Doing your Taxes as a Graduate
Software: As a graduate you will not get an access code to Glacier Tax Prep, however, you are welcome to purchase an individual license for a fee similar to a program like Turbo Tax. This will ensure that you can use your old account that you did as a student, and use tax treaties, if they apply to your situation http://www.arcticintl.com/gtp_usage.asp T
he only reason that you would not be able to use the GTP system, is if you are deemed to be a resident alien for tax purposes (having been in the US for more than 5 years). In that case, you should seek the assistance of tax professional. GTP will explain the process further. You should also feel comfortable messaging the GTP staff if needed with questions - they are tax professionals, unlike us the International Programs Office.
If you are at a US graduate school - it is possible that they also provide tax assistance, or software options - make sure to check with your new International Student Adviser.
W-2 from F&M: You cannot obtain your W-2 wage statements from Inside F&M as a graduate. Per law, the W-2s were mailed to your permanent home addresses. If you are unable to locate your W-2 via mail back home (and have it scanned to you if you are not at home), here's what you need to do:
**E-mail email@example.com to request an electronic copy. Provide your F&M ID# and the last four digits of your SSN. You need to specifically consent to F&M sending you a scanned copy via e-mail, since this is confidential data. Say something like "I authorize F&M to release this document to me via email." Please allow at least 1 week for the Business Office to get back to you.
Other Tax Documents: Some of you will recall receiving a Form 1042-S tax statement every year. This form is related to tax paid when financial aid covers room and board costs OR if you received a departmental award that took taxes out of the award amount on the front end. As a new practice this year, these forms will be sent to me (and maybe your home address). I can electronically send them to you (or send them within the US if you are still here). I should receive them in the coming week or two, and will reach out to you via your F&M email to notify you that you have one. The 1042S only is applied to your federal (GTP) taxes. Please note that you might have other documents from other sources if you had investments or other income sources and should record them as necessary. Forms 1098T (educational costs) and 1095B (health insurance) do not apply to international students.
State Taxes: In about 2 weeks, a sample PA40 will be available on our website, and you will be able to access it to complete by hand. It is not there yet, as I have not launched our tax season for current students.
You need to complete PA taxes if you earned more than $33 in PA in the 2016 calendar year. Please note, that if you earned money in another state in the 2016 calendar year (via an internship or OPT) you will need to figure out what forms to do. Asking colleagues is a good way to find out at least what the form is called, or by going to a tax professional - most states do not have separate tax forms for non-resident aliens for tax purposes.
You MIGHT have to also complete a local tax return if you earned money while on OPT - please check with your company to understand how your municipality handles this practice - every town is different! Speaking with neighbors or coworkers is a good way to learn about this.
Mailing your Documents: Yes, you still need to mail the documents to the appropriate places:
GTP will tell you where to mail your federal tax return on the first page (make sure to attach applicable W2, 1042S, and other statements if you have them). Don't forget to sign where it asks for it!
PA State Taxes: Make sure to sign and attach W2s or other wage statements (not the 1042S). You most likely will break even if you only worked on campus. (if you do not, you should check the PA department of revenue's site for other addresses) This means that lines 28 and 29 are zero on your PA-40:
PA DEPT OF REVENUE
NO PAYMENT OR NO REFUND
2 REVENUE PLACE
HARRISBURG PA 17129-0002
Common Requests from Graduates
Former F-1 students, or those participating on OPT, often need the assistance of International Student Services. Common Requests are below, as well as the required procedure for obtaining the needed document.
|Requested Document||Procedure for Request|
|New/Updated Signature I-20 for while on OPT||The travel signature on page three of your current I-20 must be no older than 6 months for travel on OPT. A new I-20 is typically issued, rather than just adding a new signature, and sent to the student. Please email Jessica Haile (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange delivery details.|
|Copies of all old I-20s, or other documents from a student's immigration file||
A written request to Jessica Haile (email@example.com) should include:
|Specific Travel Questions|
|Transfer of your F-1 Record in SEVIS to another U.S. Instituion||
Students must be in valid F-1 status in order to be eligible for the F-1 transfer process. Please note that releasing the SEVIS record to the new institution will end any authorized current period of Optional Practical Training.
If your program starts more than 5 months after the transfer of your record, you will be ineligle for a transfer. Furthermore, the deadline to request a transfer is 60 days from the OPT end date on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD). For example, a student whose OPT ends June 1, can have their record transferred as late as August 1, but must begin their new program at their new institution within 5 months of June 1 (when their OPT ended).
Nearly every US College or University has an Immigration Transfer-In Form. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org the transfer form that you need completed, or bring to the Int'l Center. Students typically complete the top student section, and our office will ensure that the completed transfer form is faxed to the new institution, and that your record is released in SEVIS. Students transferring out will have to choose when their SEVIS record should be released to the new institution. Most students have their record released as soon as possible after the end of their final semester of study at F&M or OPT, so they can apply for a new I-20 through the new school.