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It's Tax Time!

April 15, 2017 is the deadline for filing taxes in the United States.

If you were not in the United States during 2016, you do not have to file anything.

If you earned any income in 2016 and received a W-2: 

International students and scholars must prepare tax returns if they earned any income while in the United States, and received a W-2 from an employer.

There are three types of taxes that you may have paid if you earned income in 2016 and received a W-2: FEDERAL, STATE and, LOCAL - (most likely City of Pittsburgh).

If you earned income and received a W-2, you are required to:

  1. File a Federal Tax Return (See below)
  2. File a PA-40 (2016) Tax Return (See below)
  3. File a local (Pittsburgh) Tax Return (See below)
  4. File form 8843  (See below)
  • Students in F-1 status or research scholars in J-1 status who have earned income will receive a tax form. The tax form can be a W-2. A W-2 from your employer shows your earnings during the 2016 year and what taxes have been withheld from your pay.
  • You may also receive a 1042-S. This form is issued for "non-qualified scholarships", where funds would cover any costs over and above the cost of tuition, fees, books and materials required for the academic program.
  • Should you receive any other tax form, you can always stop by our office and we will assist you. The majority of students will just receive the W-2.
  • if your wage income is less than $4,000 for tax year 2016, you are not required to file a federal, state, or local return. However, if there were any taxes withheld, the only way to get a refund of the withholding is to file a return. Should you choose not to file, you are still required to file form 8843.  

If you did not earn any income in 2016: 

If you were in the United States during 2016 and did not earn any income you will have to file Form 8843. This includes scholars, students and dependents regardless of whether any income was earned. 

If you did not receive a W-2, you are required to complete a Form 8843 and submit it to the federal government. 

Form 8843 can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8843.pdf

Form 8843 can be mailed directly to: 
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301

If you have been in the United States for 5 years or more:

If you entered the United States more than 5 years ago, then you are considered a "resident" for tax purposes. If you had earned income, you would file your taxes like a US citizen and you would use a system like Turbo Tax.

Sprintax Tax Prep for Duquesne Students

Duquesne University has purchased Sprintax which is an online tax service to assist international students with their tax return. This system has all the treaties between certain countries and the United States that will benefit international students. The site is: https://sprintax.com/duquesne 

To gain access to this website, you can email Rachael English at english6@duq.edu.  She will provide you with a personal access code. 

Filing the State Tax Return

You can use Sprintax to file the state tax return: https://sprintax.com/duquesne . There is no charge to our students for using Sprintax for filing the federal tax.

Filing the Federal Tax Return

Sprintax also provides assistance with the Pennsylvania Tax return. To file your state tax return with Sprintax, you will have to pay a charge of approximately $25 - $30.

Filing the Local (Pittsburgh) Tax Return

If you live or work in Pittsburgh and have an earned income from 2016, you must complete and submit the local tax form,"2016 Taxpayer Annual Local Earned Income Tax Return".

The form is available from the city website: http://pittsburghpa.gov/finance/tax-forms

Use "2016 Tax Forms" and use the form for Allegheny County Central (70). Make sure you include copies of your visa documents along with your return.

Filing Independently

For those of you who do not want to use Spintax, please follow the instructions below:

Steps for submitting your taxes:

1. Go to the IRS website and look under "Forms" for Federal tax forms.

2. Print out Form 8843 - This should be completed by each international student and each dependent.  If you did not earn any money in 2016 then you are done once you have completed that form.

3. The majority, 99.99%, of international students who must file taxes will be completing form 1040NREZ. You can print this form from the IRS website along with directions.

Additional Tax Forms and Information

How International Students Can Get Tax Treaty information:

The IRS's Income Tax Treaties page provides access to tax treaties in force. The IRS also has an FAQ on Income Tax Treaties.

How Can I Get Help Filling Out My Tax Forms?

The IRS has eliminated positions in their Pittsburgh office. You can check with your local public library to see if VITA volunteers will be available. To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1.800.829.1040.

Local IRS offices do offer face-to-face tax assistance, including the office at the Federal Building downtown:
1000 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
(412) 395-5667

You can also call the IRS for telephone tax assistance, Monday Friday, 7:00 a.m. 10:00 p.m. your local time (Alaska & Hawaii follow Pacific Time). When calling, you may ask questions to help you prepare your tax return, or ask about a notice you have received.
Telephone Assistance for Individuals
Toll-Free, 1-800-829-1040 Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.