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Major: International Economic Relations
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International Students' Tax Return
Olya Bezvushko

There is a great number of different forms, options and deductions to choose from in the US tax system. It is vital to get the right.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service require all education and employment programs participants in the United States to file their US tax returns. If you deny doing so, there will be a huge possibility to be rejected in getting a future visa. For example, when applying for a US Green Card, those who have previously worked in the US, to make sure their tax returns have been filed.

You can apply for a refund if you worked in the US and had a social security number. The nationality of the applicant doesn't make any difference. Besides, you can pretend to get a tax refund, if you had an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  

You can file your papers by yourself. But sometimes this process can be tricky for internationals, so it is recommended that you get some assistance, either from tax accountant or from a tax return company.

Tax refunds are calculated in accordance with your visa type, nationality, length of time spend in the USA and of course how much you earn.

To get the tax back you need the W2 form, however you can file your papers with either W2 form or final pay-stub. . W2 form is a statement from your employer of how much money you have earned, and how much Federal, state, Local, Medicine and social Security taxes have been deducted on your behalf. Your employer is supposed to send to you in a year after your employment. The final pay-stab contains the same information as the W2 form, but you can receive it from the employer when you finish working.  

Those students who receive a full scholarship (tuition, board and room) should keep in mind, that scholarship for tuition and fees for a degree program are not taxable. Yet scholarships for room and board are taxable, unless the scholarship is from a non USA party.   

Remember, that usual the due date for the US income tax return is April 15 each year. Those who have only passive income have to file their federal income tax returns until June 15th. However, if you file an extension request before the above due dates and have paid all your income taxes, you can get an extension to file your USA Income Tax Return. The deadline for the state or local income tax returns maybe different than the one for the federal tax returns.

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