2020 Tax Filing Deadline: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Tax forms must be postmarked in the mail by this date!
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, know what and where to research, and to successfully file your tax forms. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the U.S. government agency that collects taxes.
It is important to be aware that, as a non-resident student in the U.S., you are legally required to file a tax return if you received any U.S. income during the year 2020.
Even if you did not work or receive income in the U.S., you are still required to file a Form 8843 with the IRS:
Baylor University has arranged free access to Sprintax Tax Preparation for you. Please click here to access the website.
Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, arrange the necessary documents and let you know if you are due a tax refund. It will be your responsibility to mail the documents to the address provided.
Sprintax is also offering webinars on the following dates to provide additional support for the tax filing process. Use the links to register for a webinar that works for your schedule:
- Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, 3 pm CST - Register here
- Wednesday, March 3rd, 11 am CST - Register here
- Monday, March 15th, 1:30 pm CDT - Register here
- Monday, March 29th, 1pm CDT - Register here
- Tuesday, April 6th, 12 pm CDT - Register here
- Tuesday, April 13th, 12 pm CDT - Register here
A Sprintax Nonresident Tax Overview for OPT/CPT (Students who are applying and are on OPT) will take place on February 17th, 2021 at 12:00pm CST. Register here
Sprintax also has a wealth of resources in the form of YouTube videos here on filing your taxes.
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:
- Taxes are paid on the income from the preceding year. The 2020 forms are used for the income that you earned during the 2020 calendar year (not the school year).
- As an F-1, J-1 Student, or J-1 Scholar, you may need to file forms each year with the IRS, even if you earned no income. Your specific requirements may depend on many factors including, but not limited to, your visa status, the purpose of your visit, the number of days you were in the United States, the amount of income you earned, and if there is a tax treaty between your country and the U.S.
- While employers do deduct money from your paycheck throughout the year and send it to the IRS, it may not equal the exact amount owed at the end of the year. If too much was deducted, you may be eligible for a refund. If not enough was deducted, you may owe more to the government.
- It is your responsibility to understand and meet your tax obligations.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I arrived at Baylor in January 2021, 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 in the U.S. is taxed. Other types of income are taxable. Some examples of income include:
- Wages that appear on form W-2 are taxable.
- Scholarship or fellowship income that requires services (i.e., teaching assistant, athletic scholarships) will be treated as wages, like employment.
- Scholarships, fellowships, and grants may be partially taxed.
- Money used for other expenses, like room, board, and travel, are taxable.
- What is an ITIN? An ITIN is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS. 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. Baylor's tax software, Sprintax, will help determine if you need an ITIN and generate the paperwork. Sprintax will assist students to apply for an ITIN for a nominal fee of approximately $16. You may discuss an alternate process with Grace Semple-Paul, Assistant Director of ISSS.
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.