NRA Tax Return Information
Tax Returns for tax year 2020 must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
All nonresident aliens who earn taxable income in the United States are required to file a federal tax return. All nonresidents who claim the benefits of a tax treaty must also file a federal tax return. The deadline for this application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be postmarked is mid April of each year. The forms related to tax return preparation are listed and explained below.
For 2020 tax returns, UM has partnered with an online software provider, which means you can do your taxes from the comfort of your home. Information regarding this process will be sent out by email to all international students and scholars. If you do not receive any such email, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Please Provide 2020 Tax Return Information" and our office will send you the necessary information.
Explanation of Tax Return Forms
This form shows taxable income received in the form of wages. It lists the total income and all the taxes that have been withheld, which may include Federal, State, Local, and Social Security and Medicare taxes.
W-2 forms are employer-specific, so if you had a job anywhere during the tax year other than the University of Missouri, you should have a W-2 from that employer. All W-2s are required to correctly file your return.
Your UM W-2 will be made available through myHR under the payroll tab.
If you do not have a W-2 from the University of Missouri, there could be several reasons.
- You had no compensation (job) income during the tax year. (If you began working at the end of last year, but your first paycheck was received this year, you will not receive a Form W-2 for last year.)
- Your income was paid through the student account as a scholarship, which means it will be reported on Form 1042-S, rather than a W-2. (Form 1042-S explained below.)
- Your income was exempt from all withholding during the year because of a tax treaty between the United States and your country of tax residency. Tax treaty-exempt income is reported on form 1042-S.
If the W-2 you received shows no Federal or State withholding, but shows Social Security and Medicare withholding, this is normal for persons who are residents for tax purposes, but who are still exempt from Federal and State withholding because of a tax treaty.
If the Form W-2 you received shows Social Security and Medicare withholding, but you are in F-1 or J-1 status AND are a nonresident alien for tax purposes, you may be eligible for a refund of this withholding.
This form is issued primarily to document two sources of income:
- Scholarship income
- Any income that is exempt from withholding because of a tax treaty
Form 1042-S will be available electronically through the Sprintax TDS system by March 15, 20201. If you have provided consent to Sprintax TDS for this form to be provided to you electronically, you will receive an e-mail notification the day it becomes available for you to download. If you have not provided consent, it will be mailed to the last known address on file in the NRA tax database by March 15, 2021.
If you are eligible for a tax treaty exemption, but you did not sign and return the necessary forms during the tax year, all of your income will have been taxed and reported on a W-2, so you will not have a Form 1042-S.
This form is issued by the State of Missouri (or another state where you worked) to document a state tax refund from the previous tax year. This income may be taxable for this year.
This form is issued by your bank, and shows the interest you received on deposits in your bank account or CD. Bank interest is not taxable for nonresident aliens, so you do not need to consider this form in preparing your tax return, if you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes.
This form is used most commonly used to show “independent contractor” income. Sometimes, students who work off-campus jobs are given this form to document job income instead of the W-2. When companies report earnings on this form, it means that no US or state taxes have been prepaid on your behalf. Therefore, if the income shown on the form 1099-Misc is very large, you may owe taxes when you file the return, because these taxes were not prepaid on your behalf.
If you did work as an “independent contractor,” you will want to maintain a file throughout the year of expenses related to the work, because some of these expenses may decrease the taxable nature of this income.
Charitable Contributions Statement
This may be in the form of a letter or actual receipts documenting contributions made to US charities. Examples of US charities include houses of worship, places that will take clothing and furniture donations and special funds set up to aid in disaster relief (like the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the Philippines typhoon of 2013).
Charitable giving, under current tax laws, is subtracted from taxable income. Therefore, if you plan to make contributions and would like to receive a tax benefit, make the contributions in such a way that you have a receipt. Most charities will provide receipts. If your donation is monetary, you can make the contribution by check, which can also serve as your receipt.
This form is used to report distributions from annuities, retirement plans, IRAs or pensions. Recently, more US institutions have been requiring employees to contribute to retirement plans. When the employee quits working for the institution, a refund of the retirement contribution may be received and is then reported on Form 1099-R. If you had an internship, it is possible the company for which you worked will send you a form 1099-R if you were required, under the terms of your employment, to contribute to a retirement plan and then received a refund when you left the company.
If you received a Form 1099-R, the tax return preparation software used in the NRA VITA site will not adequately prepare your return, and you will need to seek outside assistance in preparing your returns.
This form documents dividend income, which must be included when you calculate your taxable income for the tax return. This type of income is outside the scope of the nonresident tax clinic, and you will need to seek outside assistance in preparing your returns.
This form is issued by educational institutions in the United States to facilitate U>S> tax residents in obtaining certain tax benefits. Nonresidents will not generally receive this form.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
If you are a nonresident that can claim dependents on your tax return (applies only to residents of Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and students from India), OR you are a resident alien for tax purposes, your dependents must have a U.S. taxpayer identification number - either a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number (ITIN) - to be included on the form. An ITIN application may be included with your tax return for this purpose. Please contact the NRA Tax Office if you or a dependent need to apply for an ITIN.