International Students and Scholars
The Tax Clinic provides a number of services to nonresident aliens in the community and throughout the state of Michigan. Whether you are an international student, a seasonal farmworker or a temporary worker in the United States, we can assist you with understanding and complying with U.S. tax laws. This includes interpreting and claiming tax benefits under U.S. international tax treaties.
Leaving the U.S.? Be sure to update your mailing address with your employers and MSU. Your 2023 W-2, 1042-S, etc forms will be mailed in spring 2024 so be sure to update your address!
Tax Year 2023 Tax Return Information
MSU OISS will provide a free software code to International Student and Scholars again this year. The codes are not available for distribution yet and we are not sure of the exact date they will be available. OISS will send an email with more information soon and our website will be updated when we have more information.
For more information, please visit OISS's website here.
If you did not file for tax year 2022, our instructions PowerPoints are linked below. PowerPoints for tax year 2023 are not completed yet, but will be posted here when completed.
Tax Year 2022 Federal Tax Return Presentation - PowerPoint or PDF
Tax Year 2022 State of Michigan Presentation (worked ONLY in Michigan in 2022) - PowerPoint or PDF
Tax Year 2022 Multi-state State of Michigan Presentation (worked/lived in Michigan AND another state in 2022) - PowerPoint or PDF
Tax Year 2022 City of East Lansing Presentation - PowerPoint or PDF
Resident or Nonresident for tax purposes?
Unsure of your tax residency status? Use this worksheet to help you determine your status.
Resident for tax purposes?
Are you a resident for tax purposes? There are still free resources available if you qualify. You can use IRS FreeFile to file your own return or you can make an appointment with a VITA office near you to have you return completed.
Resources for questions on residency and tax treaty benefits
Walk-In Advising Hours at International Center - Mondays from 12-2 at International Center, room 302.
Starting February 12, we will host walk-in advising hours at the International Center on MSU's campus. The hours will be every Monday from 12pm until 2pm in room 302. If you have questions about your tax residency status, tax treaty benefits, filing a tax return, and end of the year income statements (W-2, 1042-2, etc.) you can stop by and ask. No appointment is required. The hours will run from Monday February 12 until Monday, April 15. No hours will be held on February 26 due to MSU's spring break. We do not complete returns during walk-in hours. Please note we do not take walk in appointments at our Clinic office.
If you cannot make the walk-in advising hours the Tax Clinic provide email support to MSU's international students and scholars. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have question about your US income tax obligation - whether you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes. For a quicker and more complete response, please include the following in your email: (1) your current visa; (2) the first US entry on that visa; (3) if you have held any previous F or J visas; (4) the country who issued your passport. Please allow 5 business days for a response during the spring semester.
Getting an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
An ITIN, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is a tax processing number only available for certain nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses, and dependents who cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN). It is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9", formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNNN).
To obtain an ITIN, you must complete IRS Form W-7, IRS Application for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (PDF) . The Form W-7 requires documentation substantiating foreign/alien status and true identity for each individual. You may either mail the documentation, along with the Form W-7, to the address shown in the Form W-7 Instructions, present it at IRS walk-in offices, or process your application through a Certified Acceptance Agent authorized by the IRS. Form W-7(SP), Solicitud de Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente del Servicio de Impuestos Internos (PDF) is available for use by Spanish speakers.
Certified Acceptance Agents are entities (colleges, financial institutions, accounting firms, etc.) who are authorized by the IRS to assist applicants in obtaining ITINs. They review the applicant's documentation and forward the completed Form W-7 to IRS for processing.
Types of Income Reporting Documents & Statements
By Mostafa Shanta
Posted: 3/24/2021; Updated: 5/2/2022
When preparing your tax returns for filing, taxpayers need to first collect all of the tax statements they received in the spring for that tax year. Because income encompasses many kinds of payments and comes from many different sources, various forms are used to record a taxpayer’s income. These tax statements also include instructions on the back and describe any letter or number codes that may be used in the tax statement. The following is a list of the most common income statements a taxpayer may receive.
A W-2 is an income statement that the taxpayer receives from their employer. It shows how much the taxpayer earned in 2020 and how much federal, state, and local income tax has been withheld from those wages by the employer. While all W-2s may not look alike, there is uniformity in the information found in the boxes. For instance, Box 1 will always contain the total wages earned that year.
A Form 1042-S is an income statement showing income (including scholarships) paid to a foreign person in the relevant tax year. The taxpayer should receive this form from the party who is the source of the wages or scholarships. Usually, an educational institution (like a university) or a financial institutional (like a bank) will send the foreign taxpayer this form.
A Form 1099-B is reported by brokerages and barter exchanges to record the taxpayer’s gains and losses from selling stocks and other securities during the tax year. Each transaction is recorded on a separate 1099-B. The taxpayer should receive these forms from his broker, though some brokers do have an online site from which the 1099-Bs may be retrieved. If the financial institution is required to report more than one 1099 to a taxpayer (i.e., 1099-B, 1099-INT, and a 1099-DIV), they may send you a “Consolidated 1099” that includes information for multiple 1099’s on one document.
A Form 1099-DIV is sent out by banks or other financial institutions to taxpayers who received dividends and distributions from their investments during the tax year. Certain investment accounts are exempt from issuing a 1099-DIV (namely an individual retirement account, which have a separate form for their distributions). Banks and financial institutions are not required to send 1099-DIV if the total amount in dividends is not greater than $10.
A Form 1099-G is a form used by a government agency reporting income paid to the taxpayer for the tax year. It mainly reports state unemployment payments or state/local tax refunds. The state or local government should mail the form to the taxpayer. If it was not received, the taxpayer should contact the relevant government agency to get a copy.
A Form 1099-INT shows how much bank or credit union interest you earned that tax year. Note that while credit unions refer to interest as dividends, the information is provided on a 1099-INT, not a form 1099-DIV. You may receive this by mail, but some banks and credit unions may require you to retrieve it from their website or request it. If it is less than $10, the bank or credit union is not required to report it.
A Form 1099-MISC shows any miscellaneous income that may have been receive from your employer or another party. Before 2020, the 1099-MISC was the form that businesses usually used to pay independent contractors and other non-employees.
A Form 1099-NEC is the form, beginning 2020, self-employed individuals will receive from businesses that has paid them more than $600 for their work. Self-employed individuals include independent contractors and gig workers. If you believe you should have received a 1099-NEC from a particular business, you should contact them.
A Form 1099-R is used to report a distribution of $10 or more form a retirement savings or investment account. You should receive the form from the party responsible for sending the distribution.