Photo credit to turbotax.intuit.com
Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Well, I am afraid that Ben was right; taxes have come again. Luckily for some of CSS students, they still don't have to do taxes, since their parents have their back. Unluckily for others, taxes are a necessary evil. FAFSA, 1098T, more forms, and more forms...It never seems to end. Taxes are even more difficult for international students. Yes, even international students have to do taxes.
International students have slight differences in taxes compared to students that are from the US. The first difference is that international students have to do taxes even if they don't have income (at least have to fill out the forms). Alison Champeaux, international student advisor, says, "Taxes are an immigration check for international students," and that's why paper work has to be done even if an international student has no income.Other differences include the amount of tax credits and source of income. The majority of international students' taxable income comes from work-study and taxable scholarships. If an international student fails to complete the necessary forms, the consequence will normally be something along the lines of being kicked out of the US, according to Champeaux.
Fortunately for CSS international students, there is tax help offered by Champeaux's office. The CSS international student programs offer three workshops a year that are lead by Champeaux and CSS accounting alumni. The programs also buy software for international students to use at a discounted price of $5. This software is similar to TurboTax and allows for quick accurate filing. This is just for federal taxes though. Since there is no software for MN taxes, the state taxes can be a bit trickier. However, help is still available for international students working on state taxes through Champeaux's office.
International students that have been in the US for five years are considered residents of the US for tax purposes, which adds another hurdle to tax filing. Regardless of residency status, tax information can be obtained through OneStop and a variety of websites offer information on taxes. International students can always go to Champeaux's office for tax help, too. Taxes are certain as death, but CSS will always be there for students who need help.