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2004 Tax Bulletin

from

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)

Boston University

The deadline for filing taxes is coming soon, and we at the ISSO would like to offer some resources to help you with this process. First, we have answered some questions you may have about taxes. Second, we provide you with tax workshops where you can get all of your questions answered and finally, we list other resources that may assist you with completing your tax forms.

Do I need to file a U.S. income tax return this year?

Students in F-1 or J-1 status. All F-1 and J-1 students must file a tax return, even if you have not been employed. However, the forms you are required to complete vary depending on whether you were employed or not. Please see the chart below to determine which forms you must fill out.

Students in some other immigration status.  Depending upon your immigration status and whether you worked last year or not, you may be required to fill out tax forms. In order to find out about your specific situation, please attend one of the tax workshops we have provided or contact the resources provided below.

Can the ISSO help me complete my tax return?

The ISSO is offering five tax workshops featuring an expert on international student and scholar taxes.

The Boston University Tax Workshops for International Students and Scholars will be held as follows:

Date Time Location
Thursday
March 18, 2004
6:00 - 9:00 pm

Charles River Campus
640 Commonwealth Ave, Room 101

Wednesday
March 31, 2004
6:00 - 9:00 pm Medical Campus, Keefer Auditorium
Evans Building, 88 E. Newton St

Friday
April 2, 2004

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Charles River Campus
640 Commonwealth Ave, Room 101

Friday
April 9, 2004
6:00 - 9:00 pm Medical Campus, Keefer Auditorium
Evans Building, 88 E. Newton St

Monday
April 12, 2004

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Charles River Campus
640 Commonwealth Ave, Room 101

(To view the exact location of Evans Building , please go to www.bumc.bu.edu/places/campusmap/index.htm )

We encourage you to attend one of these sessions. Please bring with you any W-2 forms, 1042S forms, and any other income reporting forms such as the 1099INT or 1099DIV you may have received from an employer, a school, a bank, or any other source. We will provide some of the necessary forms and instructions at the workshop and will inform you how to obtain forms that will not be distributed at the workshop.

Which tax forms must I file?

Find yourself on the following table, and you will learn which forms you must file:

Time in U.S. Earned U.S. income? Forms

Students: fewer than 5 years
Scholars: fewer than 2 years

No

Federal Form 1040NR
Federal Form 8843

     
Students: fewer than 5 years
Scholars: fewer than 2 years

Yes

Federal Form 1040NR
Federal Form 8843
State Form 1NR
     

Students: more than 5 years
Scholars: more than 2 years

Yes

Federal Form 1040 or 1040EZ
State Form 1

     
Students: more than 5 years
Scholars: more than 2 years

No

Varies

A special note to scholarship students:  If you had a scholarship and received a Form 1042S in the mail, U.S. tax law considers this earned wages subject to U.S. tax withholding and you must file a tax return. In the table above, the forms you must file are the same as those for a student who has worked.

Where can I obtain these forms?

Download from the Web and print the forms you need from the following sites:

To obtain original paper forms, go to:

  • Boston University Tax Workshops for International Students and Scholars
  • Boston University Mugar Library (while available)
  • Boston Public Library (basement level)
  • U.S. Post Offices (state tax forms, only, while available)

When must I file my tax return?

For Massachusetts state taxes:

Your return is due Thursday, April 15, 2004.

For U.S. Federal taxes:

If you received a form W-2 for 2003, your return is due Thursday, April 15, 2004.

If you did not receive a form W-2 for 2003, your return is due Tuesday, June 15, 2004.

Help!

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Boston Office. The IRS office in Boston has walk-in help available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. They are located on the 7th floor of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Federal Building in Government Center. You can also telephone the office at (617) 316-2850.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can telephone the IRS national help line at (800) 829-1040. You can also visit their new and significantly improved Web site at http://www.irs.gov.

Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Boston Office. You can telephone the office at (617) 887-6367.

Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). You can telephone the DOR statewide help line at (800) 392-6089. You can also visit their Web site at http://www.dor.state.ma.us/.

Association of International Educators (NAFSA). You can find online tax resources at http://www.nafsa.org/content/AboutInternationalEducation/Resources/taxsites.html.

Tax software and on-line services
NRAware is a tax preparation software program designed specifically for Non-Resident Aliens. This is an on-line service for which you will need to subscribe and pay. Here is the link: https://www.nraware.com/ . Another on-line resource is TaxBack International, which provides tax refund service: http://www.taxback.com/ .

Tax consultants and tax attorneys
You have the option of hiring a private agency or lawyer to assist you in reporting your taxes and to file your return. A listing can be found in a phone directory or at www.bigyellow.com under a category such as "tax returns, consultants, & representatives." If you choose to hire a private agency or lawyer, we strongly recommend that you make certain they specialize in international tax issues.

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)
We are not tax experts and we are not formally endorsing any of the services listed above. We know that you are concerned about your tax responsibilities, and we assist you with those responsibilities by providing you with general information, as is contained in this message, and by organizing tax workshops. If you have questions or need assistance with visa or immigration matters, please contact us.

International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)
Boston University

19 Deerfield Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Telephone: (617) 353-3565
Facsimile: (617) 358-1170
E-Mail: isso@bu.edu

 

ISSO
Boston University
February 28, 2005

Boston University International Students & Scholars Office