Rice University cannot provide individual tax advice. We can only provide basic general guidelines to get you started in preparing your taxes. No information on this site may be considered formal tax advice. Consult appropriate tax counsel as necessary.
Tax forms are due to the IRS by April 15th of each year.
Please note that Sprintax license codes must be purchased for each tax filing year.
Codes are available starting March 1.
Filing taxes in the United States can be a confusing responsibility. Failure to comply with IRS regulations can produce serious consequences. Even if no taxes are owed, it is required by law to comply with filing procedures. Penalties can range from fines to interest on taxes not paid to incarceration if convicted of tax fraud or evasion. While Rice cannot file your taxes for you, we have compiled the following resources/guidance to assist you.
**NOTE: For questions or concerns regarding issues with previous years' tax returns, please contact the IRS directly by phone at their International Taxpayer Assistance line (1-267-941-1000)
- Sprintax Access Code Sign-up
Sign-up for SPRINTAX for 2022 tax year – March 1 - April 1, 2023!
**Sprintax licenses are only valid for a particular tax year, you must sign-up every year**
Based on availability, first-come, first-served.
Sprintax is a web-based software program designed to assist internationals with tax form preparation. It is available to Rice international students (both F-1 and J-1 status) who have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, or international scholars on J-1 status who have been in the U.S. for less than 2 years and are considered non-residents for tax purposes.
**If you are unsure of your tax residency status, you may go to Sprintax, create an account, and Sprintax will assist you in determining your tax status prior to purchasing the software.
- If you are found to be a non-resident for tax purposes, you can then purchase a $2 code from OISS.
- If you are found to be a resident for tax purposes and cannot use Sprintax to complete your tax form preparation, you may visit the IRS website for free file assistance options.
How to Sign-up:
- Visit OISS online sign-up between March 1 - April 1, 2023
- Pay $2 in cash for a user license, or $2.06 with credit card if signing up online
- Receive a unique access code by email within 2 business days to use
- Use the license you purchased for this year
- Gather all your tax documents before beginning (including W-2's if you worked, 1042-S if you received a fellowship or scholarship, etc.) - see the calendar at the bottom of the page for details of when you will receive these. If you file too early and later discover you forgot to include a tax document, you will need to prepare an amended return that is an entirely separate process.
- Follow the instructions provided by Sprintax very carefully, so that you don't miss any steps.
- If you need an ITIN because you are not eligible for an SSN, please see OISS and read ITIN Process
- If you need to file State Taxes because you worked in a state that charges State Income Tax, you may purchase a Sprintax software license to assist you in filing those taxes. Please visit Sprintax.
- Short webinar on main principles of non-resident tax - Click here
- Sprintax software walkthrough video - Click here
- Sprintax e-filing video - Click here
- Tax Preparation Workshop
We understand that filing your U.S. tax return can be a confusing process, but it is a legal requirement. Join us for one of our Rice Tax Workshops, where we will have an expert guide you through the process and be available for questions at the end of the webinar.
Presenter: Ryan Ludden, Sprintax Associate Vice President (www.sprintax.com)
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 3:30pm
Format: Webinar - click to sign up - https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3610359007747846230
Presenter: Ryan Ludden, Sprintax Associate Vice President (www.sprintax.com)
Date: Monday, March 27, 2023 at 3:30pm
Format: Webinar - click to sign up - https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5465177949201366107
- How to Prepare for the upcoming tax season
How to Prepare for the 2022 U.S. Tax season (post by Sprintax)
Webinar dates, times, and registration links:
In this tax webinar, international students, scholars and professionals will be run through everything they need to know about nonresident tax for the 2022 tax season. Topics will include who must file, tax residency, FICA, State returns, implications of misfiling as well as how to use Sprintax to prepare a compliant tax return. Remember, taxes are due April 15, 2023!
- Wednesday December 7th @ 2pm ET – Register here
- Tuesday January 24th @ 3pm ET – Register here
- Thursday February 9th @ 1pm ET – Register here
- Tuesday February 21st @ 12pm ET – Register here
- Thursday March 2nd @ 4pm ET – Register here
- Wednesday March 22nd @ 2pm ET – Register here
- Wednesday March 29th @ 1pm ET – Register here
- Thursday April 6th @ 3pm ET – Register here
- Wednesday April 12th @ 12pm ET – Register here
- Friday April 14th @ 2pm ET – Register here
OPT/CPT Tax Webinar dates, times, and registration links:
Topics covered in these webinars will include residency for tax purposes, tax liabilities when on OPT/CPT and pre-employment tax forms when on OPT/CPT. The Sprintax team will also provide an overview of Sprintax Forms which can be used to prepare your pre OPT/CPT employment tax documents.
- Tuesday December 6th @ 2pm EST – Register here
- Wednesday January 18th @ 12pm EST – Register here
- Tax Basics and Frequently Asked Questions
Learn all about taxes in the United States and get answers to frequently asked questions – http://oiss.rice.edu/taxbasics.
- Tax Events Deadlines
- January 31: W-2 and/or 1099 mailed by employers. For Rice forms, please make sure you have updated your ESTHER Permanent Address with the address where you would like to receive your documents. You may also download your W-2 from your ESTHER account.
- February: OISS hosts a Tax Seminar with a tax expert as a guest speaker once per year, (see Tax Preparation Workshop above for details). The tax expert speaks mainly on tax law for internationals.
- March 15: Form 1042 and 1042-S due to IRS by Payroll. Payroll will notify individuals when they may pick up the form from their office or FNIS account in early March. If the form is not picked up by March 15, Payroll will mail the form to the Permanent Address located in ESTHER. Please update your address to ensure proper delivery of these important tax documents. If you are not sure if you will receive this tax document, please contact the Payroll office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- April 15: Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ due to IRS by individuals (if Nonresident Alien receives compensation).
- June 15: Form 8843 due to IRS (if Nonresident Alien does not receive compensation and that is only form that is required to be filed.)
- SSN and ITIN Process
A SSN or ITIN is needed to facilitate payment for scholarships, fellowships, employment in the U.S., and to file a U.S. tax return. If you are not eligible to apply for a SSN, you may need to request an ITIN in order to receive tax treaty benefits and to file a U.S. tax return.
NOTE: If you are only required to file form 8843 for your U.S. tax return, then no SSN nor ITIN is required.
- CPT/OPT Pre-employment Tax Support
Please see https://oiss.rice.edu/cpt-opt-tax for information on a helpful resource.
- Additional Resources
AARP Tax Aide Program
Volunteers provide free tax return preparation assistance to foreign students and scholars, for both the non-resident and resident alien tax forms. Walk-ins are welcome (please arrive at least 1 hour before closing):
University of Houston - Downtown VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program
Free Tax Preparation by IRS Certified Preparers. See https://www.uhd.edu/academics/business/acci/vita/Pages/default.aspx for more details.
- https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers (Scroll down to the link listed at category 13 for Aliens).
- Download Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, Publication 901: U.S. Tax Treaties, and instructions for Forms 1040NR and 1040NR-EZ. If you will be claiming business expenses, child care expenses, or charitable contributions, ask for the appropriate forms which are also available at the IRS website
- International Taxpayer Service Center: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
- Toll-free IRS number: 1-800-829-1040 (live telephone assistance) or 1-800-829-4477 (recording). This is a general number. Be sure to mention that you will be filing as foreign national.
- Houston Taxpayer Assistance (local IRS office) 281-721-7021
- Tax Payer Advocate Service: 713-209-3660 (in Houston) or 1-877-777-4778. See Publication 1546: How to Get Help with Unresolved Tax Problems. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1546.pdf
- Contact the IRS: https://www.irs.gov/help/contact-your-local-irs-office.
- Automated Refund Information: 1-800-829-1954 or see "Where's My Refund" on the IRS website Call 1-800-829-1040 if 8 weeks has gone by since you mailed your return and you expect a refund. Have a copy of your tax return in hand. You will be asked to supply your SSN, filing status, as well as the exact amount of refund. Receiving refund may take up to 12 months for non-resident aliens.
- Tax Treaties by Country: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/united-states-income-tax-treaties-a-to-z
Please note: The OISS staff is not trained nor qualified to give any tax advice.