Visit ISSS on the Web! http://isss.binghamton.edu
Editor’s Note: Sunday, March 13, 2011 begins “Daylight Savings Time” So, you’ll want to remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to sleep on Saturday night, March 12, so that you’ll be all set for the start of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 13.
1. Be Featured in a Video About BU!
2. This Week’s Travel Question: If my F-1 student visa stamp is expiring, do I need to go home?
3. Two Important Income Tax Reminders!
4. Income Tax Information: Who’s Using CINTAX?
5. Income Tax Information: Common Mistakes When Reporting Income
6. Income Tax Information: For F-1 and J-1s in the U.S. for More than Five Years Who are Residents for Tax Purposes
7. Summer Session 2011 Advance Registration Begins Today, Fall 2011 Course Schedule Available for Viewing March 28
8. Metro Career Night 2011 in New York City Rescheduled to March 24!
9. Important Notice From Student Accounts Regarding Fall 2011 Early Registration
10. Applications are Now Available for The Rosa Colecchio Travel Award for Dissertation Research Enhancement
11. Email Scam - Avoid Green Card Lottery Fraud
The Student Ambassador Program in the Undergraduate Admissions office seeks both undergraduate and graduate students for an international recruitment project. They are making a video to put on the Admissions website that showcases international students to talk about their experiences at Binghamton University. The format of the video will be a series of interviews with various students in which they are asked questions about Binghamton and are provided with guidelines for answers in order to include important information. But first they need people to interview!
If you are interested in being one of the featured students in the video, please contact Robyn Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org before March 10. You will then receive more information. This is a great opportunity to inform and reach out to prospective students all over the world and also experience 30 seconds of fame!
Staff in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services are frequently asked this question. In many countries, the visa stamp inside the passport controls not only your ability to enter the country, but also the length of your stay. But, in the United States, the rules are different. A F-1 or J-1 student visa stamp can expire, but students may legally remain in the United States as long as they have an unexpired passport, unexpired I-20 and are registered full time at the school they are authorized to attend, or on authorized post-completion Optional Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1). A new visa is required only if you will travel outside the United States and plan to return.
Here is the actual U.S. government regulation as written by the U.S. Department of State. “CFR” stands for Code of Federal Regulations.
§ 41.112 Validity of visa.
(a) Significance of period of validity of visa. The period of validity of a nonimmigrant visa is the period during which the alien may use it in making application for admission. The period of visa validity has no relation to the period of time the immigration authorities at a port of entry may authorize the alien to stay in the United States</p>.
So, you do not need to worry about your visa stamp expiring as long as you are in the United States.
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services reminds students and scholars that if you are filing non-resident tax forms (forms 8843, 1040NR EZ or 1040NR), you cannot e-file (electronically file)! You must print your non-resident tax forms and mail them by post. If you use CINTAX, the web-based income tax preparation product for non-residents, CINTAX will provide a pdf file containing your tax forms and instructions for mailing.
Remember that once you do your federal forms by using CINTAX, and if you need to file New York State income tax forms, use the ISSS income tax webinars that take you line-by-line through the three required NYS forms for non-residents (IT-2, IT-203 and IT-203B). Since you cannot e-file your federal, non-resident tax forms, you also cannot e-file New York State forms.
The ISSS website has the link to the New York State tax forms needed by non-residents, as well as the webinars to show you how to fill them out! Although CINTAX does provide a link to the New York State Income Tax website within their product, you will find it much less confusing if you use the ISSS web links:
New York State Tax Forms and Publications:
Income Tax Webinars: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/taxes/webworkshp.html
More than 600 current BU international students, scholars and BU international alumni are using CINTAX for the filing of their federal tax returns. This is the sixth year that CINTAX is available for BU student use, thanks to a license purchased by International Students and Scholar Services.
What do you think of CINTAX? Let us know by sending your comments to email@example.com
There are some common mistakes that international students frequently make on income tax forms. Here are a few of them.
Mistake 1: Attempting to e-file (electronically file) the federal income tax return.
Non residents for tax purposes (F and J students who have been in that status in the United States for five or fewer years, 2006 or later) and J scholars/faculty who have been in that status in the United States for two or fewer years, 2009 or later) are non-residents for tax purposes and must file non-resident income tax forms. Currently, the federal non-resident forms, 8843, 1040NR and 1040NR EZ, cannot be filed electronically. If you have used an e-filer for your federal income tax returns, and you are a non-resident, you have filed the wrong forms and will need to file an amended income tax return. If you use CINTAX, this mistake will not be made.
