All international students and their dependents present in the United States during any part of the previous calendar year are responsible for filing annual tax forms (often called “tax returns” because you may get some money back). Filing tax forms is required for all F and J visa holders, including dependents.  This is a requirement even if you did not work or earn income in the United States.

We (and all other seminary staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice. 

Although Dallas Theological Seminary does not advise on individuals’ tax matters, we want to help you find the resources you need. Listed below are some additional resources to assist you.

If you were physically in the United States in F or J status anytime between January 1 and December 31 last year, you are obligated to send one form (Form 8843) to the US tax agency Internal Revenue Service (IRS), even if you had no income.

If you earn $1 of US source income or greater, you will need to file a federal tax return with the IRS.

Did you receive any US source income last year?

(wages, taxable scholarships, housing stipends, cash awards, etc.)

YES

If you received any US source income last calendar year, you must file a US tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Dallas Theological Seminary has arranged access to Sprintax Tax Preparation to assist with your federal tax return. Sprintax is an online tax preparation software, specifically for nonresident alien students.

Please watch this brief five minute video to get an overview of filing with Sprintax:

Our free Sprintax code is emailed to all our international students each spring.

 If you did not receive the free Sprintax code, please contact the International Student Office.

Employed by DTS?

If you were employed by Dallas Theological Seminary anytime last year, you will receive an email from the Human Resources Department with instructions on how to log into your Sprintax account. This is a free service for international students who work at Dallas Theological Seminary.

If you did not receive this email or have questions about logging into your Sprintax account, please email Vickey Singleton (VSingleton@dts.edu) in the Human Resources Department.

Employed Outside of DTS (CPT or OPT)?

If you were employed outside of Dallas Theological Seminary as part of your CPT or OPT experience, we have a limited number of free Sprintax accounts available for you. This is on a first come, first serve basis so please let us know early if you want access to one of the free accounts. Please contact the International Student Office (internationaloffice@dts.edu or Stearns Hall, first floor) so we can help you get access.

Once our limited free Sprintax accounts are exhausted, you will need to pay for your own Sprintax account (https://www.sprintax.com). Please do not pay for a Sprintax account until you have spoken to the International Student Office about the availability of any leftover free Sprintax accounts first.

Received a Taxable Scholarship for Living Expenses?

If you received a taxable scholarship for your living expenses this past year, you will need to file taxes. We have a limited number of free Sprintax accounts available for you. This is on a first come, first serve basis so please let us know early if you want access to one of the free accounts. Please contact the International Student Office (internationaloffice@dts.edu or Stearns Hall, first floor) so we can help you get access.

Once our limited free Sprintax accounts are exhausted, you will need to pay for your own Sprintax account (https://www.sprintax.com). Please do not pay for a Sprintax account until you have spoken to the International Student Office about the availability of any leftover free Sprintax accounts first.

Questions about Sprintax?

For questions regarding Sprintax software, please contact Sprintax at hello@sprintax.com or use their live chat function.

Sprintax also has an expansive Frequently Asked Questions section you can review at https://www.sprintax.com/faq.html 

 

Common US Tax Forms

W-2

If you received wages (from any employment: on-campus, CPT, OPT, etc.) in the United States during the past year.

1042-S

If you received a taxable scholarship/fellowship or claimed tax treaty benefits from a seminary during the past year. You may also receive this form if you receive interest income from a bank.

1099

If you received self-employment income, interest income, dividend income, or investment income during the past year.

1098-T

If you enrolled at an eligible education institution and made a reportable transaction to that education institution during the past year. 

WARNING: International students who are nonresident aliens for tax purposes are not eligible to claim the education credits associated with the 1098-T form, even if the form is issued to you.

NO

If you are a F-1 or J-1 visa student and did NOT receive an income during the previous year, you will still need to file tax form 8843. All F and J visa holders (including all F-2 and J-2 dependents, regardless of age) must file form 8843 if you were present in the US during the previous year.

General Instructions for Tax Form 8843

Fill in your name exactly as it appears on your passport.

For the box requesting your U.S. taxpayer identification number, write in your Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. If you do not have one, leave it blank.

Make sure to hand sign and date page 2 of the form. Electronic Signatures do not count.

