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Sprintax FAQs

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Who can use Sprintax?

Sprintax was created specifically for international students, scholars, teachers and researchers in the US on F, J, M and Q visas, to make tax prep easy and ensure they are fully compliant with the IRS tax rules.

I’m not a student, can I use Sprintax?

Yes. If you’re a temporary visitor to the US on a H1B, H2B, L or B1 working visa, J1 Exchange visitor or foreign performing artist, athlete or entertainer on a P or O visa, Sprintax can prepare your US income tax return. However, you must be classified as non-resident for the entire tax year. If you’re unsure, Sprintax can review your circumstances and let you know.

I am classified as dual status, can I use Sprintax?

A dual status alien is any individual who is treated as non-resident for part of the year and resident for the remainder of the year. It usually arises in the first or last years of residency. The Sprintax online software does not support dual status, however we can still help with your tax return. Please contact the Sprintax team via our online chat system, toll free number 1-866-601-5695 or email [email protected] for additional information.

I am currently on OPT, can I still use Sprintax?

Yes. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is not a separate visa status. It is a benefit of the F-1 status and while engaging in OPT, you still are considered to be an F-1 student.

How does Sprintax work?

Sprintax is easy to use and works as follows:

  • You create an account, or log-in if you’ve already created an account.
  • You then answer some easy-to-understand questions.
  • Sprintax then reviews your details for all applicable allowances and deductions.
  • Sprintax finalizes the calculations and prepares your tax return.
  • You print your tax return, sign it and mail it to IRS.

Tip:If your university has given you a link to Sprintax – don’t forget to use it!

How will Sprintax help me?

Sprintax offers a range of services to assist in the preparation of tax returns, including the following:

  • Federal tax preparation – 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ
  • State tax preparation
  • Form 8843
  • FICA
  • W7 – ITIN processing
  • Other NR forms and schedules

What are the benefits of using Sprintax?

  • IRS compliance guaranteed
  • Federal & State tax return guidance and preparation
  • ITIN applications facilitated
  • Complete tax relief review
  • User-friendly system
  • Optimized tax return
  • Flexible service
  • 24/7 Live Help

What documents / information might I need to prepare my tax return?

  • Passport
  • US entry and exit dates for current and all previous visits to the US
  • All tax forms you’ve received (including Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099, etc.)
  • Visa / Immigration Status information, including Form DS-2019 (for J visa holders) or Form I-20 (for F visa holders) Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • If you are using Sprintax for State Tax Return(s) preparation only, you will need a copy of the Federal Tax return you have already prepared
Tips:
  • Make sure that you have all payment documents for the tax year you’re preparing your return for.
  • If you do not have an ITIN, Sprintax can still help you!

Do I need to list all my visits to the U.S. including those on a tourist visa and from long ago?

The exemption from the substantial presence test covers 5 years for students on J, F and M visas and it is given once for a lifetime and 2 out of 6 years for other exchange visitors, such as scholars, teachers, trainees on J, Q visas.

Respectively, to identify your eligibility to exclude days from the substantial presence test (to remain non-resident for tax purposes no matter how many days you stayed during the tax year), you must list all your visits.

Tourist visas may or may not affect your exempt status, however they may affect the days counted for the substantial presence test that will determine your residency.

I already graduated in May, am I a full time student/degree candidate?

F1 graduate students whose program requires immediate CPT, or students participating in post-completion OPT, who meet all the requirements of the OPT/CPT programs, do not change F1 student status while the practical training programs are treated as part of their study process.

I don't have an SSN or ITIN? What should I do?

If you’ve never received a Social Security Number, you will need to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to enable you to file your taxes.

An ITIN must be provided on tax returns, statements, and other tax related documents, for example you’ll need one:

  • When filing your tax returns
  • When claiming treaty benefits

Sprintax can organise this for you.

Can I file jointly with my spouse?

If you were married on the last day of the tax year, you do not have the option to file a return jointly with your spouse, if both you and your spouse are non-resident aliens. If you file Form 1040NR, your only option is to file a single tax return (married non-resident alien status is also treated as a single).

If you are citizen of Canada, Mexico or South Korea, or a student or business apprentice from India, by filing 1040NR, you may have the option to claim dependency exemptions for your family under certain circumstances which Sprintax will determine for you. If you are filing Form 1040NR-EZ, you can only claim "single non-resident alien" or "married non-resident alien", which are both treated as single filing status and you cannot claim dependency exemptions..

Can I claim dependents on my tax return?

Dependent is a broad definition of a child or another member of your household. In general, non-residents are not allowed to claim dependents on their tax returns. However residents of Canada, South Korea, Mexico and some students or business apprentices from India may claim dependency exemptions for their family members the same way as residents of the US if certain conditions are met. You must use Form 1040NR in order to claim a dependent; the exemption cannot be taken on form 1040NR-EZ.

What is the April 18th deadline?