Mistake 2: Filing Your Income Tax Forms Too Soon
Do not file your income tax forms too soon! Before you file, make sure you have a unique W-2 Wage and Tax Statement from each employer for whom you worked in 2010. If you have not received a W-2 form from each of your 2010 employers, it is your responsibility to contact the employer and request one.
If you can exempt salary (wages) from tax based on a tax treaty between the United States and your country AND did the necessary tax treaty paperwork with either the State Payroll Office or the Research Foundation Payroll Office, you MUST wait until you receive form 1042-S from your employer before filing your income tax forms. If you are not certain whether you will be issued form 1042-S, check with your employer.
If you received a scholarship, such as an athletic scholarship, dissertation year fellowship, graduate school scholarship or enhancement award during calendar year 201, you will receive form 1042-S in mid-March. If you are not certain whether you will be issued form 1042-S, check with your scholarship source.
Once you receive form 1042-S, CINTAX will help you correctly file your income tax forms.Students from India should note that because of the unique nature of the U.S. income tax treaty with India, no form 1042-S is issued for those eligible to claim the tax treaty based on wages (salary). Therefore, unless you have a scholarship or fellowship grant as described above, you may file your income tax forms without form 1042-SMistake 3: Confusing wages with scholarships/fellowships.
Mistake 4: Putting the wrong amount on line 11 of form 1040NR EZ.
Only state or local income tax withheld can be reported on line 11 of form 1040NR EZ. DO NOT list federal income tax withheld on this line, only state and local tax (found on box 17 and box 19 of form W-2 and also on form 1042-S). Students from India eligible to claim the India Tax Treaty must put only the standard deduction amount on line 11. If you use CINTAX, this mistake will not be made.
Mistake 5: Including your tuition scholarship on line 5 of form 1040NR EZ
Graduate students who have received a tuition scholarship from Binghamton University should NOT enter the amount of the scholarship on line 5 of form 1040NR EZ. These tuition scholarships do not fit the IRS definition of "taxable scholarship." If you use CINTAX, this mistake will not be made.
Mistake 6: Excluding the wrong amount on line 9 of form 1040NR EZ
You can only exclude an amount on line 8 if you also had a taxable scholarship/fellowship amount on line 5. Exclusions are limited to the amount you spent on fees and books during the period you had a scholarship/fellowship. There are no exclusions for wages reported on form W-2. If you use CINTAX, this mistake will not be made.
International Student and Scholar Services staff are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Tax information is available only at tax seminars.
Until now, all of ISSS-BU's income tax articles have focused on F-1 and J-1 students who are non- residents for tax purposes; those who have been in F or J status for five years or less. This information is for those F-1 and J-1 students who entered the U.S. in 2005 or earlier, or J-1 scholars who entered the U.S. in 2008 or earlier, and therefore file as residents for tax purposes.
Need assistance with your resident tax forms? There are a number of resources available to you. If your total earnings for 2010 were less than $58,000, you can file both your Federal and your New York State income tax forms for free using special income tax software. Access Free File at http://www.irs.gov
Free assistance with resident tax forms is offered through the VITA volunteer program of AARP at the Broome County Public Library, 185 Court Street in downtown Binghamton. The hours are: (by appointment only) Monday – Saturday (closed Sundays) from 10am to 2pm. To request an appointment, call 607-778-3829 during these hours. There is also assistance available at the Oakdale Mall, near Macy’s. These are walk-in hours from 10am to 2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Through March 11, walk-in hours are also available on Fridays. The volunteers at the Broome County Library and at the Oakdale Mall are NOT trained to assist with non-resident tax matters, nor are they trained on such issues as tax treaties.
Resident income tax filers can purchase income tax software such as Turbo Tax or Tax Cut from stores such as Staples, Barnes and Noble, or Walmart, or on the web through Amazon.com.There are also paid preparers in the local community who can assist you including H & R Block and Jackson Hewett.
If you have been in F-1 or J-1 status for more than five years, you need to file form 1040, or its shorter versions; 1040A or 1040EZ. Residents with income should also file New York State tax form IT-150 and IT-2. Residents for tax purposes must report all world-wide income, including bank interest. However, residents for tax purposes can also list spouses and children as dependents, and therefore claim a greater number of exemptions and deductions.
