International Programs and Partnerships, as well as, staff and faculty at BGSU are NOT permitted to assist any student/scholar with any IRS tax form preparation or tax related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office.

BGSU/Sprintax Webinar Recorded Wednesday, 2/24/21