If you were present in the United States (U.S.) during any part of calendar year 2019 in any immigration status other than B or WT/WB (ESTA), there is at least one tax form (IRS Form 8843) you must file with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this spring. Below is what you should consider in preparation for the coming tax filing season. If you were not in the U.S. at all during 2019, you do not need to complete any tax forms this year.
- Review the HIO Tax FAQ and additional tax preparation resources, including tax filing deadlines for 2019.
- All current students, scholars, and student interns at Harvard will receive an email from the HIO in mid-late February providing additional information, instructions, and a discount code to use the Sprintax tax preparation software.
- If you are no longer an active student or scholar at Harvard and need to file taxes for 2019, please contact your HIO Advisor in late February to request a unique discount code to use Sprintax.
If you will travel over holidays and/or winter break, you must take the proper documents with you for your return to the United States (U.S.). Please review International Travel for more information.
The travel signature on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 cannot be more than 12 months old at the time of your reentry to the U.S. If you need a new travel signature, come to the HIO on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, or Tuesday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm with your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and passport. No appointment is needed for a travel signature.
The HIO has received multiple reports of international students and scholars receiving scam phone calls from individuals representing themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from a governmental number. The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods.
If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a governmental entity, please ask for their contact information and callback number and contact your HIO Advisor immediately. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information. You can find more information on the HUPD website.
My best experience at Harvard has been the First-Year International Program, a four day preorientation program for international students. I participated in it when I matriculated, and have had the privilege of been involved in organizing it. Each year it has been a fantastic way to connect with the international community.