In addition to the personal exemption of $3650, residents for tax purposes can also claim the standard deduction, which for a single person is $5700 for tax year 2010! Residents may also claim certain tax credits, if they meet the eligibility requirements. These credits include child care, earned income, and education credits. Graduate students who are eligible to file as residents for tax purposes may be especially interested in the lifelong learning education credit.
For more information on education credits, obtain IRS publication 970 "Tax Benefits for Higher Education." It can be found on the World Wide Web at the IRS Forms and Publications site; http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf
Remember that these benefits are only available to F-1 and J-1 students who have been in the U.S. in those statuses for MORE than five years.
Advance registration for the 2011 Summer Session begins today. For more information on summer classes, visit http://summer.binghamton.edu.
The schedule of classes for Fall 2011 will be available online beginning Friday, March 28. View schedule >>
Fall 2011 Pre-Registration begins on March 31 for Graduate Students and on April 1 for undergraduate students. All students are assigned a time ticket or registration start time. To view your time ticket, log into BU BRAIN beginning March 28 and click on "Registration Status". Pre-registration will be open through Friday, May 13.
Make the most of your March recess! Come meet Binghamton University alumni and get career advice on Thursday, March 24 at the Fashion Institute of Technology (John. E Reeves Great Hall - entrance at 7th Avenue and 28th Street) in Manhattan. The evening begins with an alumni panel discussion “Planning for Career Success” from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by networking with alumni from 7 to 9 p.m. This event will be a great opportunity to explore career options through one-on-one discussions with successful alumni. Admission is free but registration is required. The event is limited to 500 students. Space at the panel session is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first served basis. Visit the Metro Career Night website for a current list of alumni participating and the fields they represent. Attire is business casual. This event is sponsored by the Binghamton University Alumni Association and Career Development Center. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 607-777-6206.
Any outstanding balance on your Student Account the must be paid or cleared at least 24 hours prior to your Fall 2011 early registration time. Please do not wait until the last minute to resolve any outstanding debts in order to ensure that you will be able to register at your priority time. You can view and/or pay any balance due by visiting http://bubrain.binghamton.edu. Find the "Student Tools" menu. Click on the "Student Accounts" menu. Click on the "QuikPAY-Web Payments" and re-enter your username and password.
Programs are invited to encourage students to apply for the Rosa Colecchio Travel Award for Dissertation Research Enhancement. Only doctoral students who have been admitted to candidacy are eligible to apply. The travel award must enhance the dissertation in a way that would not be accomplished otherwise. Supported activities may include travel for research dependent upon:
* library materials not obtainable through regular channels
* archival materials
* other original source materials
* techniques, equipment, and methodologies not available on this campus
* opportunities to carry out extraordinary field research
This program cannot be used for travel to a professional meeting.
Applicants may request up to $300. One or more awards, depending on availability of funds, are made each year. Requests are reviewed by an Advisory committee of faculty appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Awards are based on consideration of well-presented and justified need, and the merit of the project. Application forms are available on the Graduate School website and are due in the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School by March 26. Awards are announced April 20.
This program is funded through an endowment established by the family of Rosa Romano Colecchio with the Binghamton University Foundation.
Have you or someone you know recently received an e-mail claiming you’ve won the Green Card lottery and asking you to send or wire money?
Don’t fall for it – the sender is trying to steal your money!
Fraudsters will frequently e-mail potential victims posing as State Department or other government officials with requests to wire or transfer money online as part of a “processing fee.” You should never transfer money to anyone who e-mails you claiming that you have won the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery or been selected for a Green Card.
Read the Fraud Alert at:
DV-2012 applicants will not receive a notification letter from the U.S. government but must check their status online. DV Entry Status Check will only be provided through the Department of State secure online site ,http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.
ISSS-BU is a listserv owned and managed by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Division of Student Affairs, at the State University of New York at Binghamton. It is the publisher of ISSS-BU News. Permission is granted to freely distribute the information posted to this list as long as its contents remain unchanged.To sign on to ISSS-BU from an e-mail account on the Binghamton.edu server, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
If your e-mail account is on a server other than Binghamton.edu,
send an e-mail message to email@example.com
In the message text, type: Please subscribe isss-bu, your e-mail address, your first and last name.
If you are a registered student and don't have an e-mail account, you may claim an e-mail address and password from https://buonline.binghamton.edu/banner Be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. If you encounter difficulty, visit the Help Desk in the lobby of the Computer Services building.
Last Updated: 3/13/12