Tax Information for International Students and Visiting Academic Staff

In the United States, everyone files "tax returns" between February and mid-April for the previous calendar year. 2017 tax returns are due on April 17, 2018.  ISSO provides tax software for internationals every year (called SPRINTAX) to enable you to do your U.S. federal tax filing for free! Read the information below before you access the SPRINTAX software.

  • SPRINTAX software is available in late February or early March every year. We will send out reminder emails to all international students.
  • Tax returns are due April 17, 2018. (They must be postmarked by this date, not received.)
  • WAIT to file with the SPRINTAX software. You cannot use Turbo-Tax or other "resident" tax softwares as a non-resident for tax purposes. Am I a non-resident for tax purposes?
  • WAIT to file until you have received all of the necessary forms (see explanations of "W-2" and "1042-S" below). Cornell does not release the 1042-S form until late February or early March.

Do I need to file a tax return?

You will need to file a U.S. federal tax return if:

  • If you received any U.S.-based income in 2017 (wages, fellowship for living expenses, or a travel grant).
  • If you did not receive any income in the U.S. in 2017, then you do not need to file.

You may use the tax software that ISSO provides to Cornell international students and employees for filing your federal tax return as long as you continue to be a non-resident for U.S. federal tax purposes.

Locate this paperwork before you use the tax software!

Access the SPRINTAX Software

W-2 and 1042-S

U.S. employers issue anyone who works during any calendar year a W-2, mailed to you in January after the end of the calendar year. While you are a non-resident for federal tax purposes, if you receive non-wage income, or if you have any type of income (including wages) that is tax exempt because your country has a tax treaty with the U.S., then you should receive a 1042-S in March.

Please contact the Cornell payroll office (call 607-255-5194 for W-2 questions; call 607-255-9465 or email for 1042-S questions) or your other employer if you have not yet received the W-2 or 1042-S or if you have any questions about these forms.

New York State Tax Forms

After you have filled out the federal forms using the SPRINTAX software, you will have an option to use the software to fill out the state forms if you need to.  The software will charge you a $26 fee.  If you do not want to pay the fee, you can get the forms from the New York State tax site to complete your state taxes. You will not be able to complete your New York State (NYS) until you have  completed your federal tax form. 

Need an extension of the tax deadline?

Turbo-Tax Warning!

  • I just realized that I completed my taxes incorrectly because I used Turbo-Tax and it created RESIDENT forms for me when I am really a NON-resident for US federal tax purposes. What should I do now?

    Any international who is a non-resident for tax purposes should NOT file tax returns using TURBO-Tax.

  • If you realize now that you filed your taxes incorrectly, follow these steps:

    — If you filed resident forms and you should have filed non-resident forms, log into the SPRINTAX software and complete the forms correctly and print them out with the instruction sheet.
    — Download a 1040X form from the IRS website.
    — Download the instructions for Form 1040X.
    — Complete the sections on what you did do and what you should have done.
    — Attach a copy of the incorrect form AND a copy of the correct form that you printed out from the software.
    — Mail it to the address listed on the instruction sheet.
    — If you have any questions while you are using the software, submit your question on the SPRINTAX preparation website.