Part I (everyone)

1a – enter the type of visa that you used to enter the US and the date entered.

1b – this should be the same as 1a unless you changed status while in the US.

4a – count the number of days you were present in the US during each of the last three calendar years. Exclude any days you were not present in the US.

4b – this should be the same number that you entered in the first blank of 4a

Part II (leave blank)

Part III

9 – Both students and dependents should enter:

Dallas Theological Seminary, 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204, 214-887-5369

10 – Both students and dependents should enter

ISO Contact Person’s Name, 3909 Swiss Avenue, Dallas, Tx 75204, 214-887-5369

11 – 14 – Answer these questions as they apply to you.

Part IV and V – leave blank

Mailing Instructions

If you are filing a Form 1040 NR or Form 1040 NR-EZ, attach Form 8843 to it.  Mail your tax return, by the due date (including extensions), to the address shown in your tax return instructions.

If you do not have to file a tax return, mail Form 8843, by the due date (including extensions) for filing Form 1040NR or Form 1040 NR-EZ, to:

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Here is a brief video from a local university in the Dallas area on how to fill out Form 8843. While there will be a couple of things in this video which are not applicable to you specifically, this video is a good general overview.

Have you been in the US for over five years?

If you have been in the United States for over five years, then you will need to file your taxes as an resident alien for tax purposes. Resident aliens for tax purposes file taxes in the same manner as U.S. citizens and residents. You can use any of the common tax software programs available.

If your tax situation is complicated, we would recommend you talking to a tax professional. We as a seminary cannot offer tax advice.

Do you need to amend your tax return?

If you made a mistake when filing your tax return, don’t panic. All you need to do is file an amended tax return for each year you filed with an error.

The IRS receives thousands of amended tax returns each year from resident and nonresident filers alike.

Why would you need to amend your tax return?

  • You need to correct your income and tax figures – If you forgot to include payment documents you will need to file an amended tax return to report the additional income and tax that you missed.
  • You need to claim all of your allowable tax deductions or tax credits – You should amend your tax return if you did not claim all of your allowable tax deductions or credits when you filed your original return.
  • You need to correct the number of dependents you claimed – An amended return will be needed if you want to add to, or subtract from, the list of dependents you claimed for on your tax return or adjust to relevant exemptions.
  • You filed the wrong form for your tax return – Nonresidents who file their tax returns with form 1040 (which is for US citizens and residents) instead of the return for nonresidents (Form 1040NR) may inadvertently claim credits or take deductions to which they are not entitled. If you have done this then you will need to amend your return as it will be inaccurate and you may be hit with future fines or penalties from the IRS. Filing a form 1040 when you are a nonresident may also jeopardise a potential future US visa applications.
  • You received the CARES Act payment and you were not entitled to it*- If you believe that you have received this payment in error, it is likely that you should file an amended tax return and also return the payment to the IRS (the payment should be sent separately to your amended return). You should also send a cover note with your amended tax return to outline why you are returning the payment.
*In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has introduced the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. The CARES Act provides a number of financial supports that can be claimed by US citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes, including the economic impact payment of up to $1,200.

Navigating the COVID-19 CARES Act stimulus payments

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has introduced the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act.

The CARES Act is a stimulus package which aims to support workers (earning less than $75,000 per year) with a one-time payment of $1,200.

Married couples (who file jointly and earn less than $150,000) will receive $2,400 and families will also get $500 per child.

Taxpayers who have filed US tax returns in 2018 or 2019 have already begun to receive CARES payments.

With that in mind, in this guide, Sprintax will take a closer look at the CARES payment, who is entitled to receive it and what you should do if you receive the payment when you are not eligible.

Beware of tax scams

During tax season, be aware of phone and email scams that target international students. These scams involve persons falsely representing themselves as a representative of the IRS, USCIS, or another government agency.

Here are some tips to protect yourself against scams:

  • Know the IRS will not contact you by email, text or social media.
  • Do not give out any personal information (ex. Social Security number, bank account number, credit card information, etc.) over the phone or via email.
  • Shred paper copies of your tax returns and financial documents when no longer needed.
  • If you receive a suspicious phone call or email, do not respond until you verify with the appropriate people that it is true. Scams can be reported to the: