SprinTax Reviews – International Students File Your Taxes and Get Refund.
Are you ready to file your Taxes using SprinTax? Here’s SprinTax Reviews from Happy Schools and new users who filed their taxes using Sprintax.
International Students here in the U.S. are required to file taxes. Finally, there’s a Software as a Service provider – SprinTax can help Non-Resident for Tax Purpose ( like F-1 Visa, J-1 Visa, OPT, STEM OPT Students and scholars) to prepare their taxes online.
I came to know about SprinTax back in 2013 when one of their team members reached out to me. I’m picky when it comes to recommending a product here in the blog to my readers. When it comes to filing taxes, I’m was not going to start promoting a product after someone reached out to me via email. So, I passed on the opportunity to recommend SprinTax for 2014 tax season wasn’t ready to write SprinTax Reviews.
I try to take a test drive before recommending and reviewing any product, but in this scenario, I don’t fall under non-resident alien for tax purpose. So, I can’t take a test drive. But, here’s how and why I’m recommending SprinTax here in Happy Schools to my readers to use them to file non-resident international student taxes.
- SprinTax is Non-Resident Tax partner for TurboTax
- Turbo Tax suggests non-residents file taxes using SprinTax
- Several U.S. Universities offer Tax filing services for their International students via SprinTax
- I met VP of Sprintax in person (They are based out of Chicago)
Since, 2013, I started hearing more about SprinTax from students who used SprinTax via their school. Then I met Endha Kelleher (Vice President) and his team at NAFSA Annual Conference in Boston in May 2015. We spoke about their company and how they operate. I was able to form a better opinion about them to recommend SprinTax here today.
Note: This article is not about providing your guidance on which tax forms to file or if you are required to file taxes at all. Please talk to a CPA or Tax professional to clarify your Tax related questions.
Should International Students and Scholars file taxes?
Here’s the what IRS.gov website quotes for International Students and Scholars about filing taxes here in the U.S.
Filing IS required by nonresident alien students and scholars who have:
- A taxable scholarship or fellowship, as described in Chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education;
- Income partially or totally exempt from tax under the terms of a tax treaty, and
- Any other income, which is taxable under the Internal Revenue Code.
Resident Alien vs. Non-Resident Alien for Tax Purpose
According to IRS, word Alien means “An individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national”. And, they have two more sub-categories within Alien for Tax Purposes.
- Resident Alien for Tax Purpose
- Non-Resident Alien for Tax Purpose
Don’t confuse the terms with Permanent Resident Alien, used by USCIS to describe people with Green Card.
How to find if you are a Non-Resident Aline for Tax Purpose?
You can do that by doing a test called as Substantial Presence Test or Green Card Test ( Green Card Holders). If you are considered as Non-Resident Alien for Tax Purpose, then you can’t use 1040 to file your taxes. I don’t know what will be the impact of filing incorrect tax forms in future, but you have the option to file an Amended Return to fix your wrong tax form in previous years.
Feeling overwhelm already?
Don’t you worry? Sprintax will ask you few simple questions, and auto-generates the right tax forms to file with IRS.
Video Demo of SprinTax
How SprintTax Can Help You?
People who have gone through the process said the following their website was super easy to use, and they have 24/7 chat support to help answer your questions.
- Their website was super easy to use
- They have 24/7 chat support to help answer your questions
Here’s overview of the Tax Filing process with SprinTax
- Create an Account
- Answer few simple questions
- SprinTax generates appropriate Tax forms
- Applies deductions (as applicable)
- Applies tax treaty benefits (as applicable)
- Checklist is generated with Tax forms
- Print the forms, sign at right places ( as per checklist)
- Mail the forms to IRS.
Here’s sample checklist that would be generated for you. I have deleted about seven pages of tax forms and personal details in the list, but you can know how a checklist would look like.
What does this that means to you?
Worry free tax filing. Plus, it could be more money in your pocket if are eligible to get a refund based on your paycheck withholdings.
Here’s a couple of Sprintax Reviews from two folks who used their service to file their Income Tax from STEM OPT Facebook Group.
What Other Services Does SprinTax Offer?
- Your State Tax Returns
- File FICA Tax Refund Request
- Form 8843
- ITIN Application (if you don’t have ITIN Number)
Your State Income Tax Returns
If you live in a State where State Income Tax has to be filed, then SprinTax can also prepare the required forms for you.
Here’re seven states where State Incomes Taxes are not required – Florida, Alaska, South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Also, New Hampshire and Tennessee don’t have State Income Tax, but they have to pay taxes on pay tax on dividends and income from investments.
If you live in other states, then State Income Taxes might apply to you based on your income limits.
Apply for FICA Tax Refund
FICa taxes account for about 7.65% of your Gross Salary. International students on CPT, OPT, STEM OPT Extension are not required to pay FICA Taxes.
If your employer has already deducted those from your paycheck, you must apply for the refund from IRS. Your employer can’t issue the refund to you.
To get FICA tax refund, you had to fill manually a form, do the math to figure out if you are eligible for FICA tax refund, then mail the form to IRS with supporting documents.
Now, you can generate the Right tax forms to get FICA Tax refund from IRS by using SprinTax.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required to file your taxes if you don’t have an SSN. In such case, you would have to file another application to apply for ITIN Number. SprinTax makes to easy by generating the required application form along with tax returns forms.
