Getting Help

Getting Help (this page) can be accessed at http://bit.ly/isstaxhelp

[Updated April 3, 2019]

NEW (Feb 11, 2019) : see four sets of Google Slides on the following areas:

  1. Introduction to residency status
  2. Employment Timeline: between getting your SSN and filing your federal and state tax returns, is there anything you should be doing? YES
  3. Introduction to Sprintax. An overview of what to expect.
  4. NEW (Mar 19): Will you get a refund? All the details that must be known to answer that question.

Getting Help with Federal and State Tax Forms

PSU has made arrangements for PSU students to use Sprintax (this is a PSU-specific link) to assist with completing their federal and state income tax forms. See PSU's information page for international students at https://www.pdx.edu/international-students/taxes-0.

Sprintax Discount Access Code

You will need the PSU-provided access code to remove the charge for the federal (1040NR or 1040NREZ and 8843).

The access code will come from the PSU international office. They will be sending out three or four emails in February and March. Check your inbox for a message with the subject line "Tax obligations for international students and scholars." If you are unable to find it, e-mail OIA@pdx.edu with your PSU ID (so they can confirm you are a student) to request the access code if you cannot find the e-mail.

The access code will remove the cost for the federal form. But there will still be a charge to use Sprintax's prepared state tax forms and any other forms Sprintax suggests. It is your decision whether to pay extra fees for Sprintax's assistance. See below for information about manually completing your Oregon Form 40N.

See more information for PSU students related to Sprintax.

Help with Sprintax

As you enter your data into Sprintax, there are two resources I have prepared that may help you.

If you need help beyond those resources, you should use Sprintax's help as you work your way through their program.

  • Refer to the Sprintax FAQ (click "view all").
  • As you work through the pages in Sprintax, you will find blue text that will display additional information when clicked.
  • Use Sprintax's "Ask Stacy," their online chat.
    • It will first search their large bank of FAQ’s and then, if the answer is not there, you will start to interact with the Sprintax bot. The bot will produce an answer from your "live chat" question and then ask “Is your question similar to the answer below?” If the answer is “no” you will be brought into the live chat where there is a real human interacting with you.
  • Use Sprintax's phone support.

You can also see our page on "Sprintax Questions"

Help with Oregon Form 40N

If you wish to see an example of how 1040NR(EZ) is used to complete the Oregon Form 40N, go to 2018 Forms and Instructions and see "An example of how 1040NR(EZ) is used to complete the OR 40N"

Help Getting Your Social Security and Medicare taxes refund

If your employer withheld Social Security and Medicare taxes while your status is nonresident alien, see FICA.

This Website

Browse this website. Look at the menus and see the topics listed. As I receive new questions, I often add a page to cover that topic.

Join our Facebook Group: Tax Info for PDX ISS

Join Tax Info for PDX International Students and Scholars, a Facebook group for announcements, asking questions, and brief posts related to tax issues for F and J nonresident aliens.

Two Types of Help Session

Introduction to Taxes in the US and Sprintax

This session will take you on a guided tour of Sprintax. It will prepare you to use Sprintax if this product is new to you. Even if you have already used Sprintax, you are welcome to join the meeting.

Currently, sessions are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, Feb 12, 3:00 to 4:30 PM, Karl Miller Center, Room 605
  • Wednesday, Feb 13, 1:00 to 2:30 PM, Karl Miller Center, Room 605
  • Tuesday, Feb 19, 10:30 to 12:00 PM, Karl Miller Center, Room 605

You can view the slides to this presentation.

Help Sessions: Beyond Sprintax

There are three help sessions for those who need help beyond what Sprintax is able to provide.

  • 12:30 - 5:30 PM, Tuesday, Mar 26, Karl Miller Center, Room 605
  • 12:30 - 5:30 PM, Tuesday, Apr 2, Karl Miller Center, Room 605
  • 12:30 - 5:30 PM, Tuesday, Apr 9, Karl Miller Center, Room 605

Is Sprintax leaving you with some uncertainty? Come to these sessions with your questions or issues.

This is what to expect at these help sessions:

  • Answering questions that Sprintax was not able to answer (as we are able).
  • Answering questions about completed (or mostly completed) forms. Not sure the form is correct? We can take a look. (Please bring printed copies of your forms; we are not able to assist with forms via smart phones or laptops).
  • We will help students assemble documents for mailing.
    • For assistance with this, students should bring two #10 envelopes.
    • You can purchase single #10 envelopes with a postal stamp already attached at the USP Store.
  • We will not be manually completing forms at the help sessions.
  • We will not be confirming calculations.
  • We will not have any blank forms available at the help sessions.

What to do before you come to one of these session:

1. You have created a Sprintax Account

2. You have verified your federal residency status is nonresident alien. Sprintax will evaluate your federal residency status after your put in your visa and travel details. If your status is resident alien, please see these options for resident aliens.

3. If you have no income and your status is nonresident alien, you have completed your IRS Form 8843, the only federal or state form you would need to complete.

4. You have entered data into Sprintax in the following sections as they apply to your situation. You will see the following menu of options on the left as you work through the data screens in Sprintax:

  • Residency
    • Residency Status
    • Visa Details
  • Getting to know you
    • About You
    • Your address
    • Marital Status
    • Dependents
  • Let's talk money (this section will apply only to those who had income in 2018)
    • Income Documents (these may include forms W-2, 1042-S, 1099-MISC)
    • Other Income
    • Additional tax filing information
    • Tax treaty verification
  • About your college
    • College details

4. If you needed help, you have used

    • Sprintax's FAQ (frequently asked questions),
    • "Ask Stacy" (Sprintax's online chat support), and
    • Sprintax's phone support

to get answers related to using Sprintax.

But I still have Questions !!!!!!

If you still have questions or concerns, you can contact me via this contact form (which will come to my email address) or send an email directly to my email address if you already have that.

Please do not use SMS or any of the other texting options (such as Facebook Messenger, We Chat, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.) for questions about taxes. It is too difficult for me to keep track of all the conversations on the texting platforms and I sometimes overlook or forget something as a result.

Include in your message

  • Current Visa type
  • Country
  • Month and Year you first came to US on F or J visa. If you were not in the US for any of the years since you came (completely from Jan 1 to Dec 31), please mention that. (This would be unusual.)
  • Nonresident alien or Resident alien: What do you understand your current status to be regarding federal residency
  • Your question or issue or request

If there is something you want me to review or look at, let's make an appointment to meet. Don't send photos or PDFs of tax documents, or screen shots of screens via email or any of the texting apps.