2021 Tax Information & Sprintax
GVSU's International Student Services have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for non-resident students and scholars in the U.S. The ISS Team (and all other university staff) are not qualified nor allowed to provide individual tax advice.
The information on this page is for the 2021 tax year. In the US, we file taxes for the previous calendar year. So in 2022, we are filing for January 1 - December 31 of 2021.
How to File
Create a Sprintax Account
Enrolled International Students will receive an email from ISS providing you with a link to Sprintax 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 for the first 130 students. Open your new Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can log in using your existing credentials.
After you login to Sprintax, it will ask you a series of questions about the time you have spent in the United States and in which immigration status, looking back over a period of 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 it to respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will complete and generate the forms you need to print, sign, and mail to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for Federal and, depending on your situation, State filing. If it determines you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won't be able to continue using the software.
Who must file tax forms for 2021 tax season?
If you were physically in the U.S. in F or J status anytime between January 1 - December 31, 2021 you're obligated to send one form, Form 8843, to the U.S. tax agency IRS (Internal Revenue Service), even if you had no income. For the 2021 tax season, if you earn over $0 of US source income, you may need to file a federal tax return with the IRS. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to file a state and city tax return(s).
Sprintax recently published a new blog on this topic and the difficulties that many students face when applying for an ITIN while outside the US
All individuals present in the U.S. on F-1, F-2, J-1, or J-2 visa status must file Form 8843 even if they received NO income during 2021. Form 8843 must be filed regardless of the individual’s age and even if the individual is not required to file a U.S. income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ). If this is your situation, you can use the Sprintax to file the 8843.
State & City Tax Returns
GVSU has agreed to cover the cost of the Federal 8843 filing documents for the first 130 GVSU International Students to use Sprintax's software. Sprintax's software can produce both the Federal and State filing documents. You can choose to purchase the State filing document in addition to the Federal document. However, City filing forms are not created using Sprintax's software. Please visit the Michigan Department of Treasury website for more information on State and City filing requirements and forms.
Did you receive a stimulus check in 2021? If you did, this was an ERROR! Listen to this NPR piece featuring Sprintax Vice President, Enda Kelleher which discusses the steps a nonresident should take if they received a stimulus check in error in 2020.
The $1,200 stimulus checks were intended exclusively for US citizens and resident aliens. However, thousands of nonresidents, who were not entitled to the payment, were sent a check by mistake. Nonresidents who received the check in error are typically required to file an amended tax return and send the payment back to the IRS.
Sprintax can help nonresidents who received the check in error to amend their previously filed tax returns easily online. Use code EL20D300A at checkout to apply the $20 discount for an amendment.
Beware of scams!
GVSU's ISS (International Student Services) and the school are NOT permitted to assist any student/scholar 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.