Here’s the SprintTax Cost for various services offered for Individual User Pricing (check the website for the latest pricing information):
|Federal Tax Preparation (1040NR/ 1040NR- EZ)||$35.95|
|State Tax Preparation||$25.95|
Here’s a note about their services:
If your individual circumstances are not supported by the Sprintax software, your tax return should be prepared offline instead. We’ll review your case and contact you for more information on our offline services and prices.
Is SprinTax Legit company?
Interesting question right? Is Sprintax Legit? Here’re some universities who have purchased the license to SprinTax.
- New York University
- Georgia Tech
- University of Illinois
- George Washington University
- University of Pittsburgh
They are big name schools offering SprinTax to their International Students and Scholars. If your university is not offering this service, you can head straight to SprinTax and start filing your taxes.
I can’t be more excited than this, where the hassle of filing your International Student ( Non-resident) taxes couldn’t get any easier.
Note: Happy Schools would get a small referral fee if you decide to use SprinTax by following the links on this page at no additional cost to you. If you have any question about SprinTax, do reach out to me or SprinTax 24/7 customer care.
I have a quick question about the SSN and Medicare tax refund filing. I am on OPT and my employer had deducted ‘X’ amount, saying SSN and Medicare tax, for couple of months in the last year. I left my previous employer, and now when I asked him to provide a SSN tax refund statement, so that I can apply for the same on my own, now they replied me saying – “You have asked before about the SSN refund amount. The process would be too lengthy and they charge you $300 for the process. “. Does IRS really charge for that. ? If not, could you please suggest me any.
You don’t have to go via your employer. You can claim directly from IRS. Sprintax would let you generate the form, then you can mail it.
Hi i have noticed that if you have a 401k contribution Sprintax form doesn’t support it.
How do you then file your tax return ?
401(k) contribution will be given in your W-2. You would enter the value based on W-2.
I was a non-resident for 2015 although i had a visa change on Oct 1 from F-1 student to H-1B Non-immigrant worker. Can i claim Standard deduction under US-India treaty Article 21-2?
Deduction by US-india treaty is itemized deduction not standard deduction. If you file as resident for income tax purpose or non resident the total deduction remains same $10,300. If you file as resident you get that deduction on line 5 of $10,300 (for single), if you file as non resident you get standard deduction of $4000 and Itemized deduction of $6300 which comes to $10,300.
I am unable to follow any link on this page. Its redirecting me to this same blogpost. Can anyone help me with this?
Hey – I fixed it. It’s working now.
Sprintax has worst customer service, and crappy software. If your state’s tax return is not complex to file, just do it yourself and save some money and headache.
Right now I am working and my status is OPT. Every time in my pay check SSN and medicare taxes are being deducted. So how do I get reimbursed.
Refer to FICA Taxes Reund blog article.
Contact your Employer’s payroll department and let them know that you are on F1-OPT, so Medicare and Social Security Tax should not be deducted for you. They will refund you the money.
If they had withheld that money in 2015 and if you have already received your 2015 W2 from them, contact them for your refund and ask them to issue you an amended W2 for 2015. Make sure you file your taxes with that amended W2.
Employer CAN’T refund the money. It’s paid as taxes to IRS. Only IRS can refund the money. You can use Sprintax to prepare the documents to file for FICA Refund along with your tax returns.
My Employer did refund me immediately. It depends on company too.
After I showed them the rule from the IRS website, they did refund me the amount separately in a different payslip. They had charged me for 2-3 months, that time I was on CPT [last year].
Same here, both of my employers on different cpt returned the FICA amount.
Tell your employer you are FICA exempt they will return you the money for this year, for last year you have to file new form.
This is Amar i’m on F1 status. I have already filed the tax in turbo tax and I did not that I have to fill the 1040NR form. So what should I have to do now and what will happen in future when I fill H1B and GC. Thanks in advance.
You have to file 1040x (Amended) and also send new 1040NR that you can prepare using Sprintax. Then send both 1040x (on top) and new 1040NR.
Thanks for your reply. Can you give a process how to do this because I have already filled the tax returns. Thank you.
I think I have describe that 🙂 1040x and 1040NR. You can look it up or hire a CPA.
Can you do a piece on utilization of 401K contribution and IRA(Traditional/ROTH) for students on OPT/ H1B? My big question would be if it is worth to make a contribution to 401K when both your status and future are unsure?
Sure. That’s a good topic to write about.
Thanks a lot for helping all of us in these issues. I have filed my tax refunds using turbotax and realized that I shouldn’t do it. Could you suggest me what to do now?
For which year?
I have applied last year by turbo tax
Can you suggest me please
If you are a non-resident, then you would have to file an amendment to change the form from 1040 to 1040NR.
For which year?
For which year?
Mukesh, you can also check this link:
Thanks for the reply ..
are Intl (Indian) students eligible to apply for education credit (Form 1098T)?
Sorry. I can’t provide Tax consulting 🙂
Go through the Sprintax questionnaire and they would pick the right deductions, forms and credits based on your residency.
This is a misconception. As an international student, we cannot claim 1098T.
When I used Sprinttax, they have a clear statement about this on their website:
Form 1098- T (the Tuition Statement):
“Form 1098- T (the Tuition Statement) concerns the US nationals and residents only. Please, find below the instructions of who must file the 1098-T form:
Specific Instructions for Form 1098-T File Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, if you are an eligible educational institution. You must file for each student you enrol and for whom a reportable transaction is made. Also, if you are an insurer, file Form 1098-T for each individual to whom you made reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses.
Exceptions. You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for:
– Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program;
– Nonresident alien students, unless requested by the student;
– Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships;
– Students for whom you do not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the student’s employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defence.”
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