The April 18th tax deadline is the date by which all tax returns must be filed for the previous year. If you owe the IRS money and you don't file your tax return by April 18th, the IRS will impose late filing penalties and interest on the amount you owe, so the sooner you apply the better.

I will not be able to send my return on time. What should I do?

If you are not able to file your federal income tax return by the due date (April 18th), you may be able to get an automatic 6-month extension. To apply for the additional time, you must file 'Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return' by the original deadline for filing your tax return (April 18th).

You should note that Form 4868 is an extended deadline to file your tax return but is not an extension of time to pay any money due. If you owe any tax, you must estimate your tax liability on Form 4868 and pay any amount due at that time.

What is an 'instalment agreement' and does Sprintax provide such an option?

IRS permits people to make monthly payments through an instalment agreement if they're not financially able to pay their tax bill immediately. You will be required to pay a fee for setting up this agreement. However, it’s worth noting that you will reduce or eliminate the amount of penalties and interest you pay and avoid the set-up fee if you pay your tax bill in full when it’s due.

The Sprintax software does not facilitate instalment agreements; however we can still help. Contact the Sprintax team via our online chat system, toll free number 1-866-601-5695 or email [email protected] for additional information about instalment agreements.

When I’ve mailed my tax return to IRS how can I check the status of my tax return?

You can check the status of your federal tax refund at any time by using the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the IRS website. You can also call the IRS TeleTax System on (800) 829-4477 or the IRS Refund Hotline on (800) 829-1954. When you call or visit the IRS website, you will need the following information:

  • The first social security number shown on the federal return
  • Your filing status (single or married filing separately etc)
  • The exact amount of the refund shown on your federal return ($ amount of the refund)

What should I do if I owe money to the tax office?

If you underpaid your taxes you need to pay the outstanding amount to the relevant tax office before the deadline (April 18 for tax year 2016). If you end up owing additional taxes with your return, you have various options to pay your taxes. You can pay by check, bank transfer or use your credit or debit card.

You may need to prepare a payment voucher and mail it to the IRS with a check or money order if you choose this payment method. If you choose to pay with a payment voucher, Sprintax will provide the filled out form for you. You will find detailed information about the method you have chosen in your instructions.

Can I avail of a tax treaty?

Depending on your nationality (tax residency immediately before you entered the US) and other conditions, you may be able to claim a tax refund under an international 'tax treaty'. Tax treaties are agreements between the US and other countries that allow you to claim back tax you paid while working abroad.

Sprintax always checks if you're eligible for an international tax treaty when we prepare your US tax return. Your eligibility depends on factors like your nationality (tax residence), length of stay, purpose of your stay, type of income and visa.

Should I file a tax return if I had no income?

If you have been present in the U.S. during the tax year on F, J, M or Q visa status and did not receive any income you should only file the Form 8843-Statement for Exempt Individuals, to explain the basis of your claim that you can exclude days of presence in the U.S. for purposes of the substantial presence test and to meet the obligations of your academic visa. Form 8843 is not an income tax return. Form 8843 is merely an informational statement required by the U.S. government. Sprintax will help you prepare your 8843 form quickly and easily just by answering our straight forward questionnaire!

All you need to do is:

  • Create/Login to your account
  • Fill in some information about your stay in the U.S.
  • Finalize the process and review your form
  • Print, sign, and post to the tax office

Do I have to file a state tax return?

In the United States, besides federal tax, there are also state taxes and local taxes (in addition to many other types of tax such as FICA, sales, property, etc). Whether you need to file a state tax return will depend on the tax rules of the state in which you lived and /or worked. Sprintax will prepare your federal tax return (if applicable) and if requested, we will also prepare your state tax return.

What is Form 1098-T? Why does Sprintax not have it?

A Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, is used to help figure education credits (and potentially, the tuition and fees deduction) for qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year which are specifically available for US citizens and residents. Foreign students and non-residents do not need 1098-T form for computation of their taxable scholarship and preparing their tax return.

As per the IRS instructions, Educational institutions do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for:

  • Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program
  • Non-resident alien students, unless requested by the student
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or covered entirely by scholarships
  • Students for whom the institution does not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between the institution and the student's employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defence.

Who should file Form 1098-T?

Educational institutions must file this form for each student they enrol and for whom a reportable transaction is made. Insurers must also file Form 1098-T for each individual for whom they made reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses.

How long can I access my Sprintax online account for?

You can access your Sprintax account for as long as you like and if you choose to use our service for future tax years, you can still access the same account.

What should I do if I have forgotten my password?

You can reset your password by clicking the “Forgot your password?” link in the log-in area. We’ll then send you a password reset email to the email address you gave us. Can’t see the password reset email we sent you? Check your spam folder in case it’s gone there.

Please make sure you use a valid and current email address and the same one that you used to register with Sprintax.

What should I do if I enter incorrect information on my tax return in Sprintax?

