Federal/State Income Tax
Each year, all persons present in the US must complete a tax form and return it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The deadline for returns to be submitted to the IRS is on or before April 15.
A volunteer professor in the Godbold School of Business at Gardner-Webb offers Income Tax Assistance (ITA) in spring of each year. The Office of International Programs will update students with information on this service before the tax filing deadline (April 15).
Please note that you, the student, are responsible for filing your tax return. You are responsible for gathering together all of the needed paperwork, completing all the required forms and making all the photocopies of the needed documents.
***If you choose you can take your taxes to an outside tax agency to have your taxes prepared as well. Tax preparers usually charge a fee to prepare your taxes. Tax preparation is solely your responsibility.
The United States has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States. These reduced rates and exemptions vary among countries and specific items of income. Under these same treaties, residents or citizens of the United States are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from foreign taxes, on certain items of income they receive from sources within foreign countries. Most income tax treaties contain what is known as a "saving clause" which prevents a citizen or resident of the United States from using the provisions of a tax treaty in order to avoid taxation of U.S. source income.
If the treaty does not cover a particular kind of income, or if there is no treaty between your country and the United States, you must pay tax on the income in the same way and at the same rates shown in the instructions for the applicable U.S. tax return.
Many of the individual states of the United States tax income which is sourced in their states. Therefore, you should consult the tax authorities of the state from which you derive income to find out whether any state tax applies to any of your income. Some states of the United States do not honor the provisions of tax treaties.
The IRS provides information on tax treaties between the United States and particular countries. For further information on tax treaties refer also to the Treasury Department’s Tax Treaty Documents page.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN's)
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a range of 70-88 in the fourth and fifth digit, example 9XX-70-XXXX. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, many foreign nationals are not eligible for SSN’s, since the issuance of SSN is tied to eligibility for employment authorization.
IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax filing requirement and do not qualify for SSNs. A non-resident alien individual not eligible for a SSN who is required to file a U.S. tax return only to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty needs an ITIN. The ITIN is for tax purposes only. It cannot be issued for other purposes, such as applying for a driver's license or state ID card. In fact, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles does not accept an ITIN as a valid identity document.
Examples of individuals who may need an ITIN include:
- An F-1 student receiving a scholarship who shows written proof that his or her application for a social security number was rejected by the Social Security Administration;
- An individual not eligible for a SSN but required to file a tax return to claim a refund of tax under the provisions of a U.S. tax treaty;
- An individual not eligible for a SSN but who is the dependent child or spouse of a non-resident visa holder from Canada, Mexico, India or Republic of Korea (these are the only countries that permit non-residents for tax purposes to claim spouses or children as dependents on their tax returns, based on the terms of the tax treaty with the United States.)
- An individual not eligible for a SSN who is a dependent or spouse of an individual who is a resident for tax purposes (once an F-1 student has been in that non-immigrant status for more than five years, that student becomes a resident for tax purposes and can claim their spouse and/or children as dependents on their U.S. tax return).
- An individual not eligible for a SSN but who has opened an account with a financial institution that generates income subject to either reporting or withholding.
Visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information for comprehensive information on how you can apply for an ITIN, necessary help with the ITIN application and when to expect your ITIN after submitting your application. The Office of International Programs (OIP) can answer very basic tax questions; however, no staff member of OIP is qualified to give tax advice. The OIP cannot provide assistance with obtaining an ITIN other than to direct you to the IRS website or a qualified tax professional in our area.