As in most countries, the tax laws in the United States are very complex. The resources on this page and any subsequent pages should help you to better understand your tax obligation, to know what and where to research, and to successfully submit your tax forms. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes. For the official regulations regarding all aspects of U.S. taxes for international students and scholars, please go to this link: IRS Student and Scholar Tax Information. Listed below are some important points to remember. This information is meant to be a general introduction and should not be considered legal tax advice.
If I arrived at Baylor in January 2016, do I have to do anything this year? No, if you were not in the U.S. during the tax reporting year, then you do not have to do anything this year.
What is Taxable Income? Some kinds of income are taxed while others are not. Generally, income from foreign sources is not taxed. Salary from a job is taxed but is not the only kind of earning that is taxed; other types of income are taxable. Some examples of income include:
Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)? If you were employed or paid by Baylor, you will need a Social Security Number. If you have to complete any other forms, then you will need one of those numbers as well.
What is an ITIN? An ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You would only need this if you do not have and do not qualify for a Social Security Number, and you received a scholarship/fellowship in the U.S. in 2015. Baylor's tax software, Windstar, will help determine if you need an ITIN and automatically generate the paperwork for you if you need one. Also, you will need to see Treva Hall in ISSS, who will prepare a letter and other documents that must be mailed with your tax return.
What if I only have a Social Security Number but not an ITIN? You will have one or the other but not both. If you have submitted tax forms previously using an ITIN but now you have a Social Security Card, you should use the Social Security Card.
This information is intended only for international students and scholars who are non-resident alien taxpayers with income sources and level typical of students and scholars at Baylor University. Although the information contained in this site has been reviewed carefully and should be adequate to assist most international students and scholars, it is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a qualified tax accountant. If your visa status has changed in the past year, or you believe you have a complicated tax issue, please consult the IRS or a qualified tax accountant.