Taxes

IMPORTANT DATES:

  • If you received taxable income in the 2017 year: April 17th, 2018
  • If you did not receive taxable income in 2017 year: June 1st, 2018*

( *filing from 8843 only)

NOTE: The staff at the International Students and Scholar Services are not trained in taxation, therefore we are unable to give out any tax related advice or to help students fill out tax forms.

SAMPLE TAX FORMS

1040-EZ Completed

1040-EZ WITH INSTRUCTIONS

1040 FORM

IL 1040 FORM

DO I NEED TO FILE TAX?

Current international students (Both F-1 and J-1), who study in the United States during any portion of the past academic year are required to file taxes with the IRS. You will need to file both federal and state taxes. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T FILE TAX DOCUMENTS?

It is a federal requirement to file taxes each year, and it is also essential for maintaining your immigration status. Neglecting your responsibilities could lead to penalties, and it will also negatively impact your immigration status in the U.S.

If you forgot or didn’t file in previous years, the IRS recommends that you file now for those missing years (You can find the relevant forms on the IRS website) 

WHAT IF I NEED MORE TIME TO FILE?

If you need an extension for filing your tax return, you can file for an Automatic Extension of Time to File Your U.S Tax Return

The above link is for federal return only; to file for an extension for you state tax return, you can go to Illinois State tax extensions.

*Note: If you received any income from other states, please check on the state’s government website for more specific requirements. 

DETERMINE RESIDENCY FOR TAX PURPOSE

Tax forms are vary depending on your residency status and employment status. IRS classifies tax residency as below:

  • Resident for tax purposes / Resident Aliens: All U.S Citizen, legal permanent residents, and non resident aliens for immigration purposes who have met the substantial Presence Test or the “Green Card test”
  • Non-resident for tax purposes / Non-resident Aliens: all others, regardless of immigration status.*
    • What is Taxable Income for Non- residents for tax purpose?  
    • Nonresident aliens use Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ to report only income source in United States, or effectively connected with a United States trade or business. Income includes wages/payments from an on-campus, OPT, CPT, or AT employer, a taxable stipend or scholarship from the college, or other sources. Tuition waivers for degree seeking students are usually not taxable.**

*Note: The majority of international students will fall under the non-resident category. View this IRS document for more details.

**For more information, please visit the IRS website.  

DOCUMENTS FOR FILING TAX RETURN

We recommend filing taxes in March or early April. It is important to keep your addresses updated with the school, because Columbia College Chicago will send you your payment documents for tax filing; if you worked on campus you'll receive a W-2 from Columbia. To keep your address updated, fill out the "Update Your Address" form on our website and update your address in OASIS.

Other documents needed to file taxes include:

  • Valid Passport
  • Most recent Immigration status documents (I-20 or DS –2019)
  • I-94
  • SSN or ITIN
  • ALL relevant tax documents from your employers (W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099)

If you received any taxable income in the past calendar year, you must receive all documents before tax season. You can not change or edit your documents after submitting you filed your tax to the IRS.  

STEPS FOR FILING TAXES

STEP 1: DETERMINE TAX RESIDENCE STATUS

  • See “Determine tax residency for tax purpose”

STEP 2: DETERMINE IF YOU RECEIVED TAXABLE INCOME

Your taxable income include wages or payment received on a taxable stipends, and awards/scholarship from school. Generally, Tuition waivers for degree seeking students do not count at taxable income; you can contact the HR Person or your department for verification if you are unsure.

STEP 3: COLLECT TAX DOCUMENTS

  • see “ Documents of Filing Tax”

STEP 4: COMPLETE TAX FORMS & FILE

There are different special tax forms depending on your tax residency status and whether or not you received any taxable money. To make sure you are filing the correct documents under the right status, please use one of the following options to file your taxes with verifiable assistance:

OPTIONS TO FILE

  • Software: you can access Sprintax, an on-line filing system through LewerMark (our insurance provider).
    • Discounted rates for students: $35.95 Federal -- $25.95 State
    • Online assistance with filing and forms needed to be filled out
  • Workshop: Columbia College Chicago is partnering with the Roosevelt University and the IRS to provide tax support for students. The workshop will be held on April 6. Details here.
  • Free tax assistance: Find a VITA site here, located near you.
    • The (3) closest to Columbia College Chicago are: 

Provider

Details

 

Robert Morris University
401 South State Street
Chicago, IL 60605


Volunteer Prepared Taxes

 

05 FEB  - 12 APR 2018

Monday - Thursday: 1pm - 5pm

No appointment required.

Languages: English & Spanish

 

CEP Loop
30 E. Lake St.
Harold Washington City College

Rm 117,119
Chicago, IL 60601


Volunteer Prepared Taxes

27 JAN - 17 APR 2018

Monday - Thursday: 12pm - 8pm

Friday & Saturday: 10am - 2pm

Languages: English