International Student Services

EMPLOYMENT & TAXES

Visit the DSU Career Center to find student jobs and internship opportunities.

 

On-Campus Employment

International Students are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full time (40 hours per week) during a vacation semester and during breaks between semesters. Students must maintain legal status as set forth in USCIS regulations in order to be eligible for on campus work. Make sure to check with the International Student Services office before seeking employment.

Keep up your full-time student status and make sure your I-20 does not expire. The Human Resources Department will check on your status several times a year; if you are not maintaining full-time student status, your employer will terminate your employment.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary authorization for practical training directly related to your major field of study. Your major field of study is listed on your I-20.

“Practical training” can include employment, internship experience (paid or unpaid), cooperative (co-op) education experience, etc. CPT is authorized by the ISS office in accordance with the F-1 regulations. You can apply for CPT during the regular academic year (you must remain registered full-time) and during your annual vacation quarter.

CPT may be part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). If you accumulate 12 months (365 or more days) of full-time CPT authorization, you lose your eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT), another type of employment authorization for F-1 students. Part-time CPT and fewer than 12 months of full-time CPT authorization does not affect your OPT eligibility.

Eligibility

You may be eligible for CPT if you:

  • Are currently in valid F-1 status.
  • Have been enrolled at a college or university in the U.S. on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year.(“One academic year” at DSU is defined as two full-time consecutive semesters. )
  • Are in a major (Premajor students, who are not yet admitted into a major, are not eligible for CPT. CPT cannot be authorized based on a minor or certificate program).
Optional Practical Training

OPT authorization that begins after completion of your academic program is called “post-completion” OPT. This is the most common type of OPT. Post-completion OPT is full-time, and it can begin:

  • after you complete your degree or educational level (Associates or Bachelors but it needs to be stated on your I-20)

* You must apply for OPT based on your last registered semester.


TAXES

International students who received income from a U.S. based source, are required to file federal tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by May 17, 2021 (extended from April 15th). You may also be required to file state tax returns as well. Sources of U.S. income may include the following: on-campus employment, graduate assistantships, scholarships, grants, or earnings from OPT or CPT.

For tax purposes, it is important to determine residency. An individual is either considered a non-resident for tax purposes or a resident for tax purposes. Any non-resident for U.S. tax purposes, even if he or she did not receive income from a U.S. based source, must file IRS Form 8843 each year for as long as they are a non-resident for tax purposes. This includes international students and their dependents.

How to Determine Residency for Tax Purposes:

In general, most international students on F visas are considered non-residents for tax purposes. International students on F-1 visas are automatically considered non-residents for tax purposes for their first five calendar years in the U.S. The Substantial Presence Test will determine your tax residency. IRS publication 519 explains further information on residency for tax purposes.

Because of the limited resources for non-residents for tax purposes, ISS has partnered with a company called Sprintax, a company that specializes non-resident tax preparation. Sprintax is a paid service; however, ISS has purchased access codes to help offset the cost.

How to File:

We have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with an easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the US. We (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.

After you login to Sprintax, you will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the US over recent years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a “nonresident alien” (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use the software to respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will then complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the tax authorities.

However, if Sprintax determines that you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won’t be able to continue using the software.

Step by Step guide on How to File Your Nonresident Tax Forms:

 

PREPARE YOUR DOCUMENTS

Make sure that you have all applicable tax reporting documents before you start preparing your tax returns.

You may need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • I-20 (for F visa holders)
  • U.S. entry and exit dates for current and all past visits to the U.S. You can search your travel history here.
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) – Note: This is not needed if you had no income and the 8843 is the only form you have to file.
    If you do not have an ITIN and need one, Sprintax still can help you!
  • All relevant tax forms, including Forms W-2, 1042-S and/or 1099 – if applicable to your situation.
    • Note: 1098-T form is NOT needed and can NOT be used for a nonresident tax return because NRAs are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits.
  • If you plan to use Sprintax for State Tax Return(s) preparation only, it will be necessary to have a copy of information from your Federal Tax return
Create a Sprintax Account:

You will receive an email from the international student office providing you with a link to  to set up your account as well as your unique code to use on Sprintax. This unique code will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you. Open your new  Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can login using your existing credentials.

Follow the Sprintax instructions

If you did not earn any US Income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any).

If you did earn US Income: Sprintax will generate your “tax return documents”, including either a 1040NR-EZ or a longer form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.

(With U.S. income only) If required, complete your state tax return

After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, you will have the option to use Sprintax for an additonal fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.

Read the instructions for filing/mailing your returns

Remember to read the instructions that Sprintax provides.

You will be required to download, print and sign your federal tax return and mail it to the IRS. If you have a state filing requirement, you must also mail this to the tax authorities.

Finally, if you only need to file Form 8843, this will also need to be mailed to the IRS.

Need Sprintax Support?

If you need help while using Sprintax, you can contact their support team using the options below

Email – hello@sprintax.com

24/7 Live Chat Help

Refer to their FAQs

Sprintax Educational Tax Videos and Blog:

You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on nonresident taxes. These will provide further clarity on nonresident tax and how to use Sprintax. Sprintax also offer a range of useful content on their blog to help you file your return.

DISCLAIMER: International Student Services (ISS) and DSU are NOT permitted to assist any student with any IRS tax form preparation or tax related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office.