Tax Filing Season Is Approaching

January 22, 2018

If you were present in the U.S. during any part of calendar year 2017 with any immigration status other than a 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). If you were in F-1, J-1, H-1B, TN, or O-1 status during the calendar year 2017, you must make some type of tax filing with the IRS.

Please take a moment to review our tax filing information that includes a brief video presentation on how the U.S. individual tax system functions and tax filing deadline dates for 2017. The HIO Tax FAQ is a good place to learn about filing taxes in the U.S.

Determine Your U.S. Source of Income
If you answer NO to all of the following questions, you will likely only need to file IRS Form 8843.
If you answer YES to any of the following questions, in addition to IRS Form 8843, you will likely have to file a tax return.
1.      Did you receive a stipend, grant or fellowship from a U.S. source?
2.      Were you employed by Harvard University?
3.      Were you employed in the U.S. by an employer other than Harvard University?
4.      Did you receive investment income from a U.S. source?
 
Tax Reporting Documents
If you answered YES to any of the questions above, you will likely receive one or more of the following documents:
•        W-2 – Wage income (job salary) - Issued by January 31st
•        1042-S – Fellowship/stipend income, wage income (job salary) with tax treaty – benefit - Issued by March 15th
•        1095-A,B, or C 1099 HC – Proof of Health Insurance - Issued by February 1st
•        1099-MISC, etc. - Issued by April 15th
Do not file any tax forms until you are sure that you have received all of your tax reporting documents. If you had no U.S.-source income, the only document(s) you may receive would be the 1095 and/or 1099.
 
Tax Filing for Tax Non-Residents
The HIO will provide access to the Windstar tax preparation software that will assist you in determining your tax filing status and will prepare your tax filing documents if you are a non-resident for tax purposes. If you are a tax-resident you could complete your tax return forms by hand, use commercial software (i.e., TaxSlayer, TaxCut, TaxAct, TurboTax, etc.), or retain the services of a tax preparation specialist.

BEWARE OF SCAMS: If someone claiming to be a government official or law enforcement officer calls making threats, such as deportation, hang up and report it to both Harvard and to the IRS or USCIS.

The tax resources offered by the HIO are provided so that international members of the Harvard community can make informed personal decisions concerning their taxes. HIO advisors are not trained tax specialists and cannot provide individual advice on taxes. By using these tax resources, you acknowledge that Harvard University is not liable for any errors and incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing, performance or use by you of these on-line systems, online HELP and/or examples contained therein. You should seek professional tax advice from a qualified accountant or attorney if you have questions or need clarification.