Tax Preparation Assistance

Sources for Assistance with Non-Resident Tax Forms

Click here for information on assistance with filing forms as a resident instead of a non-resident.

While the ISSO provides general tax assistance in the form of tax information workshops for international students and scholars in the Cornell community, its staff members are not tax specialists. If you require more individualized assistance with federal and/or state income tax preparation, please consider the various available sources.

  • For help using the SPRINTAX software, you can submit your question within the software.
  • Start with the source: The IRS offers several ways of assisting taxpayers with their federal tax forms. You can check its website, where there is a host of information. From pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics (teletax topics, 1-800-829-4477), to speaking with a customer service representative (1-800-829-1040) to Publication 910 "Guide to Free Tax Services," see www.irs.gov.
  • Tax Preparers are, by definition, people who furnish the taxpayer with sufficient information and advice (for a fee) so that the completion of the form is largely a mechanical or clerical matter. A Tax preparer may or may not be licensed. Read about choosing a tax preparer on the IRS website or consult the yellow pages under "Tax."
  • The Internet can be a source of tax information. There are several websites which allow database searches for "frequently asked questions" or tax regulations. Some of these websites are:
    www.taxzone.com
    www.hrblock.com
    www.e-file-online.com
    www.jacksonhewitt.com
  • Software:There is a proliferation of software available o assist the taxpayer in completing tax forms. However, please note that most of these may be for "resident" status taxpayers. Some libraries and IRS offices may have a collection of products available to print from a CD-ROM or photocopy from reproducible proofs.

If you have problems with a filed tax return, you have the choice of working with the IRS or hiring someone to represent you.

Contacting Your Taxpayer Advocate: If you have attempted to deal with an IRS problem unsuccessfully, you should contact your Taxpayer Advocate. The Taxpayer Advocate represents your interests and concerns within the IRS by protecting your rights and resolving problems that have not been fixed through normal channels. While Taxpayer Advocates cannot change the tax law or make a technical tax decision, they can clear up problems that resulted from previous contacts and ensure that your case is given a complete and impartial review. To contact your Taxpayer Advocate, call 1-877-777-4778 (toll free) or 1-800-829-1040 (general IRS line).

You may also have an enrolled agent or CPA represent you in audits & disputes with the IRS.

**The ISSO cannot recommend for or against any tax preparation specialist and cautions all who hire a tax specialist/preparer to read the terms and conditions of a contract carefully before agreeing to them.