Income Tax Filing Information
U.S. income taxes are based on the calendar year and tax reporting is done the following year by April 15. You are required to complete tax forms if you have earned income during the year. You are required to complete:
- U.S. federal tax forms (non-resident or resident for federal tax purposes),
- Pennsylvania state forms (same for all),
- local forms (State College -- international students are non-residents).
If you lived in another state during the year and earned income while living there, you will need to file a tax return for that state if that state has income tax. If you had no income, you must complete the 8843.
You Had No Income in 2012
If you had no income in 2012 and you are a non-resident for federal tax purposes, you must file Federal Form 8843. If you had no income and will file only the 8843, the deadline is June 15, 2013. See instructions from Glacier Tax Prep above in gray box.
You Had Income in 2012
If you are an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, you must first determine if you are a resident or non-resident for federal tax purposes.
- Were you in F-1 or J-1 student status on December 31, 2012?
- Is the first time you entered the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q status including any time as a dependent on or after January 1, 2008?
- Which years (January – December) since 1986 have you been in the U.S. in F, J, M, or Q status (either student, trainee, or non-student) for any day? Even if you were in the U.S. for one day, you must count that day as one year.
Non-Residents for Tax Purposes
If you answer “yes” to the first two questions and there are 5 years or less, you may qualify as a non-resident alien for tax purposes.
Resident for Tax Purposes
If you answer “yes” to the first question but were in the U.S. for more than 5 years, you must calculate the “substantial presence test” to determine if you are a non-resident or resident for tax. If you were in the U.S. on December 31, 2012, in F-1 or J-1 student status and you arrived in the U.S. on or before December 31, 2007, you are probably a resident for tax purposes. In general, you are taxed the same as a U.S. citizen on worldwide income. You will not be given a Glacier Tax Prep password, but you should use the free tax software provided by the IRS.
Substantial Presence Test, Exemptions, and Tax Residence
The Directorate of International and Scholar Advising (DISSA) purchases tax software each year called Glacier Tax Prep. We will give a password to anyone who is considered a non-resident for tax purposes (tax term, not an immigration term in this case). Those students who are no longer non-residents for tax purposes cannot use Glacier Tax Prep because it is specifically for individuals who are non-residents for tax purposes. If you are a resident for tax purposes, there is free tax software for you.
- You need to determine your tax residency – either resident or non-resident for tax purposes.
- Complete the “substantial presence test”.
- If you answered “yes” to boxes 1, 3, or 5, it is likely you are a non-resident for tax purposes.
- If you answered “yes” to boxes 2, 4, or 6, it is likely you are a resident for tax purposes. See Residents for Tax Purposes above for information on free software
- If you were present in the U.S. in 2012 but had no income, please see the Glacier Tax Prep instructions above for filling the Form 8843.
Federal Non-Resident Forms
Federal Residents for Tax Purposes
Pennsylvania State Tax Forms
State College Borough Tax
Non-residents pay the rate of 1%. New this year is that the tax is based on where you are paid, not where you live. Therefore, Penn State is in the State College borough, so you will pay the local earned income tax at the rate of 1%.
Tax Help at University Park Campus
- Determine whether you are a resident or non-resident for federal tax purposes by completing the SPT form in the gray box above. You will get a response from DISSA informing you whether you qualify for Glacier Tax Prep or you must use another software package.
- Complete the federal tax form using the appropriate tax software, Pennsylvania form, and local tax forms.
- Make an appointment for additional tax help. See below.
- Students Who Are Non-Residents for Tax Purposes: If you are a student who is a non-resident for tax purposes and you need additional help, you can schedule an appointment for tax help through Global Connections with Caitlyn, the receptionist across from the elevator on the 4th floor. You must use Glacier Tax Prep before your appointment.
- Scholars Who Are Non-Residents for Tax Purposes: If you are a scholar who is a non-resident for tax purposes, you can schedule an appointment for tax help through Global Connections by going to 319 Boucke Building. You must use Glacier Tax Prep before your appontment.
- Students or Scholars Who are Residents for Tax Purposes: If you are a resident for tax purposes, there is help from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (through the College of Agricultural Sciences, Dickinson School of Law and Smeal College of Business) for anyone with income less than $51,000.
- Schedule an appointment by calling 814-863-7448 (Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.). They are closed March 2 - 9, 2013.
- Appointments are from February 5 - April 13, 2013. They are closed March 2 - 9, 2013. Appointments are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 5 - 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Location is in Room 10 Ferguson Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.