Taxes

As a non-immigrant student, spouse or dependent on a F visa, even if you earned no money, you must file a data statement and probably a Federal Tax return, if you were in the United States, even for one day, during 2008. If you earned more than $3,500, you may owe some Federal and State income taxes, and must file a Federal Tax return. If you have earned less than $3,500, you may still want to file a return to claim a refund. If you have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years as a student then you are not required to pay Social Security (FICA) taxes. FICA taxes should not be withheld from your pay. Some money, however, should be withheld from your paycheck to cover any possible Federal and State tax obligations that you might have.

Even though your employer will withhold money from your pay, you still may not have to pay any taxes and may get back some or all the money withheld. For example, if your earnings are less than $3,500 generally you will owe no tax.

To determine your exact tax liability, Federal Form 1040NREZ or 1040NR and State Form 1-NR must be completed and filed by April 15, 2009 for the tax year 2008. W-2 forms from your employer that indicate how much you earned and how much money was withheld must be attached to your tax forms.

Federal Form 8843 and if needed, Form 1040NREZ or 1040NR should be mailed to:

The Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

State Form 1-NR REFUNDS should be sent to:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 7000
Boston, MA 02204

State Form 1-NR PAYMENTS should be sent to:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 7003
Boston, MA 02204

The CIE has these forms available, but you can download them from the Federal website at www.irs.gov or the state website at www.mass.gov or call the following toll-free numbers to have free copies of forms, instructions, and publications sent directly to you:
Federal: 1.800.829.3676
State (Mass): 1.800.392.6089 or 617.887.6367

For more detailed information about Federal tax regulations, you should request by phone Internal Revenue Service Publication Number 519, "U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens."
You can also find some of the more common forms at banks, post offices and libraries. Further, you can go in person for free Federal forms and tax help to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) John F. Kennedy Federal Building, at Government Center.

For forms and help with the State tax return, go to the first floor of the Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston. You can also call for information (Federal 1.800.829.1040, State 1.800.392.6089 or 617.887.6367).

Another option is to pay for private tax assistance or for an accountant to prepare your forms for you. At the CIE, we are not tax advisers nor preparers and thus, do not have the expertise or time to help you individually.

 

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