Taxes for International Students

Click here for an overview of the US tax system and relevant tax information for international students and scholars.

What you Need to Know Filing your 2021 Federal Tax Return

The deadline to file your 2021 is April 15, 2022.   We recommend you file as early as possible.

If you were present in the U.S in 2021, you are legally obligated to complete tax forms by April 15, 2022.  Yes, you have to do this, even if you did not earn income in the US.

OIP offers access to a software called Sprintax Tax Preparation to help you prepare your tax documents. There are some fees for using this software but due to the complexity of filing tax forms we highly recommend it.

Using Sprintax to File your Tax Forms:

All non-residents should use Sprintax Tax Preparation to prepare their Federal tax form.  Using Sprintax for your State tax form (if applicable) is optional but we highly recommend it.  Sprintax will help you to determine if you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes after you create your account and provide some initial information.  Creating an account is free so you will not be charged if you cannot use it because you are a non-resident.

Documents you will need to file your tax form:

  1. W-2 forms from ALL places of US employment.  You can download your UMaine W-2 under “employee self-service” in MaineStreet.
  2. 1042-S-  ONLY IF YOU HAD A TAXABLE SCHOLARSHIP, INSURANCE CREDIT OR TAX TREATY.  OIP will email you if you have a 1042S and make it available to you.
  3. YOU DO NOT NEED 1098-T and/or 1095-C, you can ignore those forms as they don’t apply to non-residents.
  4. During preparation of your tax forms you may be advised to apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).  DO NOT use Sprintax for this.  Seek help from OIP.  Do not apply for the ITIN on your own.

Getting Started:

  1. Go to Sprintax.com and “Log in” if you have used Sprintax before, or “Register” if you are a new user.
  2. Enter all your personal information:
    • Name
    • Address: we recommend you use our office address as your US address: 300 Stodder Hall, Orono, ME 04469)
    • Passport number
    • Dates of entry and departure (access these online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov ).  It is extremely important to enter each entry and departure since your very first visit to the US.
  1. a)  If Sprintax determines you are a NON-Resident for tax filing purposes, continue and prepare your federal tax form.
    b) If Sprintax determines you meet the substantial presence test and eligible to file as a RESIDENT for tax purposes.  You will NOT be able to use Sprintax to prepare your tax forms if this is the case.  Follow instructions provided by Sprintax to file as a RESIDENT.

Sprintax Resources:

Sprintax has many resources to help you use their program and correctly file your tax return, including a 24/7 chat function and phone line.  We encourage you to use the Sprintax resources.

Sprintax has also published video instructions for each section of their program.  You can access those videos here.

Preparing and Mailing Your Tax Form:

Once you have entered ALL information into Sprintax the software will prepare your Federal tax form.   CHECK YOUR DATA FOR ACCURACY.

PRINT, SIGN, attach necessary supporting documents (W-2, 1042-S, etc.) and MAIL your documents according to instructions provided by Sprintax. Sprintax will provide very detailed instructions on how to submit your forms.  Make sure you follow instructions carefully and include all required documentation.

Refunds and Tax Payments:

If you are owed a refund, we highly recommend direct deposit in your US bank account or have the refund check sent to our address (300 Stodder Hall).

Students who do not have a US social security number or Tax ID (ITIN) and who need to apply for an ITIN must attend a workshop for assistance.  Do not file for the ITIN on your own.

Fees for Using Sprintax:

Federal Tax Form- $10.00- purchase this special tax code from the OIP website.  Once you enter the code it will remove the charge for filing the federal form.

State Tax Form- $39.95- Sprintax charges this fee to prepare your state tax form.  You can pay them directly with a credit or debit card or click “Remove” if you prefer to prepare your own state tax form.

We recommend that you do not purchase the tax code until you have entered enough information in the program to determine that you are a non-resident for tax purposes and will be able to use Sprintax.

OIP Workshops:

OIP will offer a limited number of workshops for first time filers and some other select groups.  We will send an email announcement when these are scheduled.