If you submit the wrong information on your tax return in Sprintax, you can simply go back through the steps, correct the information and submit your tax return once again. Sprintax won’t ask you to pay again for the changed tax return.

Please note that you are allowed to change any piece of information in your account, such as addresses, name and other personal data. However, to protect user’s privacy and security the user is allowed to change just one piece of unique personal information at a time and these are: your Name(s), Date of Birth and Social Security number. For example, if you made a mistake in your DoB and you want to correct it, you can do that, but you will be unable to change your name or SSN at the same time as those fields will be locked for editing.

Where can I enter my university access code (discount code)?

Simply enter the code on the ‘Review Your Order’ page to get your discount. You must have a different access code for every tax year and each code can only be used once.

What are the fees?

Sprintax Individual User Pricing

Service SprintaxNR pricing SprintaxNRPro pricing
Federal Tax Preparation (Form 1040 NR/ Form 1040 NR- EZ) $35.95 $49.95
State Tax Preparation (per state) $25.95 $29.95
Form 8843 $15.95 $15.95
ITIN Preparation (Form W-7) $15.95 $15.95
FICA Preparation (Form 843) $15.95 $15.95

If your individual circumstances are not supported by the Sprintax software, your tax return may be prepared offline instead. Please contact us at [email protected] and we’ll review your case and provide more information on our offline services and prices.

What payment methods are available?

You can simply pay by credit card.

Where can I find my tax return in case I haven't printed or saved it?

If you need to reprint or modify your tax return, simply log-in to your account and click on the "Download Returns" section on the drop down menu in the top right corner.

I am having software/browser issues

Generally, this could be caused by something in your browser or computer interfering with normal network interaction. The issues that you encounter within your Sprintax account can be solved by:

  • Logging in through a different browser. Some versions of Google Chrome do not comply with the Sprintax software at 100%.
  • Clearing your browser cache and cookies - A cookie is a small file that is stored on your computer when you visit a website and contains information about your previous interactions with that website. Sometimes cookies can cause problems with your browser loading certain websites, especially if a website has recently gone through an update of its layout. The cache file saves parts of websites you have loaded, but just like cookies, can cause problems if a website has gone through a design change. Note: Clearing your browser cache and cookies may clear information that is saved to websites you visit, such as any usernames or passwords that may be saved and automatically entered each time you visit that site.
  • Perform a “hard refresh” in your browser (Windows: Ctrl+Shift+R / Mac: Command+Shift+R)

I received a letter from the IRS saying that my tax return is incorrect/ additional information is required– What should I do?

The letter from the IRS will provide information about the issue they believe is incorrect or incomplete. You should review the IRS letter and compare the issue(s) identified in the letter with the tax return completed in Sprintax and provide the information/documents in requested by the IRS (if any) by the due date stated in the notice.

You should contact the IRS directly on +1 267 941 1000, which is the phone number of the Non Resident department within the IRS. The best option is to call early in the morning (they open at 07.00 AM Easter time) when the hold time may not be as long.

Sprintax is a self-preparation tool so the information on your tax return will depend on the information you entered through the Sprintax software

How long will it take to get my refund?

Exact timelines are determined by the IRS on a case by case basis. Tax return processing time for paper tax returns (including non-residents 1040NR) is estimated at 4-6 weeks from the moment when the tax return is received within the IRS. Please, allow a further 1-2 weeks for mailing, if you requested a check before you contact IRS. Please note the IRS allow up to 6 months for the processing of non-resident returns.

What if I miss the April 18th deadline and file late, or don’t file at all?

Non-residents can apply for their tax refunds even after the April 18th deadline, but a return has to be filed no more than 3 years after the original deadline in order for the IRS to issue a refund.

You should not worry about the penalties and fines if you have no tax liability, the IRS will not penalize you if you do not file a return on time.

The deadline for filing your Form 8843 is the same as the deadline for filing your tax return (18th of April).

If you owe additional tax for the year, you must file a return and pay those taxes on time to avoid late filing and payment interest and penalties. The IRS charges substantial interest and penalties on past due taxes. Where there are additional taxes due, the IRS treats each late filer individually and calculates penalties and interest based on the balance due shown on the return or adjusted by the IRS. Once the IRS processes your return, they'll calculate the penalties and interest based on the number of days your return is late, and then send you a separate bill. For this reason, Sprintax cannot calculate late filing penalties or interest.

The terms of your visa require that you stay in compliance with all laws of the United States, including the rules relating to income tax filing. If you want to apply for permanent residence in the US at a later date you will be asked to prove that you have complied with all tax laws.

I filed my tax return with my form 1042-S. Should I expect a delay in processing of my refund?

If you requested a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S by filing a Form 1040NR, IRS may need additional time to process the return. Please allow up to 6 months from the original due date of the 1040NR return (18th of April) or the date you actually sent your 1040NR, whichever is later to receive any refund due. Basically, refunds of federal tax reported on 1042-S is expected to start on or after 18th of October, 2017.

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